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 64 Valdosta offers excellent outdoor recreation. Wild Adventures Theme Park has hundreds of exotic animals, roller coasters and other entertainments. And close to Valdosta are the Grand Bay Wetlands Education Center, Grand Bay Wildlife Management Area and Reed Bingham State Park. Golden Isles The Golden Isles CVB promotes St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Jekyll Island, Little St. Simons Island, and Brunswick. Staff at the organization said that The Lodge at Sea Island Golf Club and The Cloister at Sea Island, both Forbes Five- Star properties, have been rated No. 1 and No. 2 resorts in the Continental U.S. by readers of Travel + Leisure magazine. The islands have numerous luxury resorts, including those mentioned and the King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, as well as plenty of chain hotels, particularly in Brunswick, where there are 30 chain hotels and several B&Bs. The Holiday Inn Express St. Simons Island, Home2 Suites by Hilton St. Simons Island, Hampton Inn & Suites Jekyll Island and the Holiday Inn & Resort Jekyll Island are some that are very reasonably priced on the islands. There are a variety of meeting space sizes and prices throughout the Golden Isles. 7KH*ROGHQ,VOHVKDYHDQLGHQWL¿DEOHDUWLVWLF expression in its Tree Spirits of St. Simons. According to legend, Tree Spirits have been a way to remember those who lost their lives at sea. Most are on private property but according to Golden Isles staff, they can also be found along Demere Road, Mallory Street, Frederica Road and Redfern Village. Golden Isles Venues • Jekyll Island Oceanfront Con- vention Center: 78,000 square feet of function space; 45,000-square-foot ballroom • The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort: 10,000 square feet of meeting space; 195 guest rooms • Epworth by the Sea: 36,000 square feet of meeting space; 234 guest rooms • The Sea Palms Resort & Conference Cen- ter: 15,000 square feet of meeting space; 125 guest rooms • The Cloister at Sea Island: 87,400 square feet of meeting space; 265 guest rooms Savannah Savannah continues to see steady growth in hotels, meeting space, restaurants and shopping alongside its beautiful 18th and 19th Century buildings, squares, cobblestone streets, Spanish moss-draped live oaks and rare ambiance. A number of new hotels have opened in Savannah during the last couple of years. The recently opened luxury Perry Lane Hotel is a ERXWLTXHSURSHUW\IHDWXULQJJXHVWURRPV 9,000 square feet of event space, and three food and beverage options, including The Emporium Kitchen & Wine Market, The Wayward Bar, and the rooftop Peregrine. The Alida, an upscale seven- story Starwood Tribute Portfolio property on the riverfront, opened in August and offers JXHVWURRPV square feet of meeting space, a signature restaurant, and a rooftop event space and bar. Also in the works is a new JW Marriott Plant Riverside District, which is scheduled to open in mid-2019. The Plant Riverside District is a major urban redevelopment project on the northwest corner of the National Historic Landmark District in Savannah. Completely transforming a Georgia Power electric plant built in 1912, plans call for a 4.5- DFUHULYHUIURQWHQWHUWDLQPHQWGLVWULFWZLWK square feet of entertainment and hospitality RSSRUWXQLWLHVPRUHWKDQVTXDUHIHHWRI meeting and event space, three luxury hotels, 1.5 acres of public parks and plazas and a quarter- mile of new River Street walkway. 7KH¿UVWPDMRUFRPSRQHQWWKHURRP-: Marriott, is slated to open mid- to late 2019. It will be just the beginning of a transformation of the western end of River Street. Meanwhile, a couple of iconic properties in The Hostess City of the South have changed names and undergone major renovations in the past year. Savannah's primary meeting venue, the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center, has become The Savannah Convention Center. The Hilton DeSoto changed over last year to become a Sotherly property and is known simply as The DeSoto, undergoing a major renovation in the process. The 390-room Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa, adjacent to The Savannah Convention Center, has also been renovated, as has the Hyatt Regency Savannah and the Savannah Marriott Riverfront. "With our signature coastal cuisine and all the new shopping options throughout, Savannah has everything a meeting planner could hope for to drive strong attendance and generate record revenues," said Jeff Hewitt, senior vice president for Visit Savannah. G E O R G I A Splash in the Boro! Waterpark in Statesboro Jekyll Island Oceanfront Convention Center in The Golden Isles

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