Museums and Motors
A $2.5 billion tourism initiative will invest in projects, such as Pier Wisconsin, opening in 2006. It will house Discovery World, a science museum devoted to the Great Lakes. Renovation of the Bayshore Mall is under way, where restaurants, shops and entertainment will fill one million square feet of space, to open in October 2006. The Harley-Davidson Motor Co. plans a $60 million museum to celebrate the motorcycle’s history; phase one will open in 2006.
Hotel and Hall of Fame
The first phase of the $600 million expansion of the Phoenix Civic Plaza continues, with the new West Building adding approximately 150,000 square feet of exhibit and meeting space to open in 2006. A 1,000-room Sheraton hotel will be built two blocks away, to open in 2008 when the Civic Plaza project wraps up. Arriving in downtown later this year will be a branch of Cleveland’s popular Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum.
CA, Morongo Indian Reservation
Following a soft opening in November, the $250 million Morongo
Casino, Resort & Spa celebrated its grand opening last month,
debuting 310 rooms, a casino floor featuring 2,000 slot machines,
and Sage, an on-site luxury spa. Meeting space includes an
executive boardroom and a divisible ballroom, together totaling
12,000 square feet.
The 200-room St. Julien Hotel & Spa arrives this month. Along
with views of the Flatiron Mountains, guest rooms offer spacious
bathrooms, each averaging 400 square feet. Meeting space totals
23,000 square feet, and the 10,000-square-foot spa provides more
than a few treatments based on the state’s indigenous plant
The 620-room Radisson Waikiki Prince Kuhio completed extensive
renovations in November, which included redesigning the
8,000-square-foot ballroom, 3,000 square feet of meeting space and
all prefunction areas with an eye toward local Hawaiian character.
Also new: wireless Internet capability in all public areas.
FRESH ORANGE. Anaheim, Calif.’s 654-room Hyatt
Regency Orange County recently completed a $7.5 million renovation
of its South Tower guest rooms, the final touch on a total $52
million transformation. Over the last several years, every room has
been refreshed, with a new aesthetic emphasis on granite and dark
oak. For meeting space, the hotel offers 65,000 square feet. (714)
The former Radisson O’Hare was converted in November to the Wyndham
O’Hare Airport. The 467-room hotel, a mile and a half from the
airport, already offers 30,000 square feet of meeting space and
awaits a $6 million refurbishment that will appoint each guest room
with Wyndham brand furniture.
LA, New Orleans
The 759-room Radisson Hotel New Orleans was converted to the Park
Plaza New Orleans in November, following a $12 million renovation.
A brief four blocks from the famous French Quarter, the
convention-friendly property offers 65,000 square feet of meeting
NV, Las Vegas
Last month, the 5,034-room MGM Grand added 51 VIP-ready SkyLofts,
luxury upper-level suites ranging in size from 1,400 to 6,000
square feet. SkyLoft perks include personalized stationery for each
guest, as well as private steam rooms. The property offers three
ballrooms, the largest measuring 62,000 square feet.
Starwood Hotels opened the 243-room Sheraton Read House last
November after a $12 million renovation of the 1871 structure. An
elegant hot spot in the 1930s, the property had been vacant for
decades before its current incarnation. The hotel now provides 12
meeting rooms, totaling about 19,000 square feet.