APR 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 6 Subscribe Advertise Contact AUSTIN Gathering Spaces Block 21 Sites With No 'Limit' Moody Theater, home to the long-running TV show "Austin City Limits," can seat up to 2,750 people for concerts and programs. The theater, which opened last year, is part of Sec- ond Street District's Block 21, which also in- cludes the 252-room W Austin Hotel. In March 2012, Block 21 became the first mixed occupancy project of its type and size in the world to achieve LEED certification for the project's commitment to sustainability, ac- cording to news reports. Prime Location & Affordable Luxury The Omni Austin Southpark, located half way between the airport and downtown, has 312 guest rooms and 17,000 square feet of event space, which includes ample pre-function and reception areas, said Tim Chegin, director of sales and marketing. "We are 'affordable lux- ury,' because we are not in the downtown market and don't have added expenses that can be passed along to our guests in the form of savings, such as free parking, which can be upwards of $20 per day at downtown hotels." Renovated Rooms & A PURE Floor DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Austin is com- pleting a major guest room renovation this spring, according to a media release from the hotel. Renovations efforts include 188 upgraded suites with new soft goods, refreshed kitchens and new high-definition TVs. Along with ample meeting space, the hotel has an entire floor of PURE rooms that create an allergy-friendly environment. Cool App The Austin CVB just unveiled a new so- cial media airfare booking app, Austin- FareFinder, which allows Facebook users to find the cheapest airfare for them- selves and their Facebook friends, as well as personalized recommendations for events based on Facebook user profiles, said Austin CVB President/CEO Bob Lander. "Austin is a tech-savvy city that is becoming known as a hub for mobile devel- opment. AustinFareFinder is an innovative way for the 845 million active Facebook users to research relevant airfare and Austin travel information." ■ Photos courtesy Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB www.con v APRIL 2012 ConventionSouth 31 New Sushi Bar @ Hyatt Regency The 448-room Hyatt Regency Austin Down- town on the Lake sits right across Lady Bird Lake from the Austin Convention Center and features a new lobby sushi bar that's been a big hit with guests and locals, said Gordon Taylor, director of sales and marketing. The hotel has 23,000 square feet of meeting and event space. Select Service Yet IACC-Certified One block from the Sixth Street Entertain- ment District, the 254-room Hilton Garden Inn Austin Downtown has 9,800 square feet of meeting space, which meet the standards of the International Association of Confer- ence Centers (IACC), according to the CVB website. Off-Site Venue For A Grand Affair The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum has a variety of unique meeting and event spaces, with dinner seating for up to 450 in the Grand Lobby and 150 in the 2nd floor lobby. The museum's Texas Spirit Theater seats 200. ■ New Inventory Steve Genovesi with the Austin CVB said the city has the highest hotel occupancy rate of any city in Texas. "As a result, weʼve got a new 1,003-room JW Marriott set to break ground this summer and open in 2015, and a 296-room Hyatt Place that will open in 2013—both in walking distance of our convention center and our multiple entertainment districts." The JW Marriott (pictured here) will add an additional 103,000 square feet of event space to the city inventory. With the two new hotels, Austin will have more than 7,000 hotel rooms in the downtown area, which is needed, because ac- cording to the CVB, citywide demand for hotel rooms in Austin increased by 10.4 percent in 2010. "In the last several years, Austin has gained more prominence in the convention market, and this hotel allows us to further extend our reach to larger and more corpo- rate, medical, government and association business," said Bob Lander, President/CEO of the Austin CVB. ■

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