by Sarah J.F. Braley | September 01, 2015
Why here?
Old and the new are represented throughout the city, which has a rich history encompassing some seminal Texas moments (remember the Alamo?). The convention center is expanding, hotels are upgrading and the shopping/dining scene -- on the River Walk (pictured) and elsewhere -- is booming.

 Renovations are complete at the Hotel Contessa. The property's 10,000 square feet of meeting space and all 265 guest rooms were redone.    

 The 146-room Hotel Emma will debut in November. The property is in the 121-year-old Pearl Brewery's brew house. The Pearl, on the city's River Walk, also features a Culinary Institute of America campus and the circular Pearl Stable event venue.

The JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country's Flyin' Lion taps into the food-truck craze, serving fare you choose to fit your event theme. The resort has 61,000 square feet of outdoor event space.
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Local Update

 The $325 million expansion of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center was topped off last December, three months early. Construction will finish up next January, at which time the facility will offer 514,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space, 270,000 square feet of new exhibit space, 85,000 square feet of column-free multipurpose space, a 54,000-square-foot ballroom, 70 meeting rooms, and a wraparound balcony with views of downtown and the River Walk.

 The 1,002-room JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa will begin a $16 million expansion in September, adding a new 13,000-square-foot ballroom pavilion and putting in a new pool, a spa, cabanas, two more water slides and an artificial-turf event lawn at its River Bluff Water Experience. The project should be completed by spring 2016. The stand-alone ballroom will bring total event space at the property to 278,000 square feet. Also on-site are two TPC golf courses, the Lantana Spa and seven restaurants.

 The 498-room La Cantera Hill Country Resort & Spa, a Destination Hotel, reopened in May following upgrades to the lobby and entrance, the pool area and an outdoor event space, plus the addition of two restaurants, SweetFire and Primero. Further work will add a new junior ballroom and four new breakout rooms, for a total of 56,000  square feet of meeting space, which should be ready in the fall. A Destination Spa and a signature restaurant are set to open in February 2016. Counting the outdoor areas, the property has 115,000 square feet of event space.