by Martha Cooke | December 01, 2003
City Beat

City Adds Rooms, Space
In October, the George R. Brown Convention Center added 130,000 square feet of exhibit space, bringing total event space at the center up to one million square feet. This month, the center is joined by an attached headquarters hotel, the 1,200-room Hilton Americas
Houston, which offers 91,500 square feet of meeting space. Also in October, the 300-room Sugar Land Marriott Town Square opened.

New and Improved
Last month, the 4,100-seat Milwaukee Theatre reopened following a $42 million renovation. Also being revamped is the old Pabst Brewery, which is being turned into a mixed-used complex opening in 2005 near the convention center. Meanwhile, one of two headquarters hotels, the 484-room Hyatt Regency Milwaukee, will renovate its meeting space this winter. Across town, near Marquette University, the 189-room boutique Ambassador Hotel is undergoing a
$3 million upgrade.

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CA, Long Beach
Work is under way on a new $5 million executive meeting center at the 393-room Long Beach Hilton. Hotel officials expect the 12,000-square-foot facility to be accredited by the International Association of Conference Centers when it opens early next year, at which point the Hilton will offer more than 32,000 square feet of meeting space.

CA, Woodland Hills
A renovation and expansion is taking place at the Warner Center Marriott in this suburb of Los Angeles. The hotel’s 16,000 square feet of meeting space is being upgraded with Wi-Fi Internet access, and 13 guest rooms are being added, bringing the total room count at the property to 476 upon the project’s completion this month.

OK, Oklahoma City
Groundbreaking is set for next summer for the $35 million Embassy Suites HotelOklahoma City. The 245-suite property, in the Bricktown neighborhood, will open in January 2006 with 12,000 square feet of meeting space.

OR, Corvallis
In October, a Hilton Garden Inn opened in this city, approximately 90 miles south of Portland. The property features 128 guest rooms and two meeting rooms and is adjacent to the Oregon State University Conference Complex, which has 80,000 square feet of meeting space plus a 1,200-seat auditorium.

NOW ROOMIER. In September, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort & Spa broke ground on the 42-room Falling Rock Lodge, an addition to the existing 295 rooms at this western Pennsylvania retreat. The lodge, to open next summer, will include a 50,000-square-foot clubhouse and 1,350 square feet of meeting space, giving the property a total of 24,350 square feet for meetings and functions. (800) 422-2736;

SC, Columbia
In September, the Embassy Suites Hotel Columbia/Greystone wrapped up a three-year renovation project. The 214-suite hotel underwent a $6 million upgrade to public areas, guest rooms and the hotel’s more than 15,000 square feet of meeting and function space.

TN, Nashville
The 2,881-room Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center rolled out a series of technological upgrades in September, including check-in from the airport, high-speed Internet access in Opryland’s 600,000 square feet of function space, and a new system of electronic locks in the meeting area for greater security. By next fall, Wi-Fi hot spots will be added to public spaces throughout the hotel.

TX, Frisco
Ground was broken in September on a new Embassy Suites HotelFrisco and the adjacent 100,000-square-foot Frisco Convention Center. When it opens in conjunction with the center in spring 2005, the $40 million hotel will offer 320 guest suites and approximately 7,500 square feet of on-site meeting space. The city of Frisco is about 30 miles north of Dallas.