by Morton D. Rosenbaum | December 01, 2004

Virginia Beach, Va.
Beyond the Beach
Construction of the new Virginia Beach Convention Center continues, with phase one scheduled to open in 2005. Set for completion in 2007, the new center will feature 209,958 square feet of meeting and exhibit space. Opening in spring 2005 will be the new 300-room Hilton Oceanfront Resort, offering approximately 14,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space along with three restaurants.

Columbia, S.C.
Open for Business
In September, the $37.3 million Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center made its debut. The new center features 142,600 square feet of meeting and exhibit space. Scheduled to be built next door, with a projected opening in early 2006, will be a 255-room Hilton hotel with 5,000 square feet of meeting space. In November, low-cost carrier Independence Air launched twice-daily nonstop service between Columbia International Airport and Tampa International Airport.

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AZ, Tucson
This month marks the debut of the 575-room JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa, featuring a 20,000-square-foot spa, seven dining options, a 27-hole golf course and 88,000 square feet of event space.

CA, Los Angeles
The Renaissance Los Angeles Hotel Airport completed a $10 million guest room renovation to all 499 rooms in October. The refurbishment gave the rooms a new “spa-inspired” look.

CA, Newport Beach
The 403-room Hyatt Regency Newport Beach wrapped up a $12 million tropical-theme renovation in October. Also refurbished is the 6,700-square-foot ballroom. The property sits on 26 acres and has 20,000 square feet of function space.

FL, West Palm Beach
The former Sheraton West Palm Beach Hotel reopened in October as the 352-room West Palm Beach Marriott,  the new headquarters hotel for the West Palm Beach Convention Center. The hotel offers 18,000 square feet of meeting space.

InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta


The buck starts here. Atlanta’s Buckhead area last month celebrated the grand opening of the highly anticipated InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta, a 422-room exercise in resplendence. Aside from the intangibles of high style, the property also provides 31,000 square feet of meeting space (all on one level), a spa and a kosher kitchen. (404) 946-9000;

GA, Atlanta
InterContinental debuted its new boutique-style brand last month with the debut of Hotel IndigoAtlanta Midtown. The chic property features two small meeting rooms totaling 532 square feet.

HI, Maui
The 806-room, 40-acre Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa wrapped up renovations to its meeting space in October, having refurnished the 1,200-capacity outdoor promenade and endowed the 17,000-square-foot grand ballroom with new picture windows and murals. In total, the property offers 100,000 square feet of meeting space, indoors and out.

IL, Chicago
In October, the 365-room Embassy Suites Hotel Chicago Downtown finished a $6.5 million renovation, polishing up all public spaces, guest rooms and meeting rooms, the latter of which span a total 6,404 square feet.

IL, Evanston
The 269-room Hotel Orrington reopened at the end of October following a $32 million renovation. Improvements include a complete overhaul of guest rooms and a new 12,000-square-foot, IACC-certified conference center, as well as a refurbishment of the property’s two ballrooms.

NV, Las Vegas
The 548-room Renaissance Las Vegas opens this month next door to the Las Vegas Convention Center, adding 14 stories and 20,000 square feet of casino-free meeting space to the area.