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 62 F L O R I D A A couple of blocks north of the center, The Plaza Resort & Spa has 323 guest rooms and 40,000 square feet of function space. Located halfway between Daytona Beach and St. Augustine, Hammock Beach Resort has lodging in 325 suites and villas, and 80,000 square feet of indoor and oceanfront event space. The resort recently completed a remodel of the lobby, oceanfront suites, meeting spaces and restaurants. Additional Daytona Beach Venues • Daytona Beach Resort Suites: 322 guest rooms; 17,000 square feet of event space • The Shores Resort & Spa: 212 guest rooms; 17,000 square feet of event space • El Caribe Resort & Conference Center: 110 guest rooms; 12,000 square feet of func- tion space • Oceanside Inn: 171 guest rooms; 2,250 square feet of meeting space • The Plaza Resort & Spa: 322 guest rooms; 40,000 square feet of function space • Jackie Robinson Memorial Baseball Park: 4,000-seat stadium • News-Journal Center at Daytona State College: two theaters, seating 264 and 859; lobby reception space for up to 750 people • Peabody Auditorium: adjacent to the Ocean Center; 2,521-seat theater St. Augustine Florida's Historic Coast is home to world-class resorts, more than a dozen championship golf courses and 42 miles of Atlantic coastline. The area includes St. Augustine, the oldest city in the U.S., and Ponte Vedra Beach, home to the PGA Tour and THE PLAYERS Champion- ship. According to Kathy Catron, director of com- munications for St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches Visitors and Convention Bureau (VCB), the area has 11,224 guest rooms and more than 184,000 square feet of total meeting space, including the 40,000-square-foot St. Johns County Convention Center. There are several new properties and others that have recently completed upgrades or will complete them this year, according to the VCB. The Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa completed a $25 million refresh that included expanding the size of guest rooms, the unveil- ing of new Sawgrass Suites and the opening of the premium-service wing rooms and suites. The Ocean Center Convention Center in Daytona Beach is just 400 feet from the At- lantic Ocean beaches, minutes away from Daytona Beach International Airport and in the center of America's "favorite beach destination," said Lori Hunter, director of sales. "With more than 205,000 square feet of meeting and event space, the Ocean Center hosts events large and small, each with exceptional attention to detail. Add in the nearby upscale accommodations and the neighboring Ocean Walk Village with shops, restaurants and 10-screen theaters, and the Ocean Center is a destination unto itself." In July 2018, the Ocean Center will welcome the 144th Shriner's Imperial Session, becoming the only center since 1947 to host the Shriners in consecutive years. With more than 10,000 Shriners and family members expected to attend, the event will utilize the entire facility, includ- ing the 93,000-square-foot exhibit hall, 42,000-square-foot arena, 14,000-square- foot ballroom and 32 meeting rooms. "The Ocean Center is a beautiful facility, large enough to host several functions at the same time but small enough to make maneuvering and finding meeting rooms easy," said Christine Harrison, director of conventions for Shriners International. The fifth-largest convention center in the state of Florida has other things going for it as well, Harrison said. "It's clean and up-to-date and the food was great. As a planner for a large convention, I heard a lot of compliments about the food and service. The staff were friendly and helpful throughout our meeting." Right now, first-time clients can take advantage of special bonus offers on select dates in 2018, Hunter said. "If you have never experienced the Ocean Center be- fore, this is a great opportunity. First-time clients may choose from special beach- themed refreshment breaks, Wi-Fi, move-in or move-out specials, a catering discount or breakout room specials. n B R E A K O U T S P O T L I G H T : Ocean Center, Daytona Beach Contact: The Ocean Center Convention Center Exterior Photo courtesy Ocean Center ➤

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