ConventionSouth

NOV 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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N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 49 that includes access to a 2,200-square-foot outdoor terrace overlooking the river; and a Hilton Garden Inn, with 1,200 square feet of function space. According to Tuscaloosa Tourism & Sports, event venues on campus in addition to the Bryant Conference Center include the Fer- guson Student Center, with classrooms and a ballroom that can seat up to 900; the historic 3,200-seat Foster Auditorium; two theaters with seating for up to 938 at the Frank Moody Music Building; and Coleman Coliseum, which can seat up to 16,058 people and host a variety of events. Smith Hall has meeting and event space for groups of up to 250, and the Rowand-Johnson Building has tiered theater seating for up to 250. The Zone North and The Zone South, located in Bryant-Denny Stadium, have climate-controlled lounge areas, outdoor stadium seats for up to 1,690 people, meeting facilities and several dining options. Other unique event venues in the Tuscaloosa area include the historic L&N Railroad Station, which can host up to 300 for seated dinners or receptions; the Bama Belle, a replica paddle- wheel riverboat with a 200-person capacity; the restored historic Bama Theatre, which seats up to 1,100 people; and the Mercedes-Benz Visitor Center that can host groups of up to 300 for after-hours receptions. Florence, Lauderdale County & The Shoals Music has long been the focus of most activi- ties in the northwestern corner of the state and that continues to hold true for the "Shoals" area, which includes Florence, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield and Tuscumbia, according to the staff at Visit Florence. In 2017, 3614 Jackson Hwy Studio re- opened and Swampette Tours resumed fol- lowing a $1 million renovation of the famous Muscle Shoals Sound music studio, funded with a grant from Beats by Dr. Dre. Addition- ally, repairs to the event stage at the Alabama Music Hall of Fame were completed. "We've had dozens of inquiries about using the stage over the past few years," said Dixie Griffin, director for the Hall of Fame. "The stage has already been used to host two events. We're excited about the prospect of it being in use again. It will be good to hear music and see people out there again, plus it's been a valuable revenue generator for us in the past." Additional music sites in the area include Fame Recording Studios, the W.C. Handy Birthplace, Museum & Library, Cypress Moon Studios and Shoals Symphony at the University of North Alabama. A great venue for experiencing the Muscle Shoals sound is the Swampers Bar & Grille at the Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa in Florence. The Four Diamond property, which overlooks the Tennessee River, also includes a European Spa, the 360 Grille, 200 guest rooms and more than 30,000 square feet of meeting space. Also in Florence, The Residence Inn by Marriott a certified "Green" hotel, has 700 square feet of meeting space that can hold up to 50 people and The Hampton Inn Midtown offers 408 square feet of meeting space that accommodates up to 30 people. ► A L A B A M A

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