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by Agatha Gilmore | September 01, 2012
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Old Car Heaven, in Birmingham's historic Southside, features 46,000 square feet of event space amid an astounding collection of rare vintage automobiles. (205) 326-8902
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Birmingham
A new 254-room Westin hotel is under construction next to the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex. The property will have 7,000 square feet of meeting space and is expected to open in early 2013.

The 757-room Sheraton Birmingham Hotel recently completed a $21 million renovation, which included a full renewal of the lobby, guest rooms and meeting spaces, along with the installation of complimentary Wi-Fi access. The hotel offers 350,000 square feet of meeting and exhibition space, including a 25,000-square-foot ballroom.

The 329-room Wynfrey Hotel, which opened in 1986 and is one of the area's premier convention properties, is set for a major renovation and name change. The hotel first will undergo a multimillion-dollar overhaul of its guest rooms and public spaces, which is expected to begin this fall and be completed by early next spring. When the project is done, the property will officially become a Hyatt Regency.

Meeting Hotels
Major properties with meeting space in Birmingham include the 757-room Sheraton Birmingham Hotel, 329-room Wynfrey Hotel, 298-room DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Birmingham, 295-room Birmingham Marriott, 259-room Renaissance Ross Bridge Resort, 242-room Embassy Suites and 205-room Hilton Birmingham Perimeter Hotel.

For a more complete listing of area hotels, visit mcvenues.com.

Convention Center
The Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex; exhibition space, 220,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 74; (205) 458-8400

Airport Transit
Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, about a 10-minute drive to downtown. Transfer cost by taxi, $17; by shuttle (reservation only), about $59

Taxes
Room tax, 14%; sales tax, 10%; total tax on hotel rooms, 14%

Group Venues
Gabrella Manor, a Birmingham estate built in the late 1930s and now an official landmark, can accommodate private groups of up to 300 in a variety of indoor meeting spaces, as well as outdoor areas ranging from an intimate courtyard to a beautifully landscaped lawn. In-house catering is available. (205) 833-9754

A former iron factory, the Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark offers several sites for gatherings, including the Casting Shed, which holds up to 2,500 people standing or 900 seated, and the Water Tower, with a capacity for 350. On a nice day, the Spray Pond can host up to 300. Surrounding all are the ghosts of the heavy metal machinery that helped build Alabama. (205) 324-1911

Contact
Greater Alabama Convention & Visitors Bureau, (800) 458-8085