by Bryan Darrow | February 01, 2007

Cultural Coup

Since April 2005, five major cultural institutions have opened in new or renovated buildings, each with unique spaces available for special events, including the Jacques Herzog-designed Walker Arts Center, featuring a Wolfgang Puck restaurant; the Guthrie Theater, and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. On the horizon: a new 214-room Westin and the 136-room Ivy Tower + Residence, a Starwood Luxury Collection hotel, both to open later this year.

Syracuse, N.Y.
HQ Hotel in the Works

After years of planning, the city finally has given the nod to a new convention center hotel. The 350-room Westin Syracuse Convention Center, to open in 2009, will feature 17,000 square feet of meeting space and will be connected by sky bridge to the Oncenter Complex, a 99,000-square foot convention center. The 250-room Doubletree Hotel Syracuse is wrapping up a multimillion-dollar makeover following conversion from a Wyndham.

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AZ, Scottsdale

Hotel: Hotel Indigo Scottsdale (formerly a Hampton Inn). Opened: early January. Price tag: $17 million. Rooms: 126. Meeting space: TBD. Key features: renovation of guest rooms, meeting and public spaces.

CA, Monterey

Hotel: Hyatt Regency Mon-terey. Renovations completed: early February 2007. Price tag: $40 million. Rooms: 575. Meeting space: 40,000 square feet. Key changes: renovation of the lobby and the addition of a restaurant; a new spa opens by January 2008.

CO, Greenwood Village

Hotel: Doubletree Hotel Den-ver Tech (previously Hotel Denver Tech). Rebranding: early spring. Rooms: 305. Meeting space: 18,000 square feet. Key changes: renovation of guest rooms, exterior, meeting and public spaces; new signature restaurant and fitness center.

OAHU DEBUT.  The new Embassy Suites Hotel-Waikiki Beach Walk on Oahu, Hawaii, opened in December 2006. Owned by Outrigger Enterprises Group and operated by Hilton Hotels Corp., the all-suite resort features two towers with a combined 421 rooms, 24-hour business and fitness centers, an outdoor swimming pool with a waterfall, and 2,000 square feet of meeting space. (808) 921-2345;  

FL, Coral Gables

Hotel: Westin Colonnade Cor-al Gables (previously an Omni Hotel). Opened: Jan. 4. Price tag: $10 million. Rooms: 157. Meeting space: 23,000 square feet. Key features: renovated
guest rooms, meeting and public space; up-graded fitness center; new Cuban restaurant.

FL, Orlando

Hotel: Orlando Airport Mar-riott Hotel. Renovations completed: mid-January. Price tag: $12.5 million. Rooms: 486. Meeting space: approximately 29,500 square feet.
Key changes:
addition of ballroom and a makeover of guest rooms, concierge rooms, lounge, ballrooms, fitness center and lobby.

IA, Des Moines

Hotel: Des Moines Marriott Downtown. Renovations to be completed: early 2007. Price tag: $7 million. Rooms: 417. Meeting space: 25,000 square feet. Key changes: Phase One, to be finished next month, includes upgrading the guest rooms, meeting space, foyer and fitness area.

MO, Branson

Hotel: Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing. Opening: Feb. 14. Rooms: 243. Meeting space: 2,000 square feet. Key features: indoor pool and fitness center, 32-inch flat-panel TVs, Wi-Fi access.

OR, Portland

Hotel: Hotel Monaco Portland (previously 5th Avenue Suites Hotel). Renovations to be completed: March 8. Price tag: $4-6 million. Rooms: 221. Meeting space: 6,000 square feet. Key changes: upgraded lobby and guest rooms, which will have flat-screen plasma TVs.