JUN 2012

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Home HAMPTON ROADS Virginia Beach EDITOR'S HOT PICKS HAMPTON ROADS is a vast metro- politan area within Virginia, but each individual destination offers historic charm where the patriotic vibe is palpable and the coastal landscape creates a sense of escape from the day-to-day. Here, attendees can easily fly into two major airports, in Newport News and in Norfolk, or drive in via the major interstate structure. And once there, they can take to the beach, the colonial attractions and enjoy crab- cakes beside the many waterways. TOP PICK: CHESAPEAKE Chesapeake CVB (888) 889-5551 "Located along the Intracoastal Waterway in the heart of Coastal Virginia, Chesapeake is in perfect proximity to all the attractions." Chesapeake Conference Center (757) 382-2511 "No Matter The Event... It All Happens Here!" TOP PICK: NEWPORT NEWS Newport News Tourism Development Office (888) 493-7386 "Get Closer to Coastal Virginia. Newport News is convenient to Williamsburg & Virginia Beach!" TOP PICK: NORFOLK Visit Norfolk (800) 368-3097 "Norfolk is Dynamic, Diverse & Distinct—combining the perfect blend of business & pleasure!" See Ad on pg. 25 HAMPTON ROADS IN-DEPTH Visit for more about the Hampton Roads area through our interactive Insiderʼs Guide with maps, videos & more. Each year, a modeling and simulation convention called MODSIM World is held in Hampton Roads due, in part, to the central location of the area. In 2011, the event converged at the Virginia Beach Convention Center (VBCC). According to MODSIM officials, the region is able to "comfortably and efficiently host our large scale event." Pat Homes, events manager for the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Associa- tion, echoed those sentiments. The organization recently held its Joint Forces Fighting Conference at the VBCC and said it's a "great facility with parking that makes it convenient for attendees." Both these organizations also select Hampton Roads due to the large military presence in the region such as Langley Air Force Base in Hamp- ton and Naval Station Norfolk. Plus, the federal government has two major research laboratories there such as NASA/Langley. In Virginia Beach's oceanfront resort area, the Laskin Road Gateway project is currently under construction. "That's where a new crown jewel— known as Beach Centre—is emerging," said Pamela Lingle, Virginia Beach CVB communica- tions manager, explaining that it is set to open this fall with dining, entertainment and shopping. The Laskin Road Gateway project will also enhance the resort area aesthetically, bring a LEFT: The North American Sand- sculpting Champi- onship is the signature event of the Virginia Beach Neptune Festival. RIGHT: This bronze statue of King Neptune welcomes visitors to Virginia Beach's Neptune Park and honors the city's maritime traditions. headquarters hotel to the LEED-certified VBCC, and beautify key corridors in the resort area. Another project under construction in the same area is the OceanAire Resort Hotel, Lingle said. It will be the third phase of the Ocean Beach Club and Resort on Atlantic Avenue and will include up to 200 rooms and 4,000 square feet of meeting space when it opens this summer. The first phase of a complete renovation is in its final stages at the Sheraton Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hotel, which includes the addition of 25 all-oceanfront guest suites, a new fitness center, a new pool plaza and an outdoor restau- rant and enhanced meeting space. ■ Groups Go Colonial In Williamsburg Donʼt be fooled by the small size of Williamsburg. The city has hosted a number of large, prestigious events throughout the years, including Presi- dent Ronald Reaganʼs Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations. Groups of all sizes have a number of options among the cityʼs 4,700 guest rooms and 17 conference properties. Kingsmill Resort has embarked on a long-term expansion and upgrade of facilities. The first project included construction of a restaurant at the marina and a pool complex. And a 210-room hotel featuring a new golf pro shop, conference space, restaurant, lounge and more is on the drawing table, said Gordon Taylor with Xanterra Parks and Resorts. "The new hotel and con- ference facilities will make doing business at Kingsmill more seamless than ever before." The Williamsburg Hotel and Conference Center recently revamped from the Williamsburg Marriott, said Sherri Wozniak, director of sales. Among the 45,000 square feet of meeting space is a 714-seat auditorium." The Williamsburg Hospitality House has been around since the 70s and "is a big part of college (William and Mary) life," said Jeremy Huvard, director of sales and marketing. The hotel is adjacent to Zable Stadium and is two blocks from Colonial Williamsburg. ■ 38 ConventionSouth JUNE 2012 Historical Colonial Williamsburg provides groups with an opportu- nity to experience colo- nial life first hand, and offers various meeting properties such as the Williamsburg Lodge and the Williamsburg Inn, said Tom Spong, director of sales. www.con v Planning Directory Planner Resources Meeting Site Showcase Colonial Williamsburg via Facebook Photos Courtesy of Virginia Beach CVB via Facebook

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