ConventionSouth

SEP 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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²ConventionSouth ² S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 8 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 38 Museum on the Louisiana State University (LSU) campus; the USS Kidd, a retired World War II destroyer turned museum; and the Old Louisiana State Capitol, also now a museum. But Baton Rouge continues to see new devel- opments of interest to meeting planners. There has been a rebranding and major expansion of the former Baton Rouge River Center recently, now known as Raising Cane's River Center. The complex has approximately 230,000 square feet of meeting and exhibition space, a 10,000-seat arena, and a 1,900-square-foot performing arts theater that is home to the Baton Rouge Sym- phony Orchestra, Baton Rouge Ballet and The Broadway in Baton Rouge. The River Center Performing Arts Theatre at Raising Cane's River Center complex is currently closed for a redesign that is slated for completion in late 2019 or early 2020. The lobby will be expanded and improvements will be made to the seats and aisles. In Baton Rouge hotel news, the 300-room Baton Rouge Marriott recently completed a $28 million renovation of all guest rooms, meeting spaces and the pool area, and opened a new restaurant. A new downtown eight-floor, 93- room Courtyard Baton Rouge Downtown opened this summer with a little less than 1,000 square feet of meeting space. Meanwhile, the 294-room Crowne Plaza Executive Center Baton Rouge is currently renovating all guest rooms. The prop- erty recently completed renovation of its lobby, meeting space, restaurant and pool area. Meeting attendees who might bring their spouses and kids will be happy to hear about Knock Knock Children's Museum, Baton Rouge's new three-story facility in City-Brooks Community Park located along I-10. (See Breakout Spotlight on page 40 for more information.) %DWRQ5RXJH0HHWLQJ6SDFHV • 5DLVLQJ&DQH·V5LYHU&HQWHU200,000 square feet of meeting space overall; 19 breakout rooms; 70,000 square feet of floor space in two exhibit halls; 26,000 square feet in divis- ible ballroom; 19 meeting rooms; more than 27,000 square feet of event space in Galle- ria; 30,000 square feet of column-free floor space in the 8,900-seat arena with seating re- tracted plus eight dressing rooms; 1,900-seat Theatre for the Performing Arts (currently closed for redesign and renovation) • 6KDZ&HQWHUIRUWKH$UWV The River Terrace accommodates 300; Manship Theatre seats 325; Hartley/Vey Studio Theatre accommodates 130 for banquet-style seating while the Hartley/Vey Workshop Theatre and The Gallery accommo- dates 185 or 225 for receptions respectively; six- floor, 13,000-square-foot LSU Museum of Art offers 14 galleries and a rooftop terrace that can accommodate 300 for cocktails or 200 seated for outdoor dining; adjacent to the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center • &URZQH3OD]D([HFXWLYH&HQWHU%DWRQ 5RXJH 32,000 square feet of meeting and event space; 17 meeting rooms; three ball- rooms; 294 guest rooms • %DWRQ5RXJH0DUULRWW25,000 square feet of meeting space; 25 meeting rooms; 18 break- out rooms; 300 guest rooms • +LOWRQ%DWRQ5RXJH&DSLWRO&HQWHU 20,000 square feet of event space; 290 guest rooms; adjacent to the Shaw Center and the River Center; AAA Four Diamond historic down- town hotel • /·$XEHUJH&DVLQR+RWHO nearly 13,000 square feet of flexible meeting and confer- ence space; AAA Four Diamond hotel; out- door festival grounds; 205 guest rooms • 5HQDLVVDQFH%DWRQ5RXJHnearly 13,000 square feet of flexible meeting and confer- ence space; nine event rooms; 256 guest rooms; AAA Four Diamond hotel West Baton Rouge Known as the Kite Capitol of Louisiana, the West Baton Rouge area offers 500 guest rooms and venues that can accommodate small to mid-size meetings. The West Baton Rouge CVB is based in Port Allen and the main event venue, The West Baton Rouge Conference Center, is "one of the newest and most modern facilities in the Baton Rouge area," with banquet and conference rooms that can accommodate from 50 to 700 guests, according to Tonya Elison, conference center director. Attractions include the Addis Museum, State Capitol Raceway and the West Baton Rouge Museum. Other small cities with meeting venues be- tween Baton Rouge and New Orleans include Gonzales, located southeast of Baton Rouge, L O U I S I A N A B R E A K O U T S P O T L I G H T : Lafayette The biggest news for Lafayette is the im- minent opening of new hotels in the city of Acadian culture and the Ragin' Cajuns. "Lafayette is a unique city with a history of warm, authentic hospitality along with a rep- utation as an easy, budget-friendly city to do business with when hosting a convention or sports event," said Mike Roebuck, chief sales officer for Lafayette Convention & Visitors Commission. "Major hotel brands are rapidly adding new inventory and we are excited to see four new hotels, including the new Tru by Hilton, Courtyard, La Quinta and Town Place Suites, all opening in late 2018 and early 2019, pushing our available inventory to over 6,300 rooms per night!" It's no surprise that a city with its con- vention center situated in a complex that includes the Cajundome also opened a new $33 million sports and recreation complex. The Broussard Sports Complex at St. Julien Park has 11 turfed baseball/softball fields; 8-16 soccer fields, depending on layouts; one full-sized turfed FIFA specified turf field; and jogging trails, tennis courts and a splash pad. Phase III at the Broussard sports site will bring beach volleyball, indoor volleyball, and indoor basketball. Plus, Lafayette CVC folks want you to know, Lafayette has more than 100 locally owned eateries and they aren't all Cajun by any means, though there's plenty of that! There's also BBQ, Asian, Italian and Medi- terranean. Q Contact: www.lafayettetravel.com/meetings Downtown Lafayette

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