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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S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 8 ²ConventionSouth ² w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 63 rium seating for up to 2,200, plus exhibit space and meeting rooms; and The Ned, a cultural center with two art galleries, a 440-seat theater and meeting rooms. Memphis Memphis celebrates its 200th anniversary in 2019. "As we look back on the last 200 years as a city, we honor our heritage but look for- ward to ways to continue to grow our destina- tion in the meetings and convention market- place," said Kevin Kane, president and CEO of Memphis Tourism. Among other improvements, the city is working to expand its riverfront to become more of an area where residents and visitors can "play, relax, learn, connect and grow," according to Memphis Tourism. Still in the planning stages, the new riverfront develop- ments are expected to tie together existing city parks and landmarks, such as Beale Street and Mud Island, and create new enhancements to include a market, event space and adventure park. The Memphis Cook Convention Center is undergoing a massive renovation, repurposing existing space with significant upgrades to technology and hotel-quality additions, ex- pected to be complete by late 2019. Currently, the center has more than 350,000 total square feet of function space and can accommodate groups of up to 2,000. According to Memphis Tourism, the new center will feature more than 50 breakout rooms, an expanded footprint with outdoor terraces and glass-enclosed concourses, and additional prefunction and meeting spaces with river and skyline views. The center is con- nected by covered walkway to the 600-room Sheraton Memphis Downtown that has 12,000 square feet of event space. Memphis International Airport is also in the midst of multi-phased upgrades to modernize and consolidate airline and retail operations, and add new moving walkways, wider cor- ridors, larger boarding areas and additional natural lighting. According to Memphis Tourism, a number of new hotels have recently opened or will open in early 2019. These include the 450- room Guest House at Graceland, part of a 200,000-square-foot $45 million complex at Elvis Presley's home that includes museums, exhibits, restaurants and shops. Event spaces at The Guest House at Graceland include a 464- seat theater. In the city's 104-year-old train station, a 124-room Central Station Memphis, a Curio Collection by Hilton hotel, is set to open in late 2018. According to news reports, the facility will include a 6,700-square-foot ballroom and 8,000 square feet of retail space, along with the city's Amtrak station. Next door, a sev- en-screen movie theater is also being built. ► T E N N E S S E E

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