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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Page 53 of 67

⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ N O V E M 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 54 includes a wide boardwalk directly along the beach, giving visitors, particularly wheelchair users, improved access to the sea and sand. Event space in the area includes the Erie H. Meyer Civic Center in Gulf Shores, which can host up to 650 people in theater-style seating, and the 18,000-square-foot Orange Beach Event Center at The Wharf, a dining and enter- tainment destination. The 132-room SpringHill Suites is adjacent to the event center. Other hotels with major meeting and event facilities include the 344-room Perdido Beach Resort, which has 40,000 square feet of function space for up to 900 guests on 27 acres; Caribe Resort, with 14,000 square feet of indoor meeting space and a variety of outdoor spaces, plus a 50-passenger dining and dolphin-cruise boat; and The Beach Club, with 310 condo units and 13,000 square feet of function space. Phoenix Condominiums offers 2,000 condos and 4,000 total square feet of event space; and the Island House has 161 guest rooms and a meeting capacity of 250. Kiva Dunes, Alabama's only golf and beach resort, has 40 condos, as well as beach houses and a 900-square-foot meeting room. The 160- room Hampton Inn & Suites Orange Beach sits on the beach and offers 3,075 square feet of event space, and the beachfront Hilton Garden Inn Orange Beach has 137 guest rooms and two meeting rooms for up to 110 guests. Mobile and the Eastern Shore Mobile offers planners more than 6,000 guest rooms, many within blocks of the riverfront Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center, which has 100,000 square feet of exhibit halls, 16 meeting rooms, two ballrooms, 40,000 square feet of pre-function space and more than 45,000 square feet of outdoor terraces and river walks. The center connects by skywalk to the 363-room Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel, which recently completed a $60 million upgrade that includes its 44,000 square feet of flexible event space. The AAA Four Diamond hotel can host up to 1,320 for presen- tations or up to 1,200 for receptions, with three ballrooms, 15 event rooms and 11 breakout rooms of various sizes. Also downtown, the 238-room Battle House Renaissance Hotel & Spa has 22,000 square feet of function space, including the historic Crystal Ballroom; The Admiral Hotel, a Curio Collection by Hilton, has 156 guest rooms and 6,000 square feet of event space; Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown offers 149 guest rooms and 1,300 square feet of meeting space; and Holiday Inn Downtown has 206 guest rooms and 10,000 square feet of event space. A 90-room Hilton Garden Inn, with small meeting space for up to 28 people, opened in 2017. On Mobile Bay's Eastern Shore, the historic Grand Hotel Golf Resort and Spa in Point Clear has completed a major three-year transformation and is now a part of Marriott Autograph Collection: 150 one-of-a-kind hotels worldwide. Long known as the Queen of Southern Resorts, the 405-room resort com- pleted renovation of all guest rooms, meeting space, restaurants, spa, golf facilities, pier, pools and grounds. The Grand is part of the A L A B A M A The much-anticipated November opening of The Lodge at Gulf State Park, a Hilton Hotel paves the way for Gulf Shores and Orange Beach to pursue larger meetings and new business, said Beth Gendler, vice president of sales for Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism. With 305 guest rooms and 20 suites, The Lodge offers planners 40,000 square feet of flexible indoor and outdoor event space, including a 12,000-plus-square-foot ballroom with a 5,500-square-foot terrace. It's the larg- est beach-view ballroom on the Gulf Coast and will accommodate up to 1,000 guests. Event space includes seven conference rooms and seven meeting suites. Dining options include two beachfront restaurants and bars, both of which will source local and regional ingredients, a lobby coffee and wine bar, and a pool bar and grill. The Lodge at Gulf State Park is part of a multi-phase major enhancement project by the 6,150-acre Gulf State Park designed to promote economic and environmental sustainability, Gendler said. "The sustain- ability initiatives, new trails and nature-based activities added and enhanced by the Gulf State Park project elevate this property and our destination," she said. "We look forward to sharing our coastal treasures with new and returning meeting attendees and inviting them back as leisure guests." In addition to The Lodge, other improvements at the park include a new Interpretive Center, a Learning Campus with classroom and meeting space, enhancements and additions to the park's 28 miles of trails and two pedestrian bridges for better connectivity. Designed to meet elite LEED Gold and SITES Platinum status, The Lodge at Gulf State Park also is one of the first FORTI- FIED Commercial properties in the world, according to Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism. n B R E A K O U T S P O T L I G H T : Gulf Shores/Orange Beach Contact: The Lodge at Gulf State Park

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