by Kaylee Hultgren | September 01, 2007

Tulsa, Okla.
Expansion Continues

The Tulsa Convention Center expansion, which wraps up in 2008, will add 56,000 square feet of meeting space. Anchoring downtown’s East End mixed-use development project is an 8,000-seat baseball stadium and 450,000 square feet of retail and dining venues. Several new hotels are under construction. Slated to open in 2008 are a 140-room Aloft and a 121-room Hilton Garden Inn. In April 2007, ExpressJet began daily nonstop service from Tulsa to Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Diego.

Birmingham, Ala.
Adding Hotels

More than $100 million in hotel projects is underway. A 120-room Marriott Residence Inn is scheduled to break ground this fall, with opening day set for early 2008. The Federal Reserve building downtown will be transformed into a 200-room Luxury Collection hotel and is set to open in 2009. The 757-room Sheraton Birmingham is in the midst of a $17 million renovation.

read more

CA, San Diego

Hotel: Hilton San Diego. Renovations completed: July. Price tag: $18 million. Rooms: 357. Meeting space: 34,000 square feet. Key changes: upgraded guest rooms and public areas, a 7,500-square-foot spa with a fitness center and private sundeck, a bayside restaurant, five tennis courts and a private dock area.

FL, Pensacola

Hotel: Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front (formerly the Hilton Garden Inn). Rebranded: July. Price tag: $1.6 million. Rooms: 273. Meeting space: 30,000 square feet. Key changes: a 24-hour business center, indoor and outdoor pools, a newly remodeled Cajun-Asian restaurant and a sushi bar.

FL, Tampa

Hotel: InterContinental Tampa (formerly the Wyndham Westshore). Rebranded: August. Price tag: $18 million. Rooms: 323. Meeting space: 21,000 square feet. Key features: a rooftop pool, a Shula’s Steak House, high-speed wireless throughout the property and iPod docking stations.

Renaissance M Street Hotel Washington, D.C.Capital Gains.The 355-room Renaissance M Street Hotel Washington, D.C., reopened in July, following a $25 million makeover. Improvements include remodeled guest rooms; a new cafe; a new lobby lounge called the M bar; the M Brasserie, a fine-dining restaurant serving regional cuisine; and increased meeting space, now totaling 12,050 square feet. (202) 775-0800;

GA, Savannah

Hotel: Four Points by Sheraton Historic Savannah. Opened: July. Rooms: 127. Meeting space: 2,000 square feet, plus two boardrooms. Key features: a restaurant, a piano bar, an outdoor pool and fitness center. All guest rooms offer flat screen TVs and complimentary high-speed Internet.

IL, Chicago

Hotel: Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago. Opening: December. Rooms: 339. Meeting space: 20,000 square feet. Key features: The 92-story property will feature nine separate meeting rooms, The Spa at Trump, a full-service health club, a lounge, a fine-dining restaurant, and 90,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

LA, New Orleans

Hotel: Renaissance Pere Marquette Hotel. Renovations completed: first phase, Sep-tem-ber; second phase, end of this year. Price tag: $5 million. Rooms: 272. Meeting space: 6,500 square feet. Key changes: in the project’s first phase, a restaurant, led by a soon-to-be-announced celebrity chef; in the second phase, upgrades to the hotel’s jazz-themed lobby and new carpeting in the meeting rooms.

TX, Dallas

Hotel: The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas. Opened: August. Rooms: 218. Meeting space: 14,000 square feet. Key features: a 12,000-square-foot spa, a lounge, a signature restaurant, a fitness center, an outdoor pool, a 9,450-square-foot ballroom, and high-speed wireless Internet in guest rooms and business areas.