Meetings & Conventions: Newsline
Under construction is a new, as-yet-unnamed Barcelona convention
center that will be completed in time for the opening of the
Universal Forum of Cultures, which will be held here in April 2004.
The facility, being built alongside the Mediterranean Sea, will
contain 210,000 square feet of exhibit space and 90,000 square feet
of divisible meeting space but will not be available to conventions
until 2005. Five new hotels with a combined total of 2,000 guest
rooms will host attendees.
The new Forum Building also is slated to open in 2004. Standing
at one end of the Avinguda Diagonal, Barcelona’s main thoroughfare,
the venue will contain a 3,200-seat auditorium.
Two meeting rooms for 120 people each are now available at the
Nou Camp Stadium, home to the city’s famed soccer club. The rooms,
however, can be rented only on non-match days.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts will soon begin construction on the
Sheraton Salobre Hotel & Golf Resort, scheduled to open in late
2003. On the Southern coast of the island of Grand Canary, the
310-room resort will offer three meeting rooms and 27 holes of
In late March, a new upscale hotel broke ground on the island of
Tenerife. The $50 million, 365-room La Gaceta, slated to open at
the end of 2004, was designed by Austrian Friedensreich
Hundertwasser, who died in 2000. Expect the odd, for the architect
was known to shun conventional ideas such as straight lines and
flat floors; in addition, any grass or trees are likely to be found
on the venue’s roof rather than on the ground. Also planned for the
hotel is a museum devoted to Hundertwasser’s work.
April 5 saw the opening of the Warner Bros. Movie World theme park
in San Martín de la Vega, 15 miles north of Madrid. This is the
third such park in the world the other two are in Australia and
Germany. The Madrid park features amusement rides, movie-related
entertainment, restaurants, and meeting and function space. Among
the attractions are Hollywood Boulevard, The Wild West and DC
Comics Super Heroes World.
Two exhibit halls and 18 divisible meeting rooms have been built
adjacent to the 1.5 million-square-foot Juan Carlos I Convention
Center. Opened last August, the halls measure 210,000 square feet
each and will be joined this September by a 100,000-square-foot
hall. The new meeting rooms accommodate 2,150 people.
Radisson SAS Hotels & Resorts is entering the Spanish market
with the scheduled spring 2003 opening of the Radisson SAS Resort
Mijas. In a small hillside Costa del Sol village about 11 miles
west of mega-resort Torremolinos, the 95-suite resort will resemble
a whitewashed Andalusian village; a beach is just a short drive
The 500-room Hotel Port Aventura, which offers meeting and function
space for up to 2,000 people, opened on April 1 at Universal
Studio’s Mediterranea destination resort, 60 miles south of
Barcelona. On the Costa Dorada, the hotel is part of the Port
Aventura theme park, which soon will also contain a second 500-room
hotel, the El Paso, and a new water park called Costa Caribe. Two
completed parts of the attraction La Cantina, a faux Mexican
village, and the Gran Teatro Imperial theater accommodate more than
1,000 people each.
Compiled by Terence BakerGOTHIC GATHERINGS.
In January, the NH Hoteles Group opened its first property in
Burgos (130 miles north of Madrid) in the province of Castile-León.
Built in the 16th century, the 110-room Palacio de la Merced
contains Gothic touches, an ornate cloister and views of a
magnificent cathedral, plus nine meeting rooms. A 15th-century
church stands next door. (34) 9474-79900; www.nh-hoteles.com
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