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 51 and Guntersville State Park, which features a resort inn, restaurant and convention complex on Taylor Mountain, are all popular sites for retreats. Additionally, Gadsden offers a number of cost effective venues ideally suited for confer- ences/conventions of 350 people, with 1,100 hotel rooms across several price points and brands, all located within five miles of meeting locations, according to Greater Gadsden Area Tourism. Auburn/Opelika There is a lot to be excited about in the cities of Auburn and Opelika, with newly opened and newly renovated properties, according to Robyn Bridges, vice president and PR director with Auburn and Opelika Tourism. "We opened a fabulous new boutique hotel in a historic Auburn University dormitory," she said. "The Collegiate Hotel is a block from campus and features 40 uniquely furnished rooms. Their rooftop bar with a view of Au- burn University's Samford Tower is a one-of-a kind gathering place for area meeting attend- ees." The rooftop bar at the 40-room hotel can accommodate up to 80 for events. There is also a 16-seat boardroom and a porch that can host up to 60 for parties and receptions. The Auburn/Opelika Marriott at Grand National, consistently recognized as one of the top Marriott Hotels in North America, opens the 20,000-square-foot Spa at Grand National this fall and officially becomes a Marriott Resort, one of only 17 in the country. The 220-room hotel has 15,000 total square feet of event space. (See breakout spotlight on page 50 for more information.) The Hotel at Auburn University & Dixon Conference Center offers 236 guestrooms and a newly renovated conference center with more than 22,000 square feet of meeting and event space in 15 function rooms. (See breakout spotlight on page 52 for more information.) Planners will find more than 2,400 guest rooms in the immediate area, including a newly opened La Quinta Inn & Suites in Opelika. A Staybridge Suites breaks ground in Auburn later this fall, according to Auburn and Opelika Tourism. The 85,000-square-foot Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center at Auburn University, expected to open in 2019, will include a ► A L A B A M A New Memorial Focuses On a Difficult Past The National Memorial for Peace and Justice opened in April 2018 in Montgomery. According to Alabama Tourism, it acknowledges a dark era of racial terror in the United States when thousands of African Americans were lynched and publicly tortured. Featuring hundreds of six-foot steel monuments, the Equal Justice Initiative memorial includes new sculptures from African and African American artists that explore slavery, segregation and contemporary issues of racial inequality. A few blocks away from the memorial, The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incar- ceration, explores slavery, lynching, segregation and mass incarceration in America on a site where enslaved people were once warehoused. Located a few steps away from what was once one of the most prominent slave markets in America, the new museum takes visitors on a journey through our nation's difficult past. Sculpture, fine art and technology are combined with original research and multimedia presentations to create a unique cultural experience. n

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