FEB 2018

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 23 of 59

By Adrianne Bowen By Adrianne Bowen ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 24 CONVENTION CENTERS When arriving in downtown Athens, Ga., visitors cannot help but notice the breathtaking and historic cultural venue known as The Classic Center. Executive Director Paul Cramer said, "The Classic Center's mission is to enhance the quality of life in Athens/Clarke County by serving as the cultural, civic and social center of the Southeast and by generating maximum economic impact. We are able to provide this to our community, as well as our patrons and clients, by offering a wide range of venue options for every type and size event. From over 106,000 square feet of meeting space and an 8,000-square-foot atrium to a 22,000-square-foot outdoor covered pavilion and 2,090-seat Theatre, The Classic Center is the ideal choice for every occasion." The Classic Center is an alluring venue that prides itself on its broad appeal. "The Classic Cen- ter offers a killer combo when it comes to location and venue offerings. Located just mere steps from vibrant downtown Athens and the University of Georgia campus, The Classic Center has every- thing a meeting planner needs for a successful event. The Classic Center is honored to not only offer several venue and square footage options within the facility but to also offer a brand-new connecting hotel, the Hyatt Place, for convenient accommodation requirements. The Classic Center also offers several onsite amenities to clients, including onsite catering company Levy, in-house decorating services, immense fiber optic capabil- ities and A/V services through onsite technical staff. The Classic Center remains committed to our 'green initiative' to operate our facilities in the most energy-efficient manner possible and to uti- lize green products and services. We are honored to have been recognized by ConventionSouth as a Green Meetings Site." The Classic Center accommodates events from concerts to conferences, including many that have a long-standing relationship with the center. "The North Georgia Conference of The United Meth- odist Church loves coming to The Classic Center for its annual conference because the facilities continue to be perfect for our conference needs, and the staff listens so carefully to what will make our time there both comfortable and productive," said Rev. Dr. Gary L. Whetstone. "Year after year now, the experience has been classic!" n Planners considering Texas venues for future events should look into the Midland Convention Center, which will be a completely rebuilt facility in 2019. "The Midland Center was completely demolished in 2017, paving the way for a completely new, state-of-the-art, 75,000-square-foot Midland Convention Center," said Brad Barnett, executive vice president of Tourism & Facilities for VisitMidland and the Midland Convention Center. "Upon completion in September 2019, the Midland Convention Center will have 20,000 square feet of exhibit hall space, a 6,000-square-foot ballroom and 3,000 square feet of small-meeting space. Amenities include an 800-square- foot hospitality suite with restroom and shower, cutting-edge kitchen facili- ties, state-of-the-art audio/visual and technology capabilities, and the ability to have multiple large and small events occurring at the same time." Access to Wi-Fi throughout the building and LED lighting are sure to please meeting planners and attendees will be able to get to the Centennial Plaza easily. "The Midland Convention Center and Centennial Plaza are in the heart of downtown and within walking distance to dining and lodging," Barnett said. "Centennial Plaza will be accessible from the new convention center and a glass wall will overlook the plaza, allowing for interaction with the surrounding downtown as the desire to get outside and use green spaces is becoming a more sought-after request. "As an extra incentive, clients will be able to use the caterer of their choice. Working closely with the Midland Convention Center, VisitMidland is available to help meeting planners through all stages of the event-plan- ning process and execution. From event support and planning assistance to incentive material and promotion, VisitMidland's level of customer service is unmatched." The construction of the new convention center incorporates local limestone in its exterior, according to Barnett. "This stone will include the fossils from the former Permian Sea," he said. In addition, "a new Midland Centennial Plaza is currently begin designed and we hope to have these new designs presented to the public in the spring of 2018. The Plaza is our outdoor space by the Convention Center that is an oasis of green space in the heart of downtown." n Embracing History & Culture The Classic Center, Athens, Georgia A New State-Of-The Art Facility Opening in 2019 The Midland Convention Center, Midland, Texas

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