by Tom Isler | November 01, 2005

Erie, Pa.
Center in the Works
Ground was broken in August on the $44 million Bayfront Convention Center on Lake Erie. The facility will feature 30,000 square feet of exhibit space, 14,500 square feet of meeting space and a 13,500-square-foot ballroom. Connected to the center will be a 203-room Sheraton with 6,000 square feet of meeting space. Both should open by mid-2007. Opening next summer is the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, a research facility and museum with 3,500 square feet of event space.

La Vista, Neb.
Complex Plans
Three hotels and an 80,000-square-foot convention center, a joint  venture of John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts and the city of La Vista, will break ground in March 2006. The three hotels, a 260-suite Embassy Suites, a 220-room Courtyard by Marriott and a 120-room Residence Inn by Marriott, will be connected to the convention center. The project is set to open by fall 2007.

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CA, San Francisco
The 260-room St. Regis Hotel opens this month in San Francisco’s Yerba Buena neighborhood. The property has more than 15,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, including a 4,640-square-foot ballroom and 12 meeting rooms, a 7,500-square-foot outdoor terrace, and a 9,000-square-foot Remède Spa. The entire property is equipped with wireless Internet.

MI, Detroit
The 1,298-room Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center renovated roughly a quarter of its 100,000 square feet of meeting space in September, updated its bathrooms, and added new mattresses and linens to its guest rooms.

NJ, Long Branch
The Ocean Place Resort & Spa redesigned its 254 guest rooms in September and added 1,500 square feet to its outdoor patio. Overall, the resort offers 38 meeting rooms for a total of 40,000 square feet, including the 10,300-square-foot Atlantic Ballroom.

The Westin Bellevue

A complex newcomer. The Westin Bellevue (Wash.) opens this month with 337 guest rooms, 17 meeting rooms and more than 25,500 square feet of meeting space. The hotel, 15 minutes from downtown Seattle, is the centerpiece of an upscale retail and dining complex near the Meydenbauer Center. Among the amenities are a fitness center, a restaurant and high-speed wireless Internet. (425) 638-1000;

NY, New York
The Residence Inn by Marriott ManhattanTimes Square will become the brand’s first property in the city when it opens this month. The hotel will feature 357 suites, three boardrooms and two meeting rooms.
The famous Peacock Alley restaurant at the Waldorf=Astoria reopens this month following a $5.5 million renovation and a four-year hiatus. The restaurant has been redesigned to seat 96 people in the main dining area; two additional private dining rooms accommodate 50 each.

TN, Knoxville
The 130-room Cumberland House Hotel opened in September adjacent to the Knoxville Convention Center. The $13 million property offers high-speed wireless Internet, a health club and a 24-hour business center. In addition to a ballroom that seats 140 banquet-style, the hotel has four meeting rooms and a 12-person boardroom.

UT, Salt Lake City
The 124-room Homewood Suites by Hilton Salt Lake City Downtown opens this month with three meeting rooms (totaling 1,800 square feet) and a business center.

VA, Reston
The 518-room Hyatt Regency Reston finished a $12 million renovation in September. The 12,300-square-foot Grand Ballroom and the 3,600-square-foot Regency Ballroom were redesigned, as were the guest rooms, conference suites and Regency Club Level rooms. In addition to the two ballrooms, the hotel offers 20 meeting rooms that account for 16,100 square feet of meeting space.