SEP 2017

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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⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 7 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 8 Alabama DoubleTree by Hilton Opens ORANGE BEACH — Atlanta- based Hotel Equities (HE) recently announced the opening of the Island House Hotel Orange Beach – a DoubleTree by Hilton, following a multi-million-dollar renovation. Owned by Island House, Inc., and managed by Hotel Equities, the beachfront hotel has 161 rooms featuring large private balconies overlook- ing the Gulf Coast. "As the Alabama Gulf Coast area continues to grow in popular- ity for leisure and business, we are excited to open the Island House as a DoubleTree and introduce the DoubleTree by Hilton brand to Orange Beach," said Joe Reardon, HE's senior vice president of business development and mar- keting. "Our ownership group has completed a first-class renovation that will allow guests to enjoy a unique beach experience whether they are traveling with family on vacation or on business. We are honored to open this one-of-a- kind DoubleTree resort-style hotel with fantastic amenities creating a tremendous guest experience." The 10-story hotel features contemporary coastal décor, cuisine from Chef Brett Breaux at Beachside Bistro & Bar, and 6,000 square feet of meeting, ballroom and banquet facilities. Arkansas Multi-Million Dollar Renovation Unveiled LITTLE ROCK — The 150- room Holiday Inn Presidential Downtown Little Rock recently completed a multi-million dollar renovation. The 5,000 square feet of meeting space have been upgraded, and guest rooms and suites have been completely up- dated with new beds and updated bathrooms. Microwaves and mini-refrigerators were added and the in-room desks and work areas now feature multiple USB and electrical outlets. A new and more spacious lobby features gathering areas, a sundry shop and a media lounge. The newly expanded fitness center has new Life Fitness equipment. Georgia New S.M.E.R.F. Group Sales Manager DULUTH — Sonesta Gwinnett Place Atlanta recently welcomed JoAnne Richards as the new S.M.E.R.F. (Sports, Military, Education, Religious, Fraternal) group sales manager. She will man- age existing clients and generate new group sales business. Richards's background in hospitality sales management includes working with Hilton Atlanta and Wyndham Hotel Group. "We are delighted to bring Jo- Anne on board with us at Sones- ta," said David Kohlasch, general manager at Sonesta Gwinnett Place Atlanta. "Her hospitality experience and extensive sales portfolio will allow our hotel to tap into new markets and show- case all that we have to offer for groups." Sonesta Gwinnett Place Atlanta is in the heart of Gwinnett County. The 17-story hotel features 300 guest rooms and more than 16,000 square feet of meeting and event space. Kentucky COVINGTON — The 127-room Best Western Plus Cincinnati Riverfront Downtown Area has completed a multi-million-dollar renovation, which included a total remodel of both the interior and exterior of the building and the ad- dition of 20 two-room suites. The property features 552 square feet of meeting space, a fitness center and an indoor pool. Missouri New Sales Managers BRANSON — Chateau on the Lake Resort, Spa & Convention Center has expanded its sales team. Gayla Welsh, named corpo- across the Major Renovation Completed WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Visit Winston-Salem, along with city officials and local business leaders, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in late July to celebrate the completion of the $20 million reinvention of the Benton Convention Center. Capturing many of the authentic artistic and historic architectural influences of Winston-Salem, the 106,000-square-foot center now features a sawtooth roofline, reclaimed wood accents and locally inspired original artwork, with floor-to-ceiling windows to show- case the energy and vibrancy of downtown Winston-Salem. In addition to design upgrades, structural enhancements created additional breakout, pre-function and executive conference room spaces. n Richards Benton Convention Center Ribbon Cutting. (Pictured from L to R): Jason Thiel, president, Downtown Winston- Salem Partnership; Robert C. Clark, council member; Haley Gingles, chairman, Public Assembly Facilities Com- mission; Derwin L. Montgomery, council member; Denise D. Adams, council member; Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines; Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin, president, North Carolina Black Repertory Company; Dr. Vivian H. Burke, mayor pro tempore and northeast ward council member; James Taylor Jr., council member; John Larson, council member; Kit Broadhurst, Benton family member; Carey Benton-Jewett, Benton family member; Richard Geiger, president, Visit Winston-Salem; and Grant Minnix, director of operations, Benton Convention Center.

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