APR 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 ⎜ A P R I L 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 38 F L O R I D A an enclosed gondola. These developments come on the heels of a $35 million renovation completed at the Sher- aton Bay Point Resort in 2017, which provided 200 all-new guest rooms, 60,000 square feet of renewed indoor meeting spaces and new outdoor event areas to the AAA Four Diamond property. The Edgewater Beach & Golf Resort completed the first phase of a million dollar renovation in October 2017, which included many upgrades to its conference center. Phase two, planned for 2019, will include further improvements. In June, American Airlines will begin providing service to the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP) from Charlotte, N.C. and Dallas/Fort Worth, adding to existing service from Delta, Southwest and United Airlines. A recently-launched activity, Coastal Décor By The Shore Trail, helps visitors explore the destination's vast selection of stores and shops specializing in coastal-themed antiques, furni- ture, gifts and accessories. Tallahassee Located in the heart of the Florida Panhandle, Tallahassee, the state's capital, is a place where college town meets cultural center, politics meets performing arts and history meets na- ture. Due to these and other characteristics, the Leon County Division of Tourism Develop- ment (Visit Tallahassee) coined the slogan "I heart Tally." According to Janet Roach, meetings and conventions director for Visit Tallahassee, groups choose to meet in Florida's capital region because they enjoy the Southern hos- pitality and setting, but also appreciate its contemporary touches and high-tech amenities. She pointed out that the city was ranked the second most affordable destination in Florida by Business Travel News. Tallahassee is growing, with a number of developments underway near the Florida State University (FSU) campus, including apart- ments, restaurants and retail establishments. A planned Arena District, now in the design process, will include about 20 acres in the city's urban core, expanding the FSU campus and adding a convention center and hotel. A new Canopy District, a 505-acre mixed-use community will add housing and office space. The Cascades Project, a $158 million mixed- use downtown development, calls for new apartments, townhouses, a restaurant, a five- story boutique hotel and commercial space. Construction crews could break ground in the summer, according to the project's developers. In hotel news, a new boutique hotel, Indigo at the Railyards, is slated to break ground soon in the city's trendy Railyards district. The sev- en-story hotel will have 140 rooms, a restau- rant and rooftop bar. Additionally, an 8,000-square-foot 17th- floor addition is planned for the DoubleTree by Hilton Tallahassee. The largest hotel in the downtown area, just two blocks from the capi- tol, the recently-renovated property offers 243 guest rooms and 10,000 square feet of meeting space. According to Director of Sales Jonathan LaBarre, many associations and corporate The award-winning TOPS'L Beach & Rac- quet Resort is taking full advantage of its unparalleled location on 52 acres nestled between the Gulf of Mexico and a nature preserve to provide secluded meeting space with all sorts of water sports, tennis, multiple swimming pools and hot tubs, still within easy distance of city attractions just minutes away in one direction or the other. With Pensacola and Destin to the west and scenic Highway 30-A to the east, TOPS'L Beach is easily accessible and close to shop- ping and nightlife. According to Tanya Rauch, marketing manager for Northwest Florida for ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals, "The meeting market is one we see as a great fit for properties such as TOPS'L Beach and Racquet Resort. It has all the components and amenities to make for a productive and enjoy- able meeting venue." Featuring a wide variety of accommoda- tions from beachfront condominiums to tennis villas in a garden setting, the resort offers onsite dining with tennis or beach views, and refreshments at the beachside and clubside tiki bars. Plus, with on-site tennis courts and other sporting options, a nature trail, and mul- tiple swimming pools and hot tubs, the resort provides plenty of options to enjoy between events or for breakout sessions. The TOPS'L Club Fitness Floor was re- cently renovated with new Life Fitness and Cybex cardio and weight equipment. "We are dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for our homeowners, members and guests," said TOPS'L general manager Mike Speicher. "To us 'TOPS'L Life' means that our pristine beaches, pools, massage therapy, restaurants and the newly renovated fitness facility and tennis courts are on par with amenities ex- pected of a world-class resort." Additional amenities include full-service meeting and banquet catering as well as two on-site restaurants: Blue Dunes Grille and Club Tiki; 12 Rubico clay tennis courts; full service racquet club and fitness facility featur- ing aerobics classes, racquet ball court, sauna, steam room and wellness message therapy service; beach service, nature trails, swimming pools, watersport rentals, basketball, shuffle- board and a miniature golf course. Meeting facilities include the Beachside Pool Deck, which is 7,000 square feet and can accommodate up to 400 participants; Centre Court, 2,480 square feet, 300 attendees; the Wimbledon Room, 1,041 square feet, 70 people; The Ridge Lawn, 4,900 square feet, 400 people, and the Club Tiki, which is 1,500 square feet and accommodates up to 150 people. With a laidback vibe, TOPS'L is easy to navigate with complimentary resort shuttle throughout the property even in the busiest of seasons. n B R E A K O U T S P O T L I G H T : Tops'l Beach & Racquet Resort Contact:

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