by Tom Isler | October 01, 2005

Birmingham, Ala.
Expansions Abound
The city is considering a $497 million plan to add 240,000 square feet of exhibit space at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, as well as to create a new domed stadium and an entertainment district. Meanwhile, the $43 million expansion of Birmingham International Airport continues, with a new runway set to open by year-end 2006. In August, the 259-room Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa opened with a 12,000-square-foot spa and 20,000 square feet of meeting space. 

Tempe, Ariz.
Going Wireless
This thriving university town will be completely wireless by year-end. Scheduled to open in 2006 is the $63 million Tempe Center for the Arts, which will feature a 600-seat main theater, a 200-seat studio theater and a 3,400-square-foot banquet room. The 353-room Wyndham Buttes Resorts celebrated the opening of its Japanese spa, Narande, which features five treatment rooms, in August.

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CT, Greenwich
The 374-room Hyatt Regency Greenwich completed a $1.65 million renovation of its 2,800-square-foot ballroom in September. The hotel has 15 meeting rooms and a 100-seat amphitheater.

KY, Louisville
The 1,300-room Galt House Hotel and Suites is entering the final phase of a $60 million top-to-bottom renovation, which already has redesigned 600 suites, the 23,300-square-foot Grand Ballroom and the 15,000-square-foot exhibit hall. The Galt House added new meeting rooms, for a
total of 50, a rooftop fitness center and a three-story glass-enclosed atrium. The remaining 700 guest rooms will be renovated by next spring.

NY, New York
Affinia Hospitality rebranded its Southgate Tower Hotel as Affinia Manhattan following a $15 million renovation in July. The 526-suite hotel has more than 8,900 square feet of meeting space.

Hotel Max

Maximum comfort.
The modish Hotel Max opens in downtown Seattle this month with two important modern amenities: flat-screen TVs and wireless Internet. The 163-room boutique hotel, within walking distance of the Washington State Convention and Trade Center, has more than 150 original works of art on display in corridors and guest rooms. A boardroom seats 14. (206) 728-6299;

OH, Cincinnati
The Millennium Hotel Cincinnati took over the adjacent Four Points by Sheraton Cincinnati Downtown in August. The combined property has a total of 872 guest rooms and will become the official hotel of the Cinergy Convention Center when the center reopens in 2006.

OH, Cleveland
The Cleveland Marriott East opened last month with 295 rooms and 14,800 square feet of meeting space, including a 7,500-square-foot ballroom.

TX, Austin
The 300-room Barton Creek Resort & Spa expanded its Darrell Royal Ballroom to 8,240 square feet. The property offers 72 holes of championship golf and more than 30,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 156-seat amphitheater.

TX, Dallas
In September, the 1,610-room Wyndham Anatole Hotel unveiled a new concierge floor with a private lounge and bar offering panoramic views of Dallas. The hotel also has updated its Wedgwood Ballroom and added a bar with a patio overlooking a sculpture garden. The property has more than 341,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including a 1,000-seat auditorium, six ballrooms and 76 meeting rooms.

VA, Staunton
The fully renovated 124-room Stonewall Jackson Hotel and Conference Center reopened last month as part of a revitalization effort in downtown Staunton. The property now offers nearly 11,000 square feet of meeting space, including a new 4,450-square-foot ballroom and the hotel’s original 2,726-square-foot ballroom.