OCT 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 O C T O 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 60 to open in late 2018. Best Western Athens added a 54-room tower in spring 2018. SpringHill Suites opened in July 2018 with 200 rooms with views of the University of Georgia's historic North Campus and Sanford Stadium. "Our countywide hotel inventory has grown by 25 percent in just one year," said Nick Arnold, director of sales for the Athens CVB. "We're thrilled to be able to provide so many new rooms just steps away from meeting, dining and entertainment venues." The Athens CVB provides a new online housing bureau for meeting planners and attendees, noted Chuck Jones, the CVB's director. "Our housing bureau has been a hit with both meeting planners and attendees," said Jones. "We're able to set up all contracted hotel room blocks within one booking screen, making it easier than ever for attendees to reserve their accommodations while at the same time giving planners more management options for their contracted blocks." Athens has also seen a food and brew boom. Akademia Brewing Company is Athens' newest IXOOVHUYLFHEUHZSXERSHQHGLQ2FWREHU in Athens West Corridor. Creature Comforts Brewing Company has expanded, opening a second location in the historic Southern Mill complex. Future plans call for a tasting room and event space. The Expat opened recently in the Five Points neighborhood of Athens, offering food and drink. Maepole, the work of local chef and restaurateur Peter Dale, co-owner of The National, Seabear and Condor Chocolate, serves up Southern staples with a tasty twist and offers house-made beverages. Athens Venues • The Classic Center: 104,540-square-foot venue; 225,000 square feet of meeting space; 56,000-square-foot exhibit hall, 35 breakout rooms; 2,100-seat theater; onsite moveable stage (For more information, see Breakout Spotlight on this page.) • University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education & Hotel: 38,000 square feet of meeting space; 22 conference rooms; 200- seat auditorium; attached 200-room hotel • Graduate Athens: 12,000 square feet of meeting space; nine meeting rooms; 120 guest rooms • The Foundry at Graduate Athens: 7,500 square feet of meeting space Augusta Known as a golf tournament destination, Augusta lies on the bank of the Savannah River and offers a scenic Riverwalk. The city has several museums, including The Augusta Canal Discovery Center, offering two open-air tour boats and an interactive museum focused on Augusta's canal history. The Augusta Museum of History and the Morris Museum of Art round out the offerings. A new bowling attraction, Stars and Strikes, provides 50,000 square feet of activity with myriad team-building activities available. A new 125-room Hyatt House is expected to open in the downtown historic district in late 2018 to add to the 5,500 hotel rooms already in the Augusta area. In addition to the conventional hotels, Augusta offers some unique small event venues. These UDQJHIURPDUHVWRUHG¿UHKRXVHDUHVWRUHG Romanesque Revival church, a historic medical college and a museum of art. Augusta Venues • Augusta Convention Center: 80,000 square feet of meeting space; 27 meeting rooms; 40,000 square feet of exhibit space • Augusta Marriott at the Convention Cen- ter: 60,000 square feet of meeting space; 38,000-square-foot ballroom; 27 meeting rooms; 372 guest rooms; connected to Au- gusta Convention Center • Augusta Entertainment Complex: 70,000 square feet of meeting space; 23,000-square- foot ballroom; 14,000-square-foot exhibit hall; 11 meeting rooms; 8,000-seat arena; There are a number of reasons that The Classic Center stands out as the premier conference, convention and performing arts center in northeast Georgia. Not only does the facility offer more than 225,000 square feet of meeting space, it also combines new and modern spaces with historical structures while offering state-of-the-art technology. It's also well located; connected by five ma- jor highways and convenient to two interstates that link Athens to the Atlanta and Greenville-Spartanburg International airports. The center's versatility attracts a range of meetings and events, from robotics cham- pionships to gymnastics meets to religious conventions to performances by orchestral and choral groups. The newly expanded 56,000-square-foot exhibit hall can accom- modate 275 10 x 10-foot booths, the Grand Hall can seat 6,000 theatre-style and the 2,100-seat performing arts theatre draws rave reviews from performers and audiences alike for its acoustics and design. There's also a covered outdoor pavilion and a connected hotel, the 190-room Hyatt Place Athens. "The Classic Center lies within the heart of downtown Athens – a city known for its diversity in entertainment, culture and Southern charm," said Executive Director Paul Cramer. "We thrive on providing first class services and hospitality that you would expect from a large city, while still maintain- ing the feel and attraction that only a small town like Athens can provide. Unleash your meeting's potential at The Classic Center in beautiful Athens, Georgia." Q B R E A K O U T S P O T L I G H T : Classic Center Contact: G E O R G I A

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