ConventionSouth

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 50 F L O R I D A when the Fenway Hotel reopens as Fenway Hotel, Autograph Collection. The 83-room Mediterranean-styled property will have 11,000 square feet of meeting space, a restau- rant, rooftop bar, resort-style pool and a large front lawn. St. Pete/Clearwater Meeting Spaces • Tradewinds Island Resort: 71,000 square feet of meeting space; 585 guest rooms • Vinoy Renaissance: 42,000 square feet of meeting space; 361 guest rooms • Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort: 35,000 square feet of meeting space; 416 guest rooms • Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa: 32,500 square feet of meeting space; 287 suites • Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront: 30,000 square feet of meeting space; 333 guest rooms • Sirata Beach Resort & Conference Center: 30,000 square feet of meeting space; 382 guest rooms • Safety Harbor Resort & Spa: 30,000 square feet of meeting space; 172 guest rooms • St. Petersburg Marriott Clearwater: 28,000 square feet of meeting space; 197 guest rooms Sarasota Sarasota, sitting on the Gulf Coast south of Tampa, offers 35 miles of beach and The Ringling, The Ringling College of Art & Design, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Sara- sota Opera House, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Towles Court Artist Colony and 33 hotels. "The meetings business will continue to be strong for Sarasota County this year," said Ellen Thomas, meetings sales manager for Visit Sarasota County. "New hotels will offer planners more great choices than ever. New additions to cultural venues and an incentives program for new meetings held in Sarasota continue to make Sarasota the ideal setting for meetings in Florida. The VSC team is ready to assist planners with customized attention and service." The new hotels include the 240-room Westin Sarasota opened last year with a rooftop bar with a great view of Sarasota Bay. It boasts 26,000 square feet of meeting space and a 6,000-square-foot ballroom. EVEN Hotel, a fitness/wellness-centric lodg- ing property that opened in January, features in-room workout equipment and videos, an ath- letic studio offering group classes, and healthy eating options. The 128-room property has 2,500 square feet of function space. The 162- room Art Ovation Hotel, Autograph Collection, opened in March in downtown Sarasota, with a 6,000-square-foot ballroom, an emphasis on art and live performance, and a staff that can arrange team-building exercises, artisan classes and lectures, and live performances. The 98-room Carlisle Inn, also just opened, has a unique mix of Amish culture and mod- ern conveniences, as well as 5,000 square feet of meeting space. Embassy Suites by Hilton For those seeking a convenient and award-winning hotel to hold meetings and special events, Embassy Suites by Hilton™ Orlando Lake Buena Vista South has the facilities and recreational amenities to provide everything a planner needs, according to Sharon Blazer, Director of Sales & Marketing, Florida's largest Embassy Suites meeting hotel, the venue is located in Kissimmee, just 3.5 miles from the entrance to Walt Disney World Resort ® and a 20-minute drive from Orlando International Airport. Each of the property's 300 suites features a private bedroom, separate living area with a sofa bed, microwave, refrigerator, two flat-screen televisions and in-room safe. The 40,000 square feet of meeting space includes the 15,000 square foot Palms Ballroom and 5,000 square foot Magnolia Ballroom, 28 breakout rooms and 3 boardrooms. Two unique outdoor patios offer options for elegant or casual receptions and special events. Among the onsite amenities are an outdoor pool and whirlpool; Kyng's Grille restaurant; The Oasis (lobby lounge); a fitness center; and a complimentary 24-hour Embassy BusinessLink ™ business center. Additionally, the property is near Aquatica water park, SeaWorld® Orlando, Universal Studios Florida® and Universal Islands of Adventure® as well as some of Florida's finest fairways. n B R E A K O U T S P O T L I G H T : Embassy Suites by Hilton™ Orlando - Lake Buena Vista South Contact: www.orlandolakebuenavistasouth. embassysuites.com Embassy Suites Convention Center ➤ Marriott Tampa Waterside For New Year's Eve dinner, the staff at Tampa Marriott Waterside pulled out all the stops, arranging an amazing feast in the IL Terrazo banquet room, which has a large patio overlooking the water. The elegant meal was followed by a fire- works cruise on Yacht Starship. n Site Visit Highlight: AN AMAZING FEAST

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