by Bryan Darrow | April 01, 2007

McAllen, Texas

New Center Opens

In March, the new McAllen Convention Center opened for business in this city at the southern tip of Texas. The center features 175,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 61,400-square-foot exhibit hall. City officials, who rejected several bids for a full-service, supporting headquarters hotel, are continuing to evaluate their options. Opening by year-end is a 100-room Homewood Suites by Hilton.

Jackson, Miss.

In the Works

In summer 2006, the city broke ground on the new $61 million, 264,500-square-foot Capital City Convention Center, set to open downtown in fall 2008. Connected to the Mississippi TelCom Center, the center will feature a 60,000-square-foot exhibit hall. Combined, the two facilities will offer a total of 120,000 square feet of meeting space. Also opening in 2008 is the 140-room Embassy Suites Jackson/Ridgeland, which will offer 6,000 square feet of meeting space.

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AR, Little Rock

Hotel: La Quinta Inn & Suites Little Rock Downtown. Renovations to be completed: summer. Price tag: $4 million. Rooms: 260. Meeting space: 5,500 square feet. Key changes: upgrading guest rooms, lobby, meeting and public spaces.

IL, Rosemont

Hotel: Hyatt Regency O’Hare. Reopened: February. Price tag: $60 million. Rooms: 1,100. Meeting space: more than 110,000 square feet. Key changes: newly designed public spaces and a new restaurant and bar, along with upgraded and additional meeting facilities, all of which will be completed in time for the grand opening celebration on May 1.

MD, Bethesda

Hotel: Bethesda Marriott Hotel. Renovations completed: December 2006. Price tag: $12 million. Rooms: 407. Meeting space: more than 16,000 square feet. Key changes: renovated guest rooms, fitness center, lobby and Grand Ballroom (Congressional Ballroom refurbishes this summer); added a new Italian restaurant.

Resort at Singer Island

Coastal comforts.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. debuted a new resort off the Atlantic coast in Palm Beach County, Fla., last month. The $210 million Resort at Singer Island features 239 all-suite guest rooms, a 2,500-square-foot poolside and oceanfront terrace, a spa, fitness and business centers, restaurants, a jogging path and 4,000 square feet of meeting space. (561) 340-1700;  


NY, New York City

Hotel: Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers. Renovations completed: January. Price tag: $10 million. Rooms: 1,747. Meeting space: 60,000 square feet. Key changes: upgraded guest rooms and redesigned several key areas, including the Presidential Suite, 14,000-square-foot Metropolitan Ballroom, 3,000-square-foot Lenox Ballroom, restaurant and fitness center.

OH, Columbus

Hotel: Crowne Plaza Hotel Columbus-Dublin (formerly a Clarion). Opened: January. Price tag: $4 million. Rooms: 217. Meeting space: 14,083 square feet. Key changes: The roster of top-to-bottom changes includes upgrades to the meeting space, guest rooms, restaurant, public corridors, carpeting, furniture and the main entrance. All work is on track to be completed by this spring.

TN, Memphis

Hotel: The Westin Memphis Beale Street. Opened: March. Price tag: $40 million. Rooms: 203. Meeting space: 6,768 square feet. Key features: fitness center, business center with complimentary high-speed wireless Internet, gift shop, restaurant, bar and Starbucks coffee shop.

WA, Federal Way

Hotel: Courtyard Seattle Federal Way. Renovations completed: January. Price tag: $1.3 million. Rooms: 160. Meeting space: 1,640 square feet. Key changes: upgraded guest rooms, lobby and restaurant, as well as revamped meeting space.