NOV 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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Page 43 of 59

⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ N O V 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 44 A L A B A M A one of the city's four original skyscrapers from 1909 that composed what was then called "the heaviest corner on Earth." The Elyton has 111 guest rooms, six suites, and 4,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor events space, including the hotel's rooftop bar, Moon Shine. A new Homewood Suites by Hilton opened in 2017 in the historic Five Points South dis- trict of Birmingham. The 105-room hotel is near the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and two miles from the BJCC. The hotel's largest event room can seat up to 142 people in theater-style seating or up to 106 for banquets. Event facilities at the BJCC include 220,000 square feet of exhibition space, an 18,000-seat arena and two theaters with 4,000 seats total, all under one roof. The 757-room Sheraton, which has multiple meeting rooms, breakout rooms and ballrooms, is connected to the BJCC by covered skyway. Adjacent to the BJCC, the Uptown Entertainment District is home to a number of restaurants and enter- tainment venues, and a 294-room Westin, with 7,000 square feet of event space in 16 rooms. Set to open this fall in Birmingham's Enter- tainment District is Topgolf, a 65,000-square- foot golf entertainment venue with locations around the U.S. and Great Britain, featuring upscale food and drink, music and more. Ac- cording to a press statement, Topgolf Birming- ham will include 3,000 square feet of private event space, plus a driving range, restaurant, bar, lounges and family game area. Additional Birmingham Venues: • Hyatt Regency Birmingham – The Wynfrey Hotel: 329 guest rooms; 33,000 square feet of event space with two ballrooms; connected to Riverchase Galleria • Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa: 248 guest rooms; award-win- ning golf course; 12,000-square-foot spa; 21,000 square feet of event space • Hyatt Place Birmingham/Hoover: 1,128 guest rooms; 1,200-square-foot meeting room • DoubleTree by Hilton: on the UAB campus; 298 guest rooms; 15,000 square feet of func- tion space • Birmingham Marriott: 295 guest rooms; six event rooms for 12,905 total square feet of event space • Birmingham Civil Rights Institute: reception space for up to 300 • Bruno Conference Center: 300-seat audi- torium, lecture hall, board room, computer learning center and classrooms • Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum: recep- tion, meeting, and banquet space for groups of between 50 and 900 • Birmingham Zoo: The Zoo Lodge can accommodate up to 50 for meetings or 85 for receptions • McWane Science Center: 280-seat IMAX Dome, classroom, meeting room and galleries • Railroad Park: 19-acre green space downtown with multiple event spaces • Vulcan Park & Museum: indoor and outdoor reception space for up to 350 (See breakout spotlight on page 46 for more information.) Tuscaloosa Home to the University of Alabama (UA), Tuscaloosa has more than 3,200 hotel rooms in the metro area, with three new hotels under construction, according to Tuscaloosa Tourism The Auburn Marriott Opelika Hotel & Conference Center at Grand National is Alabama's latest and the Auburn area's first AAA Four Diamond hotel. The hotel was awarded the honor in July 2017. "Our goal behind the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail and its Resort Collection is to bring new tourists and busi- nesses to Alabama," said Dr. David G. Bronner, CEO of the Retirement Systems of Al- abama, which owns six Four Diamond hotels in Alabama, including the Auburn/Opelika Marriott. "Guests are coming to Alabama from around the world. Tourism is changing the perception of Alabama within our state and internationally. We are pleased to be a leading player in this growing industry." The 128-room hotel (with 95 addi- tional rooms under construction and expected to open in 2018) has completed a massive renovation and is experiencing exceptional momentum, said Kevin Cross, general manager. "In addition to a great struc- ture and amenities, our associates continue to go the extra mile to bring this hotel to life. Because of their hard work and exceptional hospitality, the Auburn/Opelika Marriott con- tinues to be ranked the top Marriott in North and South America for guest satisfaction out of more than 360 properties." In 2018, the hotel officially becomes a Marriott Resort with the addition of a 20,000-square-foot European-style spa at Grand National that will be connected directly to the hotel. The hotel features 15,000 total square feet of event space, two restaurants, outdoor and indoor pools, clay court tennis, walking trails and 54 holes of championship golf, part of the state's pre- mier Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. n B R E A K O U T S P O T L I G H T : Auburn Marriott Opelika Hotel & Conference Center at Grand National Contact:

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