JUL 2018

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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J U L Y 2 0 1 8 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 55 E V E N T P L A N N E R ' S G U I D E T O WV S P E C T A C U L A R M O U N T A I N V I E W S Situated high above the surrounding valleys, Dolly Sods is an expanse of subalpine heath barrens. Part of The Nature Conservancy's 477-acre Bear Rocks Preserve, this cornerstone of a diverse and complex ecosystem sits astride the Eastern Continental Divide. The area offers informal hiking trails and nature study. BY T. WAYNE WATERS The West Virginia Tourism Office is proud to celebrate the state's 155th birthday this year. West Virginia, The Mountain State, earned its nickname because it's the only state that lies completely within the Appalachian Mountain Range. The dramatic beauty of mountains and valleys, deep gorges and canyons, fast-flowing rivers and deep forests is everywhere to be found. West Virginia also offers meeting planners a good number of sizable cities with well-sized meeting spaces, along with a historic world-class resort and several other top-shelf resorts. Charleston The largest city in West Virginia and the capital city, Charleston offers meeting planners a Civic Center, 1,400 downtown sleeping rooms, loads of team-building options and a convenient location at the intersection of Interstates 64, 77 and 79. There are continuing improvements in its tourism and meetings infrastructure, as well. "Charleston, West Virginia – already recog- nized by convention planners as conveniently located within a day's drive of 70 percent of the U.S. population and home to world-class food, arts, recreation and music – is seeing millions of dollars of tourism infrastructure improvements," said Alisa Bailey, CEO and president of the Charleston CVB. "Among these improvements is the $100 million expansion and renovation of the Charleston Civic Center. City officials gathered May 31 to cut the ribbon on the new two-story glass Grand Lobby that will prominently feature indigenous art and is among numerous amenities being added to the center, including a new food service area, heating and cooling systems, state- of-the-art Wi-Fi and additional meeting rooms. The project is expected to be completed in fall of 2018." Meanwhile, The Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences of West Virginia is renovating its Juliet Art Museum galleries. Charleston also has a new sports facility opening July 10, with the 127-acre Shawnee Park Multi-Sports Complex. Charleston Venues • Charleston Civic Center: 146,000-square- foot facility; 50,000-square-foot Grand Hall; 22,000-square-foot ballroom; eight conference rooms; five executive parlors; one boardroom; 150-seat lounge; complex includes coliseum and theater • Charleston Civic Center Coliseum: 30,000 square feet of event space; 13,500-seat coliseum • Charleston Civic Center Little Theater: 738- seat auditorium; 36-foot proscenium stage • Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences of West Virginia: 240,000-square-foot facility • Municipal Auditorium: 3,400-seat capacity; 65-foot stage • Appalachian Power Park: 4,500-seat stadium • Charleston Marriott Town Center: 17,188 square feet of meeting space; 347 guest rooms; • Embassy Suites Charleston West Virginia: 15,000 square feet of meeting space; 353 guest rooms • University of Charleston: 4,000-square- foot ballroom; 4,320-square-foot auditorium; 2,272-square-foot Riggleman Hall Rotunda Huntington Huntington sits alongside the Ohio River in Ca- bell County on the western edge of West Virginia. Home to Marshall University, its riverside down- town is a destination for shopping for antiques. The remodeling of the 202-room Pullman Plaza Hotel, the largest hotel in Cabell County, should be completed by the end of the year ► West Virginia West Virginia Tourism Office

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