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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Home CHARLOTTE Planning Directory Planner Resources Meeting Site Showcase EDITOR'S HOT PICKS CHARLOTTE and its neighboring cities get our thumbs up when it comes to North Carolinaʼs large metro areas with plenty of meeting space as well as small town South- ern charm. Here, NASCAR racing takes center stage and is a great theme for your event. From the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the Charlotte Motor Speedway to one of the racing teamʼs headquartered "garages," the area is sure to rev up your next gathering. PUT YOUR SEATBELT ON: The Michael Waltrip Racing facility is lo- cated about 20 miles north of Char- lotte and offers more than 60,000 square feet of meeting and event space in an exciting environment of a working NASCAR team. The MWR High Definition Theatre can seat 134. The lobby and mezzanine can accom- modate up to 300 for receptions. Follow up with these CVBs: Visit Charlotte Cabarrus County CVB Visit Lake Norman Gaston County Department of Tourism Rock Hill/York County CVB CHARLOTTE IN-DEPTH Visit for more about the Charlotte area through our interactive Insiderʼs Guide with maps, videos & more. Charming Sites Around Town Cabarrus County Cabarrus County looks to reap considerable Democratic National Convention (DNC) business and exposure, according to CVB representatives. A major function of the DNC will be held at the popular Charlotte Motor Speedway and 11 DNC delegations will be staying in Cabarrus County accommodations. In all, Cabarrus County CVB projects an estimated $6 million economic impact to the county. The Cabarrus County CVB represents Concord, Kannapolis, Mt. Pleasant, Harrisburg and Midland, and boasts 22 hotels along an 11-mile stretch of I-85 just north of Charlotte—several of which have recently or soon will undergo significant renovations. The 79-room Holiday Inn Express Charlotte- Concord completed renovations in November 2011. The property has nearly 1,000 square feet of meet- ing space. Embassy Suites Charlotte-Concord Golf Re- sort and Spa offers 308 suites and 42,000 square feet of meeting space and completed an upgrade to its exercise facility in January. The 125-room Hampton Inn and Suites Con- cord/Charlotte will renovate its lobby in 2012. The property has 1,800 square feet of meeting space. Meanwhile, the Cabarrus County CVB recently relocated its visitors center and offices to the I-85 exit used to get to both the Charlotte Motor Speed- way and Concord Mills shopping center. The new building offers meetings space. However, the largest meeting space in Cabarrus County is the Cabarrus Arena and Events Center with 151,000 square feet of function space in four buildings. "We have a complex that has multiple buildings in various sizes and geometry that give new meaning to multi-purpose," said Frank Lapsley, general manager. "It's not unusual for the facilities to handle five or six simultaneous events on busy weekends." Lake Norman The Lake Norman area includes the cities of Cornelius, Davidson and Huntersville—all sitting close to the town's namesake body of water, the largest man-made lake in the Caroli- nas. The area has more than 30 hotels, 42 ConventionSouth APRIL 2012 most located conveniently off of I-77, and boasts a new 5,000-square-foot meeting center called Havana Banquet and Ballroom located in Cor- nelius. The facility also serves as a venue for ball- room dancing instruction and competition. Two new properties were added to our hotel in- ventory in the last two years—both located at Exit 23 in Huntersville, said Courtney Wolfram with Visit Lake Norman. "The Comfort Inn and Suites Huntersville opened July 2010 and Hampton Inn and Suites Huntersville opened April 2011. Also, the Courtyard by Marriott Huntersville at Exit 25 in Huntersville underwent major renovations includ- ing the addition of Bistro, Starbucks, and a full bar. It re-opened March 2011." Gastonia A short drive from Charlotte Douglas International Airport, the city of Gastonia is re-energized to wel- come groups with the recent opening of the Gasto- nia Conference Center. The 30,000-square-foot facility can accommodate more than 350 for ban- quets and features 10 separate meeting rooms, in- cluding a 5,100-square-foot ballroom. Complementing the existing local architecture, classic red brick dominates in the exterior design of the facility, which also features a three-story parking deck with 229 spaces and a surface area parking. Nine electric vehicle charging stations for hybrids, electric, and other plug-in vehicles, exceed the criteria established by the US Green Build- ing Council. Currently, the facility is registered to be certified LEED Gold. ■ The new Gastonia (N.C.) Conference Center offers nine electric vehicle charging stations. www.con v New Green Meeting Site

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