MAR 2012

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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2012 Sneak Peek Directory Subscribe Advertise SPECI AL ADVER T I SI NG & I NF O RMAT I O N SECT I O N Contact Successful Meetings Are Just The Beginning In Daytona Beach Daytona Beach is the home of the region's newly expanded Ocean Center, a versatile, state-of-the- art complex that hosts small meetings, major conventions and everything in between. This in- cludes conferences, banquets, exhibitions and trade shows, sporting events, concerts and more. And there are many more venues that add to the variety of locations that host meetings, confer- ences and events. There are dozens of hotels catering to meet- ings of every kind. Among them are convention hotels such the Hilton Daytona Beach Ocean- front Resort, The Shores Resort & Spa, The Plaza Resort & Spa, and Daytona Beach Resort & Conference Center. But in addition to these and other hotels, the area is peppered with unique meeting venues. Daytona International Speedway, otherwise known as "the world center of racing" includes its vast infield itself, Fan Zone area, the garage area, the pits, press box, the Bill France Room, the Daytona 500 Experience and more. Some planners have taken their groups for a night at historic Jackie Robinson Ballpark, home of the Daytona Cubs, Minor League affiliate of the Chicago Cubs and a perennial contender for the Florida State League title. There have been meetings or off-site events at the Volusia County Marine Science Center and the Historic Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse, both located in the quaint village of Ponce Inlet. The famed Daytona Beach Bandshell is located Daytona Beach is the home of NASCAR and the famed Daytona International Speedway, site of the Daytona 500, known as the Great American Race. directly on the beach, overlooking the majestic At- lantic Ocean. There are also meeting fa- cilities at Daytona Beach International Airport. And, meet- ings in the sunshine (or moonlight) have been held at color- ful restaurants such as Caribbean Jack's, Inlet Harbor Marina and others. The News-Journal Center, Peabody Audito- rium and the Mary McLeod Bethune Performing Arts Center also host events for meeting planners, as does the award-winning Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach. The area has many outstanding golf courses and country clubs that welcome meetings, including LPGA International, which features two signature championship courses. The area's colleges and universities also offer exceptional facilities that often give meeting planners the unique venue of an academic setting at which to host events. For example, Embry- Riddle Aeronautical University is the world's leading aviation and aerospace university and is located right here in Daytona Beach. Daytona State College has a magnificent The Ocean Center is just 400-feet from the beach and has undergone an $82 million expansion, making it a popular choice among meet- ing, convention and event planners. campus. Its Mori Hosseini Center houses the col- lege's School of Hospitality and Culinary Man- agement and its exceptional teaching restaurant, Café 101. Bethune-Cookman University, founded by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, one of the great civil rights leaders in American history, is a histori- cally black institution whose campus includes many buildings of historic interest, as well as its state-of-the-art performing arts center. Stetson University in DeLand is also steeped in history, having been founded in 1883 by Henry DeLand and named for John B. Stetson, the nationally-known hat manufacturer. Other unique sites include the Starlight Princess Riverboat, offering dining cruises on the Halifax River; Lyonnia Preserve, site of a beauti- ful new amphitheater adjacent to the Deltona Library; and Historic DeBary Hall, a retreat of millionaires during the settlement of Florida. ■ Linda McMahon, Interim Director of Meetings & Conven- tions & Director of Travel Industry Sales, Daytona Beach Area CVB Linda has been with the Daytona Beach Area CVB since 2008 & is a past president of North Florida Meeting Profes- sionals International. (386) 255-0415 www.con v MARCH 2012 ConventionSouth 33 DESTINATION SHOWCASE

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