MAY 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 ⎜ M A Y 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 64 amenities while taking advantage of our con- siderable meeting space," said Tom Conner, director of sales and marketing. "Much of our indoor space features light- filled rooms and inspiring lake views," he said, adding that the resort, which completed a $15 million transformation in 2016, can host conferences, trade shows for up to 1,800 peo- ple, receptions or exclusive executive retreats, thanks to three 2,000-square-foot premium suites. In addition to golf, the property features the Japanese-themed Spa Shiki, ranked as the No. 1 spa in Missouri, and a full-service marina offering fishing, boat rentals and group dinner cruises. Springfield Meeting planners interested in somewhere new should keep their eyes on Springfield, said Susan Wade with the Springfield CVB: "There's a lot happening in Springfield's tourism and lodging industry. The Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium opened last September and is doing well. We have three new hotels opening this year, Hotel Vandivort is expanding and the Fairfield Inn & Suites opens soon." According to the CVB, the 103-room Fairfield Inn & Suites project includes a 10,000-square-foot convention center that con- nects with the existing 201-room DoubleTree by Hilton and a parking garage for use by both hotels. The new convention center brings the complex's total to 20,000 square feet of meet- ing and event space. The White River Conference Center, adja- cent to The Wonders of Wildlife Museum and Aquarium and the flagship store of Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, can host groups of up to 650 guests. Set to debut in 2019 are 48 additional guest rooms at the boutique Hotel Vandivort, along with a new rooftop bar and event space. The Silver LEED-certified hotel currently has two meeting rooms and a 2,800-square-foot ball- room that can host up to 160 for a reception. Major event venues in Springfield include the 2,264-seat Juanita K. Hammons Hall at Missouri State University and the Springfield Expo Center, which can seat up to 4,500 for theater-style events. Combined, the 271-room University Plaza Hotel and the Expo Center offer 151,000 total square feet of event space. The O'Reilly Family Event Center at Drury University is a LEED-certified arena with ban- quet room and outdoor plaza. The Oasis Hotel & Convention Center has 173 guest rooms and 30,000 square feet of function space. Additional Springfield Venues • Hilton Garden Inn: 3,500 square feet of meeting space • Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites: 8,000 square feet of function space • Holiday Inn Express & Suites: meeting space for up to 40 people • Residence Inn by Marriott: reception and classroom space for up to 100 guests • MSU Plaster Student Union: variety of spaces with a theater, ballrooms, class- rooms and meeting rooms • Pythian Castle: ballroom, theater and smaller event rooms; group tours • The Shrine Mosque: dance floor; ball- room seating for up to 200 guests Cape Girardeau With a history that dates back to a mid-1700s trading post on the Mississippi River, Cape Gi- rardeau has always drawn visitors. According to the Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau, the city is now a regional hub offering planners a new sports complex, several new hotels, more than 120 restaurants, great out- door recreation, more than 50 event venues and more than 900 guest rooms, including space at Isle Casino Cape Girardeau, which has a 7,725-square-foot Event Center that can host up to 600 guests. The recently opened Drury Plaza Hotel and Conference Center has 168 guest rooms with 1,400 square feet of event space in the hotel plus 14,000 square feet in the conference cen- ter that can seat up to 1,200 for theater-style presentations. A 90-room Courtyard Marriott is set to open in 2018 and a new Fairfield Inn is expected to break ground in late 2018. Event venues in the city include the Osage Centre, a 16,667-square-foot multipurpose main room/ gym with six meeting rooms; the Show Me Center, located on the campus of Southeast Missouri State University, which can host groups of up to 200 and has a 7,600-seat arena; and The Venue, a 28,000-square-foot facility that can host up to 1,100 for presentations or banquets. Other lodging in Cape Girardeau includes an 86-room Hampton Inn, with meeting space for up to 50 people, and the 102-room Holiday Inn Express & Suites, with meeting space for up to 35. Branson Branson invites event attendees to come early and stay late, said Deborah Cohen, CMP, director of meetings and convention sales for Explore Branson: "We have tons of new ► M I S S O U R I Park Central Square in Springfield Courtesy Springfield CVB

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