JUN 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 ⎜ J U N E 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 10 Alabama Paula Deen's Family Kitchen To Open at OWA FOLEY — Paula Deen and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians have announced plans to open Paula Deen's Family Kitchen at OWA. OWA, located in south Alabama about 10 miles from the beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, is the newest and largest entertain- ment destination in the Southeast, which spans 520 acres and includes a 21-ride amusement park, an in- door arcade, a 150-room Marriott TownePlace Suites, 16 outdoor sports fields, a 65,000-square-foot indoor event center, and 168,000 square feet of retail and dining op- portunities. "OWA has continued to build upon its vision of creating an au- thentic Southern resort by sourcing top-notch shopping, dining and en- tertainment experiences," said Greg Rawls, director of business development for Creek Indian Enterprises/OWA. "Adding a family-style restaurant to OWA's ever-expanding lineup creates even more excitement for our guests. From the 6+ million annual leisure travelers and sports teams to our ever supportive locals, Paula Deen's Family Kitchen delivers quality food, service and experi- ence at a great value that everyone can enjoy." "I'm so looking forward to teaming up with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians and Phoenix Hospitality + Entertainment to bring the newest Paula Deen's Family Kitchen to my fans living in or visiting Orange Beach, Gulf Shores and Foley, Alabama," said Deen. "Everyone in my family just loves going to the beach and participating in the family entertainment at OWA. Together, we will provide a truly memorable experience for folks who enjoy delicious Southern comfort food, family vacations and great entertainment." Florida New General Manager DESTIN — David Mars was recently named general manager of The Henderson, a Salamander Beach & Spa Resort. He brings more than two decades of experi- ence and leadership within the hos- pitality industry. Previously, he was general manager of Spanish Peaks Mountain Club in Big Sky, Mont. and the resort manager at Montage Deer Valley in Park City, Utah. "I am thrilled to be a part of this exceptional community in the Destin area," said Mars. "I look forward to working with The Henderson's highly committed team, which has been creating traditions for our valued guests since the resort opened in 2016." A 170-room resort, The Hender- son is located on the Gulf of Mexico, adjacent to 200 acres of pristine preserve. The property includes the Salamander Spa, three dining venues, two swimming pools and a lazy river, a sunset rooftop terrace, and 30,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space. 2020 Pride Of The Americas Festival FORT LAUDERDALE — Greater Fort Lauderdale will be the host destination for the first-ever Pride of the Americas Festival in 2020. The 10-day event, to be hosted by Pride of Fort Lauderdale and presented by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau (GFLCVB), will include a parade, a beach party, an arts festival, social events throughout the destination and a human rights conference focused on LGBT+ rights. "We worked extremely close with Pride Fort Lauderdale to develop the concept of this important and trans- formational event," said Richard Gray, vice president, LGBT+ mar- keting with the GFLCVB. "Greater Fort Lauderdale has been at the forefront of LGBT+ sensitivity and issues for decades and we look for- ward to continuing to lead the way by bringing together experts for this important and thought-provoking event. The Pride of Americas Festi- val joins the Southern Comfort con- ference as two of the most important LGBT+ events to take place in our destination." According to the GFLCVB, Greater Fort Lauderdale has hun- dreds of gay-owned and -operated businesses, and the highest concen- tration of same-sex couple house- holds in the country. It's also home to one of the largest Pride Centers in the U.S., the world's first AIDS mu- seum, the global headquarters of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association and Stonewall National Museum & Archives. "We are thrilled with the move to Fort Lauderdale beach," said Miik Martorell, president, Pride Fort Lauderdale. "Attendance numbers have skyrocketed and the entire fes- tival experience has been elevated." Orlando Surpasses 70 Million Annual Visitors ORLANDO — In May, tourism officials announced a historic milestone in the travel industry as Orlando became the first U.S. desti- nation to surpass 70 million annual visitors. In 2017, 72 million visitors traveled to Orlando, an increase of more than five percent over the prior year, making it America's most-visited destination. Contributing to the overall tour- ism numbers was record convention across the CHARLESTON, S.C. — Hotel Indigo Mount Pleasant is scheduled to open July 1. The property, just a few minutes from downtown Charleston, will include 158 guest rooms and 6,000 square feet of meeting space including the 3,000-square-foot Palmetto Ballroom that will accommodate up to 250 guests. Additional meeting space will include the Magnolia Room, for groups of 20 – 60; the Cypress Boardroom, for board meetings, private dinners and receptions; and the restaurant, which will accommodate up to 75 for private dinners and receptions. A resort-style oasis with a pool, indoor/outdoor bar, cabanas, fire feature and sun chairs; a yoga room; and complimentary self-parking are among the amenities. The property will be the first Hotel Indigo in the state. n Hotel Indigo to Open in July

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