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 55 of 67

┬▓ConventionSouth ┬▓ 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 56 into two stages for meetings and events (phase one to open later this year); a micro-distillery is set to open this fall; American Draft, a pour- your-own beer hall is inside a vintage train car; "Runaway Train," an escape-room experience is in another train car; and Station Street, formerly an alley, was renovated to be pedestrian friend- ly, provide patio access to the restaurants and venues, and provide an outdoor space for special events. Ruby Falls has opened the first phase of a $20 million expansion, adding expanded food services, additional event spaces, open-air dining, timed ticketing and LEED strategies for lighting and irrigation. New attractions include Adventure Sports Innovation, with water, land and virtual-reality experiences; River Drifters, offering water gear rentals on the Tennessee River; the Chattanooga Tennesseer, an open-top van with city tours; The Signal, a live music venue that can host up to 1,300 people for receptions, parties and corporate events; and Miller Park, which reopens this fall with a glassed-in pavilion, larger green space, more trees and improved connections to Miller Plaza across the street. The Chattanooga Convention Center has 100,000 square feet of exhibit space, 21 meeting rooms, and an 18,000-square-foot ballroom. Unique off-site venues include the Bessie Smith Cultural Center, which can host up to 375 for events; Tennessee Aquarium, which can accom- modate up to 2,000; Hunter Museum of Ameri- can Art, with indoor and outdoor space for groups of up to 500; Southern Belle Riverboat, which can host up to 475 for a reception or 320 for dinner; and a variety of breweries and distilleries, including Chattanooga Brewing, Hutton & Smith, OddStory Brewing Company and Chattanooga Whiskey, which offers a new 4,000-square-foot event hall. (See Breakout Spotlight on page 62 for more information.) Nashville According to information from Visit Music City, the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp., the city's newest hotel property, the JW Marri- ott Nashville, opened in July 2018, adding 533 guest rooms and 50,000 square feet of event and meeting space to the city's growing downtown. The 33-story hotel offers more than 30 breakout rooms and reception space for up to 1,500 guests, From mid-October to mid-November, autumn crowns the Smoky Mountains with spectacular color. The folks at Visit Sevierville think it's a sight well worth traveling to see, especially when you take a few roads less trav- eled, such as those along the Middle Prong of the Little Pigeon River in Sevierville, Tenn. Sevierville's Middle Prong Fall Driving Tour winds its way through the Smoky Mountain foothills after beginning at the iconic Dolly Parton statue in the historic downtown, with suggested stops at a Civil War battleground, swinging bridge views, historic churches and more. The English Mountain Fall Driving Tour features stops at a historic cemetery, a grist mill, and a covered bridge. Fall events in Sevierville stretch from September through October and provide more opportunities to celebrate the harvest season. In September, plan a weekend at Dumplin Valley Bluegrass Festival and enjoy great bluegrass concerts from up- and-coming artists and living legends or plan a weekend celebrating regional craft breweries at Sevierville's annual Bruce Street Brewfest. The end of September welcomes the Kyker Farms Corn Maze, a family-friendly attraction that also offers the Zombie Blasterz experience (think shooting zombies with paintball guns while in a corn maze) on weekend nights. In October, visitors may enjoy Robert A. Tino's Smoky Mountain Fall Home- coming, with traditional craftsmen and artists at the Robert A. Tino Art Gallery, or the Great Smoky Mountain Auto Fest. There are Halloween activities for all ages, starting the week before: adults 21 and older can buy tickets for the Rocky Top Chocolate Wine Trail and pair locally crafted wines with delicious candy at three wineries; and all ages will enjoy History & Haunts in downtown Sevierville, featuring two haunted history tours. No fall trip is complete without some hot Southern comfort food. Visit Flapjack's Pancake Cabin for the famous Sticky Bun Pancakes, then plan dinner at Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant or the newly opened Five Oaks Farm Kitchen, which can seat up to 300 for group events. Sevierville's distilleries are hot spots for seasonal cocktails. Sevier Distilling Com- pany is home to a 1,000-gallon still dubbed "The Colonel." Sevierville offers beautifully appointed cabins with great views of the fall color while being only minutes from the action. Find a complete list of Sevierville cabins at Other accommoda- tions include the newly renovated Lodge at Five Oaks on the Parkway directly across from Tanger Outlets Sevierville. The Lodge at Five Oaks honors the Ogle family, whose farm stood on the property many years ago. Build your fall meeting or conference around Sevierville's driving tours and events. Discover more about places to stay, shop, eat, meet and play at visitsevierville. com/fall. Q B R E A K O U T S P O T L I G H T : Sevierville (Sevier County) Dolly Parton Statue Contact: Courtesy Sevierville Chamber of Commerce T E N N E S S E E

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