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by Lisa A. Grimaldi | August 01, 2016
Why here?
The Empire State offers inspirational settings for meetings and incentives, ranging from sophisticated cities to leafy suburbs to pristine mountain and lake communities. Whether your event is Upstate or Downstate, New York has a wealth of hotels, resorts and convention facilities to choose from.


ELSEWHERE UPSTATE
 The Saratoga Casino Hotel in Saratoga Springs has unveiled its $40 million renovation and expansion. The property has 117 guest rooms, 3,000 square feet of meeting space and a Morton's Steakhouse eatery.

 The 116-room Westin Buffalo will open in October. The property, part of the city's Delaware North mixed-use office/shopping complex, will have four meeting rooms, a fitness center and two restaurants.


AN ICON CHANGES
The Waldorf Astoria New York will convert up to 1,100 of its 1,413 rooms into condos beginning in spring 2017. When the three-year project is completed, the guest-room count will be circa 300-500.
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ROCHESTER

Local Update
 The 338-room Hyatt Regency Hotel Rochester, which is linked to city's convention center via skybridge, will undergo a $15 million renovation. The property has 20,000 square feet of flexible function space, including 10 meeting rooms and two ballrooms.

 The 106-room Hilton Garden Inn Rochester Downtown debuted last year. The hotel, which has a fitness center and an indoor pool, is within walking distance of the city's convention center and offers 3,500 square feet of meeting and event space.

 The new Port of Rochester Marina was unveiled this spring. The $22 million, city-owned marina, on the Genessee River's west bank near where it empties into Lake Ontario, covers nearly five acres and has slips for up to 84 boats. The project is part of an ambitious effort the city has launched to boost economic activity around the port and its neighborhood. Developers are being sought to build a hotel and condos at the marina.

Meeting Hotels: There are more than 7,500 hotel rooms in the city; 1,200 are within one mile of the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center. Connected to the center are the 460-room Rochester Radisson Riverside and 338-room Hyatt Regency Rochester.

Other properties in the city include the 217-room Holiday Inn Rochester Downtown; 155-room Strathallan Rochester, a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel; and 106-room Hilton Garden Inn Rochester Downtown.

To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, visit mcvenues.com.

Convention Center: Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center; exhibit space, approximately 50,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 25; (585) 232-7200

Airport Transit: Greater Rochester International Airport, about 10 miles from downtown. Transfer cost by taxi, $20-25 to downtown

Taxes: Room tax, 6%; sales tax, 8%; total tax on hotel rooms, 14%

Group Venue: The Strong National Museum of Play is a wonderland of childhood and adult delights. Check out the Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden, as well as exhibits for everything from robots to comic book heroes to the toy hall of fame. Private events can be held after hours in several sections of the museum; groups of up to 250 guests are accommodated. 585-410-6332

Contact: Visit Rochester, (585) 279-8315