by Sarah J.F. Braley | September 01, 2010
Local Update:The owners of Suffolk Downs, a historic racing park in East Boston, have proposed building a $600 million resort complex that would offer a number of gaming options. The project would begin with the renovation of the park's current 800,000-square-foot facilities, followed by the construction of a luxury hotel with a spa plus new restaurants and nightclubs. Construction is contingent on state lawmakers approving expanded gaming for Massachusetts.

In April, the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, which operates the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center and the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center, launched Conventions C.A.R.E. (Com­munity Assistance by Respon­sible Events), which helps all involved in shows donate nonperishable items to local nonprofits.

Local officials are contemplating ways to expand the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center and the possibility of building a hotel next door with approximately 1,000 rooms. Learn more at

The new 3,300-square-foot Seasons Ball­room has opened at the 201-room Millennium Bostonian Hotel. The property has a total of 7,084 square feet of meeting space.

A $44 million renovation of the 1,098-room Marriott Copley Place has been completed. Three meeting rooms were added, each with more than 1,000 square feet of space. The hotel's total meeting space now comes to 70,000 square feet.

The 383-room Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel has been sold to FelCor Lodging Trust for $98.5 million. Fairmont will continue to manage the property through a long-term contract. The hotel offers approximately 23,000 square feet of meeting space.

Meeting Hotels: There are more than 22,000 guest rooms in Boston and Cambridge combined, and 36,715 rooms in Greater Boston. To explore hotel options, visit

Convention Centers: Boston Convention & Exhibition Center; exhibit space, 516,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 84; (617) 954-2000;

John B. Hynes Vet­erans Memorial Con­vention Center; exhibit space, approximately 174,980 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 35; (617) 954-2000;

Airport Transit: Lo­gan Inter­national Airport, about three miles from downtown Boston and one mile from the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Transfer cost by taxi, $20 to $35; by Silver Line rapid transit bus, $2

Taxes: Room tax, 14.45%; sales tax, 6.25%, total tax on hotel rooms, 14.45%

Group Venue:
 In Harvard Square, the Russell House Tavern is a New American establishment that opened this past April. All menu ingredients come from within a 20-mile radius of the restaurant. A private dining room can hold up to 40 and can be divided in two; A/V equipment and free Wi-Fi are available for events. (617) 50-3055;

CVB Services: Greater Bos­ton Convention & Visitors Bureau, (617) 867-8288 or (888) 733-2678;