by Michael J. Shapiro | November 01, 2013

The board of the Pennsylvania Convention Center in June selected private operator SMG to manage and operate the facility, a deal that was on the verge of approval by the governor's office at press time. The board also extended labor agreements into 2014, part of an effort to ease labor costs, address complaints about service levels and increase long-term bookings.

The 246-room Hilton Home2 Suites by Hilton Philadelphia-Convention Center opened late this summer, adjacent to the Pennsylvania Convention Center at 12th and Arch streets. The property offers more than 2,000 square feet of its own meeting space.

Marriott expects to open the Courtyard Phila­delphia South at The Navy Yard in January, 2014, a 172-room new-build on the Navy Yard business campus in South Center City. The property will include 2,000 square feet of meeting space, an upscale restaurant and lounge with park views, and a fitness center.
In September, the 116-room Rittenhouse Hotel, on Rittenhouse Square in Center City, debuted five new hospitality suites and a new event space as part of a $10 million renovation. The new Park Suites, the largest of which offers 1,330 square feet of space for up to 25 attendees, provide views of the square and offer a living area, dining space and a private kitchen and bar. The event space, the Boathouse, features a 1,414-square-foot area on the second floor that can host up to 130 people. The hotel now has more than 8,470 square feet of meeting space.

Meeting Hotels
Properties in Center City, in the heart of Philadelphia, include the 1,408-room Philadelphia Marriott Downtown; 776-room Sheraton Phil­adelphia Downtown Hotel; 581-room Loews Philadelphia Hotel; 445-room Sonesta Hotel Phil­adelphia; 313-room Westin Philadelphia; 301-room Radisson Blu Warwick Hotel Philadelphia; and 299-room Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia.

To find and compare properties, and send RFPs, go to

Convention Center
Pennsylvania Convention Center; exhibit space, approximately 679,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 79; (215) 418-4700 or (800) 428-9000; 

Occupancy tax, 8.2%; sales tax, 7%; total tax on hotel rooms, 15.2%

Osteria offers cozy spaces for groups --
and great Italian food.
 Group Venue

Osteria, a local-favorite Italian eatery on North Broad Street, has a number of options for private events. Small groups of 8 to 14 can reserve the Kitchen Table room, while the Wine Room can seat up to 30. A glass-enclosed patio can host 60 seated or 75 for a reception. Buyouts are available for up to 130 seated or 200 for a reception. Pasta-making classes or sommelier-led tastings of wine, beer, bourbon and more are available. (215) 763-0920;  

The Philadelphia Con­vention & Visitors Bureau, (215) 636-3300;