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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┬▓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 62 Thompson's Station, with indoor and out- door spaces including the Gathering Hall that can host up to 312 in classroom-seating arrangements or up to 250 for dinners and the 5,000-square-foot Hillside Pavilion that can seat up to 200 for banquets. Spark: Lipscomb's Idea Center has adapt- able spaces for meetings, presentations and corporate events, according to the CVB, for groups of between 20 to 144 people. The Factory at Franklin is an 11-building complex with indoor dining and shopping options, plus 30,000 square feet of event space. Opened in August 2018, Hilton Franklin Cool Springs offers 244 guest rooms and 6,000 square feet of meeting space. Other hotels with event space include the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs and Conference Center, with 300 guest rooms, 29,000 square feet of event space and 22 meeting rooms; Embassy Suites Cool Springs, with 250 guest rooms and 15,000 square feet of event space; Drury Plaza, with 338 guest rooms and 6,842 square feet of event space; and Hilton Garden Inn Cool Springs, with 131 guest rooms and meeting space for up to 200 guests. Hampton Inn & Suites Berry Farms has conference space for up to 40 guests. Homewood Suites by Hilton offers 145 guest rooms and meeting space for up to 100 in theater-style seating. Jackson Jackson, the largest city between Nashville and Memphis, continues to redevelop its downtown, with new retail and residential, concert series, bike shares and more. According to Visit Jack- son, the $30 million in development projects in- clude a small business hub, walking and biking trails and new greenspaces. A new air shuttle service to Atlanta took flight this past spring. Larger meeting hotels in Jackson are Double- Tree Jackson, with 167 guest rooms and a max- imum meeting capacity of 400; Clarion Inn & Suites, with 135 guest rooms and 6,094 square feet of meeting space; and the Jackson Hotel & Convention Center, with 204 guest rooms and a meeting capacity of 300. Other event spaces, according to the CVB, include The Aeneas Building, a renovated his- toric church that now offers 2,950 square feet of event space with gardens for outdoor receptions or parties; theCO, a co-working space; Carl Perkins Civic Center, with audito- In early 2018, the Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau welcomed Barry E. White as the new president and chief ex- ecutive officer, succeeding Bob Doak who retired after leading the CVB for 15 years. White, a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, spent the past 23 years as president and CEO of the Augusta, Ga., CVB. While there, he compiled an im- pressive list of accomplishments, including fostering a major expansion of the city's convention center, annual increases in hotel revenue, new wayfinding projects and the development of a master plan identifying that city's future tourism development. "I've always been a proud Tennessean with a strong desire to return to my home state," White said. "I visited Chattanooga many times over the years and each time, I discovered new things that made me love it even more. When I saw the opening at the CVB, I knew it was something I needed to pursue. It was the perfect job that would allow me to be a part of such an incredible destination." Since arriving in Chattanooga, White has been highly focused on learning more about the destination, connecting with partners and identifying the key tour- ism successes and areas of opportunity. Through a strategic process, he plans to build on the work that has already been accomplished in Chattanooga and collaborate with organizations through- out the community to help determine the next growth opportunities for the tourism industry. "We want tourism to support our com- munity in a way that's smart, sustainable and preserves our built and natural assets for future generations," he said. White noted that he quickly saw that Chattanoogans are extremely passion- ate, have a deep pride in the city and are committed to continuously enhancing the region; that Chattanoogans know that working together works and it always accomplishes a common goal that affects the whole community. "People are in- trigued by Chattanooga's comeback story and how impressive the city is today, as a world-class destination," White said. "There is no state in the country I'd rather be living in and moving to Chattanooga has been a dream come true." Q B R E A K O U T S P O T L I G H T : Chattanooga Kayaking on the Tennessee River Contact: T E N N E S S E E

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