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 42 • &RSHODQG7RZHU6XLWHV &RQIHUHQFH Center (Metairie): 15,000 square feet of meeting space; nearly 9,000-square-foot ballroom Louisiana's Northshore/ St. Tammany Parish On the northern shore of Louisiana's famed Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana's Northshore is close to New Orleans and features a first-rate conference center, nearly 3,000 hotel rooms, a huge nature preserve, lake vistas and recreations, and the Southern Hotel, a historic 1907 hotel in Covington, La., that was restored a few years ago and has a newly completed annex, The Garden House, which has a small conference room and a courtyard event space. The Southern Hotel's main building features a small ballroom and a 950-square-foot sunroom overlooking a courtyard. The Clarion Inn & Suites Conference Center in Covington has 155 guest rooms and 9,000 square feet of meeting space. Louisiana's Northshore area offers recreational opportunities aplenty, including the Global Wild- life Center in Folsom, home to more than 4,000 exotic or endangered animals on a 900-acre wild- life reserve; swamp tours by canoe and boat; H.J. Smith & Sons General Store Museum in Coving- ton, featuring hundreds of items typically found in a store from the 1870s through the early 1900s; and a couple of craft beer tours. /RXLVLDQD·V1RUWKVKRUH0HHWLQJ6SDFHV • Northshore Harbor Center: 45,000 square feet of versatile meeting space; 18,000 square feet of exhibit space; large outdoor green space • Castine Center: 28,000 square feet of multi- purpose area; two conference rooms; located at Pelican Park • 0RYLH6HWV$5HHO9HQXH10,000 square feet of special event space in Slidell; perfor- mance stage; a unique space with authentic movie props and sets used in movies filmed in Louisiana New Orleans Even as New Orleans continues the celebration of its 300th anniversary and retains areas of unique architectural and cultural heritage, the "Big Easy" is undergoing major changes, with new and ren- ovated hotels, restaurants, attractions and event venues expanding the options for meeting partic- ipants. Throughout the Crescent City numerous landmarks are being restored and reimagined. Even the convention and visitors bureau has been rebranded, changing its name to New Orleans & Company earlier this year. "We are thrilled to have launched our new brand – New Orleans & Company – with a name and renewed mission that better reflects the work that we do and the people we serve. We believe that New Orleans' culture is its greatest strength and that the people of New Orleans create this unique culture. We are committed to supporting a virtuous cycle of tourism that fully benefits our local hospitality industry which works tire- lessly to create unforgettable experiences for our visitors, the meeting planners who bring their business to our city, and every visitor who enjoys world-class cuisine in one of our 1,200+ restau- rants or enjoys the Southern hospitality of one of our hotels," said Stephen Perry, president & CEO, New Orleans & Company. A look at the list of infrastructure and develop- ment projects completed in 2018 and those to be completed in 2019 and beyond reveals the extent of growth underway. "New Orleans is bustling with new develop- ments including a historic riverfront redevelop- ment which will create 4.5 miles of uninterrupted access to the Mississippi River, the Convention Center District Development Project – which recently broke ground on a new pedestrian plaza – as well the new airport terminal – which is on track to open a billion dollar, state-of-the-art facility in the first quarter of 2019," said Perry. "With so many capital improvement projects underway, a renewed mission and New Orleans' unmatched cultural vibrance, the future is bright for our industry and our city." ► 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 : Jefferson Parish One of Jefferson Parish's prime features is that Louisiana's most celebrated city – home to an abundance of historic and cultural entertainments and educational opportuni- ties – is just a few miles away from many parts of the parish. "Attendees can experience more for less by enjoying the conve- nience of proximity to our next-door neighbor New Orleans, all while creating lasting memories and enjoying an affordable stay," said Terrie Birkel, vice pres- ident of the Jefferson Parish CVB. But Jefferson Parish has attractions of its own to entice meeting planners. There are swamp tours that take visitors out into tidewater cypress swamps and close to alligators and all sorts of waterfowl. There are two resplendent plantation homes, one of which, Destrehan Plantation, is the oldest documented plantation home in the Lower Mississippi Valley. There are compelling historic districts in Kenner, Westwego and Gretna. The Kenner Planetarium and Space Science Complex features a NASA Interna- tional Space Station prototype and a 50-foot domed screen with 118 stadium-style seats for astronomy presentations and laser light shows. Q Contact: Destrehen Plantation

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