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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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 65 F L O R I D A revitalization," said Monica Smith, vice pres- ident of sales and services for Visit Jackson- ville, adding that planners can take advantage of the city's competitive rates, miles of beaches and "an explosion of local dining and cultural options, and some of the most unique meeting venues in all of Florida." The Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center, located in a historic former train depot, offers more than 275,000 square feet of flexible event space with 22 meeting rooms and is within a mile of four major riverfront convention ho- tels with 2,300 total guest rooms. The greater area, including the Southside and The Beaches neighborhoods, is home to more than 160 ho- tels and resorts with 18,000 guest rooms. Unique venues include EverBank Field with seven meeting rooms, stadium and ad- jacent amphitheater; Topgolf Jacksonville, a 65,000-square-foot golf entertainment center available for group events; and event spaces and suites at the Baseball Grounds of Jack- sonville. The Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts has three theaters with seating for up to 3,000 guests, plus a 20,000-square- foot lobby area for events and receptions. The Adam W. Herbert University Center, set in the midst of the University of North Florida's 1,000-acre nature preserve, can accommodate groups of up to 700 people with 35 meeting rooms in 43,000 square feet of event space. Fresh off a full renovation, the Hyatt Re- gency Jacksonville Riverfront has 966 guest rooms and 116,000 square feet of function space, including outdoor venues overlooking St. Johns River. Also with recent renovations, the 354-room Omni Jacksonville has 14,000 square feet of meeting space; and the Dou- bleTree by Hilton Jacksonville Riverfront offers 293 guest rooms and 12,000 square feet of event space. The Lexington Hotel & Conference Center continues its $20 mil- lion renovation of all 322 guest rooms and 35,000-square-foot conference center. One Ocean Resort and Spa, at The Beaches Town Center, has 193 guest rooms and 10,500 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space. The Atlantis Project is a $77 million luxury resort and full-service hotel expected to break ground later this year. The Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites Jacksonville Downtown Southbank both recently completed a soft- goods renovation. (See breakout spotlight on page 64.) Additional Jacksonville Venues • Sheraton Jacksonville: 154 guest rooms; 6,000 square feet of event space • Jacksonville Marriott: 250 guest rooms; 16 meeting rooms • Ramada Jacksonville Hotel & Con- ference Center (Mandarin): 152 guest rooms; 10,000 square feet of event space • Veterans Memorial Arena: 15,000-seat multipurpose arena; four meeting rooms • Conference Center at the Main Library: 391-seat auditorium; 15 meeting rooms Amelia Island Located just off the coast of northeast Florida and 30 minutes from Jacksonville Interna- tional Airport, Amelia Island has 13 miles of beaches, a 50-block historic area in Fernandina Beach—the largest town on the island—and a variety of meeting and event options, from up- scale resorts and traditional conference spaces at brand hotels to bed and breakfast inns and unique offsite venues. The 1,300-acre Omni Amelia Island Planta- tion Resort offers 404 guest rooms and 80,000 square feet of meeting space in the largest conference center on the island. This includes a 16,825-square-foot ballroom, a 13,200-square- foot pre-function space and an 11,000-square- foot event lawn. The 350 rooms at The Villas of Amelia Is- land Plantation have complete access to all the Omni Resort amenities and activities. The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island has 446 guest rooms, including three specialty suites, and more than 48,000 square feet of indoor event space, with several outdoor and ocean- view venues. The resort features a luxury spa, onsite tennis, an 18-hole championship golf course and numerous fine dining options. Summer Beach Resort offers 75 oceanfront or resort-view accommodations in private vil- las, townhomes and luxury condominiums, and features a 2,200-square-foot Executive Retreat Center. Smaller lodging options include the 122- room Hampton Inn & Suites Historic Harbor Front in Fernandina Beach, which can host up to 135 event attendees; Breakwater Hotel at the Beach, with 2,000 square feet of meeting and event space; and Residence Inn Amelia Island, with event space for up to 118 guests. n Pelican Grand Beach Resort in Fort Lauderdale Located on 500 feet of the city's celebrated beachfront, this resort's casual, elegant atmo- sphere provides the right amount of seclusion for a much-needed respite without limiting a group's reach to the city's exciting downtown entertainment districts. Stay onsite and enjoy nightly live entertain- ment on the resort's expansive veranda while dining at Ocean2000—a true culinary experi- ence. Or, enjoy treatments at PURE Spa, located on the 11th floor with breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. n Site Visit Highlight: CASUAL ELEGANCE Hutchison Shores Resort & Spa in Jensen Beach With the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Indian River to the west and surrounded by natural areas, the new Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa is a great seaside venue for corporate meetings, retreats and social events, according to Diane D'Amico, regional director of sales for the Opal Collec- tion. Both charming and modern, the 178-room property hotel has 9,000 square feet of function space, all with a nautical theme and many creative design touches. n Site Visit Highlight: A SENSATIONAL SEASIDE RETREAT

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