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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A P R I L 2 0 1 8 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 53 F L O R I D A ing since 1895, recently reopened its Matthews Lodge following a multi-million-dollar refur- bishment. The building has been transformed into12 luxury suites with large balconies, living and dining rooms, full kitchens and updated electronics. Another Sanibel Island property, Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, has added a 12- court tournament-grade pickleball stadium. In Cape Coral, a 30,000-square-foot con- ference center, the Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village's Tarpon Point Ballroom, opened in January offering 12,250 square feet of space and a large terrace overlooking the Caloosahatchee River estuary. The property will also be home to a branch of Offshore Sailing School, which will dock a 48-foot cata- maran and a 26-foot keelboat at the marina and provide sailing lessons. Existing area properties with considerable meeting space include South Seas Island Re- sort on Captiva Island, with 465 guest rooms and 30,000 square feet of function space along with golf, tennis and a spa onsite. The 278- room Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa, has 13 meeting rooms and 30,000 square feet of meeting space. On Fort Myers Beach, Dia- mondhead Beach Resort & Spa, a Sunstream Hotel & Resort, has 121 suites and 8,000 square feet of function space. It's now easier to get to this area, with 17 flight connections from various U.S. cities re- cently added to Southwest Florida International Airport, located 16 miles southeast of down- town Fort Myers. "The Fort Myers Sanibel area has been a great location to hold our conferences," said Jennifer Lichty, a meeting planner for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. "Easy to get to, Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) is a small airport that can handle a lot of traffic. Florida's Gulf Coast is a choice destination year-round, with functional and beautiful meeting facilities, breathtaking scenery, and many recreational and dining options when the programs are over. The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel team works hard to keep the planners updated on the upgrades, new properties and places in the area." Naples/Marco Island/ Everglades Collectively known as the Paradise Coast, Naples, Marco Islands and the Everglades In keeping with Miami Beach's build- ing code, which requires a Silver LEED certification for all new public projects, the reimagined Miami Beach Convention Center includes several design elements that will ensure the facility achieves this standard. These include rain harvesting for storing and utilizing for cooling towers, installation of reduced flow water fixtures, sun shading the exterior perimeter of the building, daylighting the public spaces, using high efficiency LED lighting, using occupancy light sensors throughout the building, saving 200 existing trees and planting new canopy trees, and reducing energy consumption by 20 percent. While these changes have been under- way, the MBCC is hosting three events in April of this year, followed by two shows in the summer, all in the half of its building currently open as completion of its $620 million renovation and expansion nears. The American Health Information Manage- ment Association convention scheduled for September 22 – 26 will be the first large event following completion. Already scheduled for October are the 24th Congress of the International Soci- ety of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the 22nd Americas Food & Beverage Show and the Jewelers International Showcase. By 2019, MBCC should be back to hosting a full complement of conventions and events, more than ever before and larger than ever. The $2.5 million renovation of MBCC's historic Carl Fisher Clubhouse, the oldest public structure in Miami Beach, is sched- uled for completion in 2019. n B R E A K O U T S P O T L I G H T : Miami Beach Convention Center Contact:,, miami-beach-convention-center Miami Beach Center Main Entrance ➤

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