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by Michael C. Lowe and Alane Trafford | October 01, 2011
Drawing crowds
Of the 20 largest conventions hosted in Atlanta during the first half of this year, 17 surpassed their attendance goals.
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Local Update
The 1,260-room Hyatt Regency Atlanta is in the midst of a $60 million renovation. Work on the entryways, lobby and lobby bar is already completed, while the guest rooms, main ballroom and meeting space are expected to be completed in December. The property has 180,000 square feet of meeting space.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Interna­tional Air­port currently is undergoing a $5.4 billion revamp that will expand, repair and upgrade various sections of the facility. Next April, a new international terminal will be completed, and Concourse E will see a 900,000-square-foot expansion that includes 10 additional gates and approximately 1,100 new parking spaces.

The Georgia Aquarium completed an expansion in April to accommodate its new dolphin exhibit, Dolphin Tales. The new space includes a viewing gallery, a 25-foot long underwater viewing window, interactive displays and a live dolphin show. The aquarium has several event spaces, including the 23,000-square-foot Oceans Ballroom.

The College Football Hall of Fame is relocating to a $50 million multilevel facility next to the Georgia World Congress Center. The 50,000-square-foot hall is expected to open in fall 2013 with exhibits and a large outdoor screen for viewing games.

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights will open in 2013, showcasing contributions made by Atlantans and Georgians to the civil rights movement. The 75,000-square-foot museum will have several event spaces, including a 200-seat reception space that overlooks the central atrium.