by Morton D. Rosenbaum | February 01, 2005

Raleigh, N.C.
New Center Being Built
Construction has begun on the new $192 million Raleigh Convention Center, to open in February 2008. The facility will feature 150,000 square feet of exhibit space, 16 meeting rooms and a ballroom seating 2,400. A 400-room Marriott hotel, to open at the same time, will be the headquarters property. The former Four Points Sheraton Crabtree is getting a $30 million revamp and will reopen in early 2006 as the Westin at Crabtree Valley.

Salt Lake City
More Space and Flights
An expansion of the Salt Palace Convention Center got under way last November, when construction began on a 145,000-square-foot exhibit hall and 80,000 square feet of new meeting space. Work is expected to finish in August 2006. In January, Delta Air Lines revealed plans to beef up operations at Salt Lake City International Airport with 13 new nonstop flights to several locations, including Austin and San Antonio, Texas; Maui, Hawaii; New Orleans; and Los Cabos, Mexico.

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AZ, Phoenix
The 299-room Crowne Plaza Phoenix-Airport has completed a $5.5 million renovation to round out its recent upgrade from a Holiday Inn Express. The property offers 5,400 square feet of meeting space, including a new 800-square-foot ballroom.

AZ, Scottsdale
The 210-room Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale debuted several new function spaces in December, including the 5,630-square-foot Ironwood Ballroom and three breakout rooms, boosting total event space to 36,000 square feet.

CA, Hollywood
The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel completed a $15 million renovation last month, giving its 302 guest rooms, 18,364 square feet of meeting space and lobby lounge a chic vintage aesthetic. Also new: a poolside lounge, a nightclub and a restaurant.

Hotel Victor

Victor victorious. Miami’s hopping South Beach area welcomed the Jacques Garcia-designed, 91-room Hotel Victor last month. Expect a full-size bar in every room, a rimless pool overlooking the Atlantic, a jellyfish-filled aquarium and, of course, a 6,000-square-foot spa. The property also offers a 25-seat boardroom and several lounges for events. (305) 428-1234;

GA, Savannah
The 347-room Hyatt Regency Savannah will add 5,000 square feet of meeting space (joining an existing 28,000 square feet) this month as well as a new restaurant.

IL, Chicago
The 800-room Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, adjacent to the convention center and home to a 12,000-square-foot ballroom of its own, wrapped up an $8 million guest room renovation this month, touching on every amenity from bed to bath.

IL, Itasca
The 295-room Eaglewood Resort & Spa transferred management to Benchmark Hospitality International in December. The property has
a 38,000-square-foot conference center and a 10,000-square-foot spa. Also on site: a six-lane bowling facility.

IA, Des Moines
The 285-room Holiday Inn University Park Hotel re-opens this month as the Sheraton West Des Moines, offering 18,000 square feet of meeting space.

MS, Biloxi
The 767-room Isle of Capri Casino Resort completed an $80 million expansion last month and now features 34,000 square feet of meeting space, a pool and a spa.

PR, San Juan
Following a $7 million renovation, the 240-room Wyndham Old San Juan became the Sheraton Old San Juan in December and now has 11,300 square feet of meeting space.

TX, Houston
The 977-room Hyatt Regency Houston completes $18 million in renovations this month, offering luxurious featherbeds in every guest room, along with 64,000 square feet of function space.