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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⎜ 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 8 Arkansas New Multicultural and Religious Markets Sales Director LITTLE ROCK — Kasey Summerville recently joined the Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau (LRCVB) sales team as sales director for multicultural and religious markets. Her role is to continue fostering the LRCVB's long-standing relationships with a multitude of groups and planners, and working to develop and cultivate new ones, capitalizing on Little Rock's appeal as a meetings and conventions destination. "We are glad to have Kasey aboard," said LRCVB President and CEO Gretchen Hall. "She brings a wealth of knowledge that will serve Little Rock well when selling our destination for meetings business." Prior to joining the LRCVB, Summerville served for nearly 15 years as Arkansas's Clark County assessor. In 2008, former Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe appointed her to the State Land Information Board. She has served on multiple committees and boards, including the Clark County NAACP, the Arkadelphia's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration planning committee and the National Association of Black County Officials. She is a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow. "I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to promote Little Rock as a premier meetings and conventions destination," said Summerville. "Our location, venues, attractions and our people make it the perfect place to host events." Florida New Ballroom Adds Event Space CAPE CORAL –– The new 12,250-square-foot Tarpon Point Ballroom recently opened at the Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village. With a capacity to host 1,400 guests, the new facility increases the resort's total function space to 30,000 square feet, including a 4,754-square-foot pre-function area and 1,728-square-foot terrace overlooking the Caloosahatchee River estuary. "The long-awaited Tarpon Point Ballroom comes at an optimal time for the Cape Coral community, as positive economic activity yields an increase in demand for larger, more flexible meetings and events space," said Michael Tighe, general manager of the Westin Cape Coral Resort. "We hope to attract new visitors and increase visibility for the destination, as well as offer a venue in which the local community chooses to celebrate memorable events." Anticipating an increase in group travel, the resort converted 30 two- bedroom suites overlooking the marina into one-bedroom suites and single-room units to better accommodate groups, increasing room inventory from 263 to 293, Tighe said. Additionally, the resort now has a partnership with Offshore Sailing School. New Event Lawn KEY WEST — Sunset Green, a new 12,105-square-foot shared multipurpose event lawn that serves as the focal point between sister properties The Gates Hotel Key West and 24 North Hotel, was unveiled in January. Key West's newest event venue provides entertainment space for across the Hotel Development Underway In Tampa's Convention District TAMPA, Fla.—A new JW Marriott Hotel and renovations to the Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina were recently announced by Strategic Property Partners, LLC (SPP), which is developing the area's $3 billion Water Street Tampa neighborhood. Construction on a 519-room, 26-story JW Marriott Hotel, located just steps from the Tampa Convention Center and Amalie Arena, will start in early 2018, with an expected 2020 completion date, according to PPP. Additionally, renovations are underway at the adjacent 727-room Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina and will continue through 2018. Combined, the two hotels will create the largest collection of hotel rooms and meeting space in Tampa Bay, with 1,246 rooms and 150,000 square feet of meeting and event space. "We are incredibly excited to extend our partnership with Marriott International, bring the JW Marriott brand to Water Street Tampa and significantly enhance the hospitality offerings in down- town Tampa," said SPP CEO James Nozar. "Not only are we bringing a new luxury hotel to the neighborhood, we are also rein- vesting in the Marriott Waterside Tampa to create a one-of-a-kind hospitality experience for everyone to enjoy, with dynamic outdoor amenities seamlessly connected to the Tampa Riverwalk and adjacent marina." The hotels will play a key role in the Water Street Tampa neigh- borhood, a multi-phased urban development project that includes more than 9 million square feet of commercial, residential, hospital- ity, educational, entertainment, cultural, and retail space, with the first new buildings breaking ground this year. "Marriott International is thrilled to be part of SPP's impressive Water Street Tampa project, which will bring more people, new economic activity and cultural amenities into downtown Tampa," said Noah Silverman, Chief Development Officer, North America Full Service Hotels, Marriott International. "It's a perfect setting both for a new JW Marriott and a fully upgraded Marriott." n Summerville

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