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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Page 51 of 67

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 52 "Friday Night Lights, held the last Friday of every month from April through October, has something for everyone, with family-friendly activities, music, food trucks and games. In addition, local businesses host mini-events and several restaurants feature live music most nights of the week." There are a variety of meeting and event facil- ities in the area, including classrooms and other spaces at Maryville College. The Clayton Center for the Arts on campus has three theaters, art galleries and an outdoor plaza. Also in Maryville, the Palace Theater has seating for up to 212 people and Pleasant Hill Vineyards can host up to 300 for a reception. In Walland, Blackberry Farm is a 4,200-acre resort retreat with three meeting venues that can host up to 116 guests. Facilities in Townsend include the Tremont Lodge & Resort, with 132 guest rooms and cabins, and event space for up to 900; and Country Manor Inn and Guest Suites, with reception space for up to 200 people. In Alcoa, the Hilton Knoxville Airport is connected to the airport by covered walkway and offers 17 meeting rooms with a meeting capacity of 600. (See Breakout Spotlight on page 60 for more information.) Knoxville With a nod to its past as host of the 1982 World's Fair, Knoxville has added nearly 70,000 square feet of exhibit space, now known as the World's Fair Exhibition Hall, according to Sarah Rowan, senior director of sales for Visit Knoxville. The hall is an SMG-managed facility and booked in conjunction with the Knoxville Convention Center. It sits adjacent to the 286-room Holiday Inn World's Fair Park and The Tennessean, an 82-room hotel. Both hotels share The Park Pa- vilion, a flexible 16,000-square-foot event space. The World's Fair Park property also includes a performance lawn, festival lawn, amphitheater and the 500,000-square-foot Knoxville Conven- tion Center, which features a 461-seat lecture hall, 120,000 square feet of exhibit space and the largest ballroom in east Tennessee. "The Knoxville Convention Center opened in 2002 and is an amazing LEED Silver facility," Rowan said. "The World's Fair Exhibit Hall, Knoxville's original convention center exhibit hall, was used in different formats over the years since the new center's opening. However, with the growing demand for convention space in Knoxville, the city decided to invest more than $2.1 million for recent renovations and upgrades to the original hall. One thing to note about the Knoxville Convention Center is that through a Visit Knoxville partnership, there is compli- mentary Wi-Fi provided in the ballroom, meeting rooms and concourse/public areas. We have found this to be a huge added value that planners absolutely love." Knoxville has more than 9,000 guest rooms with more than 2,000 within walking distance of the facilities at World's Fair Park. In down- town, Hyatt Place opened at the beginning of the 2018 in a renovated historic building, with 165 guest rooms and 3,500 square feet of meeting space; a new dual-branded Residence Inn/Court- yard Marriott, with 232 rooms total, will open downtown in late 2018; and a new 183-room Embassy Suites by Hilton will open downtown in 2019, according to Visit Knoxville. The former downtown Marriott (currently operating as Hotel Knoxville) is completing $20 million in renova- tions and upgrades, and will rebrand in January 2019 as a Delta Hotels by Marriott property, the first of its brand in Tennessee. Currently, the hotel has a 60,000-square-foot conference center with 26 event rooms. Crowne Plaza Knoxville Downtown has 197 guest rooms and 15,000 square feet of meeting space with a meetings capacity of 1,000 guests. The hotel was named the brand's top property in the Western Hemisphere in 2017, the second time in the past four years. West Knoxville's newest full-service hotel, the 140-room Embassy Suites Knoxville West, has 140 guest rooms and 9,000 square feet of event space. Additional Lodging and Event Venues in Knoxville • Hilton Knoxville: 320 guest rooms; 14,000 square feet of event space • Holiday Inn Cedar Bluff: 222 guest rooms; eight meeting rooms in 7,200 total square feet • Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum: multi-use facility for up to 6,400 people; 2,500- seat auditorium ► Located near the main Gatlinburg entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, The Park Vista, a DoubleTree by Hilton hotel, is the largest hotel of its kind in Sevier County, said Sharon Rinehart, director of sales for the property. "We offer 300 guest rooms, all with spectacular balcony views of either the park and/or the city, plus 25,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space, all under one roof," she said. "In addition, we have a back lawn and pavilion that also have amazing views and are perfect for outdoor receptions, parties or dinners." A city trolley stops right at the front door of the hotel, making it convenient to Gatlinburg's many restaurants, shops and attractions. "Our location is away from much of the high-traffic areas, so it's quiet and peaceful here, perfect for your meet- ings or events," she said. Also, a few "big projects" are planned, with announcements coming soon, Rinehart noted. But, she said, "One thing never changes: we have a Convention Services and Catering Team that will manage every detail of your event to your satisfaction." Q B R E A K O U T S P O T L I G H T : Park Vista Hotel, a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Park Vista Pavilion & Lawn Contact: T E N N E S S E E

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