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by Michael C. Lowe | August 01, 2013
Why Here?
Virginia offers a variety of group-friendly destinations, from historic Richmond to the scenic coastal towns of the Hampton Roads area, including Chesapeake, Hampton, Norfolk and Newport News, where attendees can enjoy the tranquil 8,000-acre Newport News Park (above).

Spotlight
Just eight miles from Dulles International Airport, the Westfields Marriott Washington Dulles in Chantilly is an elegant meeting property. Some details:

• The property's upscale restaurant, the Palm Court, recently completed a $1.2 million renovation of its formal dining room and two private dining rooms that can each accommodate up to 30.

• The on-site Wellington's Pub offers a casual environment in which to gather after a meeting.

• The 324-room hotel offers 40,000 square feet of function space across 31 meeting rooms.

Tax Talk
As of July 1, sales tax in the Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia areas increased by 1 percent to 6 percent. At the same time, Northern Virginia saw a new 2 percent transient occupancy tax take effect.

Click Here:  Hampton offers more than 2,800 hotel rooms citywide. Find and compare properties at mcvenues.com.
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Coastal Virginia Updates
The Hampton Inn & Suites Newport News completed a $3 million renovation in April. Upgrades include new furnishings in all 120 guest rooms, an update of the property's 850 square feet of meeting space and a renovation of the pool deck.

The 182-room Omni Newport News is now the Magnuson Hotel and Convention Center at Oyster Point following a rebranding in March. A $102.2 million expansion is planned that will add 300 guest rooms, a parking garage and a 70,000-square-foot water park. The property features more than 15,000 square feet of meeting space.

A $126 million hotel and conference center has been approved by the Norfolk City Council. The project, slated to be completed in 2017, will include a 300-room luxury hotel as well as a 50,000-square-foot conference center. It is estimated that the complex will generate about $2 million in new revenue annually for the city.

In Chesapeake, the former Country Inn & Suites has become the Baymont Inn & Suites. Features include 82 guest rooms, an indoor pool, a Jacuzzi, a fitness center, free wireless Internet and one meeting room that can accommodate up to 20 people.

The 90-room Best Western Plus Portsmouth-Chesapeake completed a renovation and rebranding this past March. The property includes a 24-hour exercise facility, free wireless Internet and a business center.  

Meeting Hotels
Properties in Chesapeake include the 226-room Norfolk Marriott Chesapeake Hotel, 136-room Aloft Chesapeake, 132-room Springhill Suites Chesapeake Greenbrier, 124-room Comfort Suites, 119-room Hyatt Place Chesapeake/Greenbrier and 118-room Hampton Inn Chesapeake/Greenbrier.

Properties in Hampton include the 289-room Best Western Plus Coliseum & Suites and 178-room Crowne Plaza Hampton Marina.

In Newport News are the 256-room Newport News Marriott City Center, 182-room Magnuson Hotel and Con­vention Center at Oyster Point, and 150-room Point Plaza Suites at City Center.

Properties in Nor­folk include the 468-room Sheraton Nor­folk Waterside Ho­tel, 405-room Norfolk Waterside Marriott, 247-room Hilton Norfolk Airport and 204-room Crowne Plaza Norfolk.

To find and compare hotels and send RFPs, go to mcvenues.com.

Convention Centers
Hampton Roads Con­vention Center; exhibit space, approximately 320,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 33; (757) 722-1222; visithampton.com/hrcc

Norfolk Scope; exhibit space, approximately 85,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 17; (757) 664-6464; bit.ly/183I9LV

Hampton Coliseum; total exhibit space, 84,827 square feet; number of meeting rooms, three; (757) 838-5650; hamptoncoliseum.org

Airport Transit
Newport News/Williamsburg Interna­tional Airport, about 13 miles from downtown Newport News and downtown Hampton. Transfer cost by taxi to Hampton Roads Convention Center, $25. Transfer cost by tax to downtown Newport News, $30

Norfolk International Airport, about 10 miles from downtown Norfolk. Transfer cost by taxi, $17-20