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by Michael C. Lowe | December 01, 2012
New CVB
On July 1, the City of Gatlinburg, Tenn., formed the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau to help market the Great Smoky Mountains destination and its convention center.
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Nashville
The new 1.2 million-square-foot Music City Center is expected to open in early 2013 with a 350,000-square-foot exhibit hall, a 57,000-square-foot ballroom and LEED Silver certification.

Adjacent to the new convention center, the 800-room Omni Hotel Nashville also is scheduled for a 2013 opening. The $250 million project includes more than 80,000 square feet of function space; for more details, go to "Next Year's Grand Openings".

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum will unveil a $75 million expansion next year. The 220,000-square-foot upgrade will more than double the facility's size and include an 800-seat theater and a 20,000-square-foot glass-enclosed ballroom with sweeping views of the city's skyline.

Late next year, a new Downtown Hyatt Place will open with 255 rooms, 3,600 square feet of meeting space and a full bar.

This month, the 340-room Loews Vanderbilt will begin a renovation that will include upgraded corridors and lobby space, and a new restaurant and bar. The property, which offers 24,000 square feet of meeting space, will remain open during the project, though its lobby, bar and restaurant will be closed. Work is expected to finish in May.

In May, the Home2 Suites by Hilton Nashville Vanderbilt opened, featuring 119 guest rooms with fully equipped kitchens, iPod docking stations and complimentary Wi-Fi.