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 80 V I R G I N I A Located just 35 miles south of Washington, DC and many national military monuments, Stafford offers elegant yet affordable lodging, dining and conference facilities. The University of Mary Washington Stafford Campus is the region's Virginia Green premier conference, education, and training venue. The state-of-the- art facility features a spacious atrium appropri- ate for receptions and networking, University Hall (2,700+ square feet), 23 classrooms, six computer labs, a videoconferencing theater featuring IP-based connectivity, two confer- ence rooms, and wireless access throughout the complex. Quantico Corporate Center, located on an 85-acre campus, features a highly advanced fiber optic infrastructure that was designed and built to offer tenants in QCCS power and connectivity to multiple points along a private fiber network. This connection enables the secure transfer of data from QCCS to critical points of interest throughout the Washington Metropolitan Region. (See Breakout Spotlight on page 78.) M O U N TA I N & VA L L E Y V I R G I N I A Virginia's Blue Ridge Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge, also known as Visit VBR, is the region's official DMO for the cities of Roanoke, Salem and Blacksburg, and the counties of Botetourt, Franklin and Roa- noke. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the region lies in Virginia's western rocky spine running north to south. Visitors can fly in to Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport, arrive on Amtrak or drive in on I-81. There's plenty of outdoor beauty and recreation to enjoy, several enticing museums, live performance venues and more. Visit VBR is proud to announce the achieve- ment of AAA Four Diamond status by The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center, Curio Collection by Hilton and The Regency Room. The property is the only one in Roanoke to attain that distinction. Several new properties opened in 2017, including a Fairfield Inn & Suites, and more are expected this year, according to Visit VBR staff. Tru by Hilton Roanoke Hollins is due to open this August. The 82-room property is near Gander Mountain. VBR's most luxurious property is Primland, sitting on 12,000 acres of the beautiful wooded and rocky Blue Ridge mountaintop territory outside of Meadows of Dan, Va. The resort features an award-winning 18-hole champion- ship golf course and an array of other recre- ational options ranging from horseback riding to ATV trail riding, archery to tomahawk throwing, recreational tree climbing to fly fish- ing and disc golf to geocaching. The property also offers a 2,178-square-foot ballroom, a private dining room, a boardroom, a 17-seat theater, breakout rooms and pre-function space. Overnight lodging options include lodge rooms, cottages and spacious tree houses. (See Breakout Spotlight on this page.) Roanoke Venues • Berglund Center: 110,000-square-foot facility; 46,000-square-foot Special Events Center; 14,000-square-foot Exhibit Hall; 10,500-seat Coliseum; 2,150-seat theater • Salem Civic Center: 40,000 square feet of meeting space; 6,000-seat arena • Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center, Curio Collection by Hilton: 63,000 square feet of meeting space; IACC-approved con- ference center; restored 1882 grand hotel; 330 guest rooms; on the National Register of Historic Places • The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center (Blacksburg): 193,000-square-foot facility; 23,700 square feet of meeting space; adjoin- ing facilities • Sheraton Roanoke Hotel & Conference Center: 17,000 square feet of meeting space; two divisible ballrooms; five addi- tional smaller rooms; a small theater; 320 guest rooms Salem Salem is about seven miles west of Roanoke and offers excellent golf, outdoor recreation, dining and shopping, as well as a civic center Capitalizing on Virginia's Blue Ridge (VBR) regional success as a well-established sports destination, area officials announced the for- mation of VBR Sports in late January. "We are upping our game," said Landon How- ard, president of Visit VBR. "Developing a stronger, regional sports identity under the di- rection of a new VBR Sports Council, along with a director of sports development, will allow our five localities to attract far more diverse sporting events and grow the region's travel and tourism industry." VBR Sports will focus on presenting the entire region as a desirable place to host a multitude of new sporting events that will provide for a superior athlete and fan expe- rience. "Working together with local sports organizers to host various competitive sports will generate a stronger economic impact and put VBR Sports on the map on a much broader scale," said Bree Nidds, director of sports development for VBR Sports. According to VBR, sports tourism generates 69 percent of the overall group business for the region. In addition to youth sports, VBR Sports plans to continue attracting adult amateur sports as well. "The combination of youth-, amateur- and collegiate-level events opens the door to bidding on more diverse sports opportunities," Nidds said. "This builds on our reputation to successfully host championships and tournaments started by the City of Salem and brand VBR Sports as a premier sports destination nationally." Another recreational project in the works in Roanoke is Explore Park, an 1,100-acre nature site at milepost 115 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Long-range plans call for horse- back riding, zip-lining and other activities. n B R E A K O U T S P O T L I G H T : Virginia's Blue Ridge Contact:Ɵngs Explore Park

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