FEB 2014

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 37 of 51

⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 4 38 E D I T O R ' S HOT PICKS SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA IN-DEPTH Visit for more about the SW Louisiana area through our interactive Insiderʼs Guide SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA is a region thatʼs known for its unique Louisianne culture, music and food, as well as outdoor adventure such as swamp tours. Youʼll also hear a one- of-a-kind accent when many of the residents talk, known as Cajun, which originated form the Cajun French settlers of the area. For almost 200 years, they remained in isolation because of inaccessibility to this region. Even under Spanish rule, a large majority of the colonists contin- ued to speak French and a distinct culture and dialect was born. TOP PICKS: Lafayette Convention & Visitors Commission (800) 346-1958 "Put a new spin on meetings with Lafayette's unique joie de vivre. Book and receive a free meeting planner guide." Cajun Dome & Convention Center Hilton Lafayette Hilton Garden Inn Lafayette/Cajundome FOLLOW UP: Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana CVB S O U T H W E S T L O U I S I A N A w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m "Our location along Interstate 10, midway between Houston and New Orleans, makes Lake Charles an ideal location for regional conferences," says Kaylen Fletcher of the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana CVB. "Plus, our region is in the midst of an industrial economic boom, with more than $60 billion worth of projects planned in the next few years. This is an exciting time in Southwest Louisiana, and more hotels, restaurants and attractions are opening all the time." The West Cal Arena will be joined by the West Cal Events Center this July (2014) when the new facility is set to open. Along with prefunction areas, the facility will offer 24,300 square feet of meeting space, a full-service catering kitchen and high-definition audio/visuals. The Lake Charles Civic Center provides a sweeping view of the lake and has received recent improvements such as a complete lighting and ceiling makeover in the coliseum, an elegant promenade in the main hallway and significant renovations to the 17,875-square-foot expo hall. Second-floor changes include new mezzanine flooring and state- of-the-art technology in the Con- traband Room. On the third floor, the Buccaneer Room, which accom- modates 500, and the 450-person capacity Jean Lafitte Room have been completely reno- vated with new lighting, curtains, and the latest in high-tech services. The Rosa Hart Theatre is in line for renovations this year. In addition, there are several new downtown venues for small meetings and events. Interesting options include the Historic Calcasieu Marine Bank building, the Brickhouse, and the Charleston Ballroom, located in the historic Charleston Hotel, which has been converted into quaint shops and event space. A new Hampton Inn and Suites will open in this summer on Prien Lake Road with 85 rooms and 1,500 square feet of meeting space. ■ Ride The Economic Boom In Lake Charles The W est Cal Events Center is set to open in July 2014. The Golden Nugget Casino Re- sort and Hotel will open by the end of the year (2014) with 750 guest rooms, 30,000 square feet of gaming space, an 18-hole championship golf course, a spa, retail options and dining options such as V Anthonyʼs Steakhouse and others. An 18,000-square-foot ballroom, an entertainment showroom and a marina will make for exciting event spaces. The LʼAuberge Casino Resort Lake Charles, which recently completed a $20 million renova- tion, boasts nearly a thousand guest rooms and amenities such as the Jack Danielʼs Bar and Grill, the Ember Grille and Wine Bar, and the Contraband Bayou golf course. The LʼAuberge Ballroom, with 14,140 square feet, can fit 1,182 guests, banquet style, or 1,402 theater style, and divides into six separate areas. The Isle of Capri Casino and Hotel provides 13,500 square feet of flexible meeting space for groups of up to 1,140 as well as an events center with 9,430 square feet of space. The newly remodeled Lakeside Ballroom gives attendees views of the lake and downtown, and can accommodate up to 290 with theater-style seating. There are two lodging options, the recently renovated Tower Hotel and The Inn at the Isle, and a variety of dining venues. The Evangeline Downs Race- track and Casino, home to quar- ter horse racing, gaming, live entertainment, and numerous restaurants, boasts a new events center facility that can accommodate groups of up to 600 for seated events. The four- story, 117-room Evangeline Downs Hotel, connected to the casino and events center, features a pool and hot tub, expanded Continental breakfast and wireless Internet access. Delta Downs Racetrack and Casino in Vinton provides a variety of gaming options, plus horseracing, in addition to entertainment acts and dining venues. ■ Casinos On The Lake West Cal Event Center 27-52 CS FEB 2014_Layout 1 1/31/14 5:10 PM Page 38

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