by Michael C. Lowe | September 01, 2014
Why Here?
Cities in the scenic Pacific Northwest are working hard to win more meetings business. Boise, Idaho (above), is doubling the size of the 50,000-square-foot Boise Center, and in Portland, Ore., progress continues on the creation of a new headquarters hotel.

Hotel News
More than $100 million is being invested to turn the Inn at Palmetto Bluff into the Inn at Palmetto Bluff, a Montage Resort. The Bluffton, S.C., property will add a spa, a fitness center, meeting facilities and 150 guest rooms to the existing 50 cottages on-site.

The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa recently completed a $30 million upgrade of its lobby, all 416 guest rooms and more than 37,000 square feet of meeting space.

100 Years Young
The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, N.C., celebrated its 100th birthday last year with a $25 million renovation of all public areas, 514 guest rooms and 55,000 square feet of meeting space.

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Local Update

The Homewood Suites Oceanfront Resort & Conference Center will open early next year as the first new hotel in Myrtle Beach in five years. The $25 million, 100-suite property will have a 300-seat conference center, three pools, a fire pit, a fitness center and a bistro. It is the only oceanfront property in the Homewood Suites chain.

The Crown Reef Resort recently finished upgrading its 514 guest rooms, which now feature new furnishings, wall coverings and kitchens. Also new on-site are a waterpark and an entertainment area with several dining outlets and a video arcade. The resort has an 11,480-square-foot ballroom that can be divided into eight sections.

Meeting Hotels: Properties include the 1,200-room Sands Resorts (comprising six resorts), 1,000-room Kingston Plantation Resorts (six resorts), 800-room Sea Mist Oceanfront Resort, 667-room The Breakers, 570-room Landmark Resort, 540-room Caravelle Resort, 514-room Crown Reef Resort & Conference Center, 491-room Springmaid Beach Resort & Conference Center, and 446-room Litchfield Beach & Golf Resort.

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

Convention Center: Myrtle Beach Convention Center; exhibit space, approximately 100,800 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 17; total meeting space, 250,000 square feet; (843) 918-1225

Airport Transit: Myrtle Beach International Airport, about three miles from downtown. Transfer cost by taxi, $13-$15. Many hotels offer free shuttle service.

Taxes: Room tax, 2.5%; local taxes, 4.5% or 5.5%; total tax on hotel rooms within city limits, 13%; outside the city, 12%

Group Venue:
 A new 100,000-square-foot indoor sports complex is set to open adjacent to the Myrtle Beach Convention Center next February. The facility will include eight basketball courts, 16 volleyball courts, a café, a retail area and an entertainment zone with a climbing wall. The $12.4 million complex will have a telescopic bleacher system to accommodate a variety of events and activities. (843) 626-7444

Contact: Myrtle Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, (800) 488-8998