by Bryan Darrow | October 01, 2006

Montgomery, Ala.
New Center Set for ’07

The new Montgomery Convention Center, which replaces the old Montgomery Civic Center, is on track to open in October 2007. The facility, which will be connected to a new 347-room Renaissance property, will feature 112,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space and a 2,000-seat performing arts center. The project will bring the city’s guest room count to 6,500.

Albuquerque, N.M.
Event Facility Planned

Plans are moving ahead for a new $125 million, 10,000-seat event facility to be built in the city’s downtown district, south of the Albuquerque Convention Center. Meanwhile, the convention center itself is undergoing $6 million in upgrades, including the addition of a new business center and wireless hot spots. The 228-room Sandia Resort opened recently with 35,000 square feet of meeting space, as well as a 12,000-square-foot spa and an 18-hole golf course.

read more

FL, St. Petersburg

Hotel: Courtyard St. Peters-burg Downtown (formerly The Pennsylvania Hotel). Opened: Oct. 1. Rooms: 128. Meeting space: 806 square feet. Key features: an indoor pool and a spa.

HI, Lihue

Hotel: Hilton Kauai Beach Resort (formerly Kauai Beach Hotel & Resort). Renovations completed: Sept. 15. Price tag: $17 million. Rooms: 350. Meeting space: 13,000 square feet. Key changes: upgraded guest rooms and the 8,600-square-foot ballroom.

IN, French Lick

Hotel: French Lick Springs Resort & Casino. Reopens: Nov. 5. Price tag: $382 million. Rooms: 442. Meeting space: 35,000 square feet, plus a 35,000-square-foot exhibit hall. Key features: a new 84,000-square-foot casino/entertainment complex, a spa, a salon, a health club, a bowling alley and 45 holes of golf.

Westin Chicago North Shore

NORTHERN LIGHTS.A new Westin property is opening this month in Chicago, 16 miles north of O’Hare International Airport. The 411-room Westin Chicago North Shore features a business center, an indoor heated pool, a WestinWorkout gym, a 14,832-square-foot grand ballroom and three junior ballrooms, for a grand total of 35,000 square feet of meeting and event space. (847) 777-6500;


MI, Ann Arbor

Hotel: Holiday Inn Hotel & SuitesÐAnn Arbor. Opened: August. Rooms: 107. Meeting space: 1,300 square feet. Key features: an indoor pool, a fitness center, a business center and wireless Internet.

MO, Kansas City

Hotel:Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel (formerly the KCI Air-port Hotel). Renovations completed: Sept. 30. Price tag: $2.5 million. Rooms: 249. Meeting space: 3,900 square feet. Key changes: upgrades to all guest rooms and public space, as well as a redesigned International Ballroom.

NC, Charlotte

Hotel: Doubletree Charlotte Airport Hotel (formerly the Wyndham Garden Hotel). Open-ed: Sept. 28. Price tag: $3 million. Rooms: 173. Meeting space: 2,200 square feet. Key changes: added a business cen-ter, upgraded banquet facilities and refurbished guest rooms.

NY, Saratoga Springs

Hotel: The Saratoga Hotel & Conference Center Reno-vations completed: August (except for the ballroom, scheduled for March 2007). Price tag: $11 million. Rooms: 242. Meeting space: 46,000 square feet. Key changes: upgraded guest rooms, meeting and public space, and added a new restaurant.

OR, Portland

Hotel: Ace Hotel Portland. Opened: Oct. 1. Rooms: 79. Meeting space: 2,400 square feet. Key features: in the landmark 94-year-old former Clyde Hotel, offers wireless Internet and a well-stocked DVD library.