Atlanta

Drawing crowds
Of the 20 largest conventions hosted in Atlanta during the first half of this year, 17 surpassed their attendance goals.

Local Update
The 1,260-room Hyatt Regency Atlanta is in the midst of a $60 million renovation. Work on the entryways, lobby and lobby bar is already completed, while the guest rooms, main ballroom and meeting space are expected to be completed in December. The property has 180,000 square feet of meeting space.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Interna­tional Air­port currently is undergoing a $5.4 billion revamp that will expand, repair and upgrade various sections of the facility. Next April, a new international terminal will be completed, and Concourse E will see a 900,000-square-foot expansion that includes 10 additional gates and approximately 1,100 new parking spaces.

The Georgia Aquarium completed an expansion in April to accommodate its new dolphin exhibit, Dolphin Tales. The new space includes a viewing gallery, a 25-foot long underwater viewing window, interactive displays and a live dolphin show. The aquarium has several event spaces, including the 23,000-square-foot Oceans Ballroom.

The College Football Hall of Fame is relocating to a $50 million multilevel facility next to the Georgia World Congress Center. The 50,000-square-foot hall is expected to open in fall 2013 with exhibits and a large outdoor screen for viewing games.

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights will open in 2013, showcasing contributions made by Atlantans and Georgians to the civil rights movement. The 75,000-square-foot museum will have several event spaces, including a 200-seat reception space that overlooks the central atrium.

Meeting Hotels
Among downtown properties are the 1,663-room Atlanta Marriott Marquis; 1,260-room Hyatt Regency Atlanta; 1,242-room Hilton Atlanta; 1,068-room Westin Peachtree Plaza; 1,067 Omni Hotel at CNN Center; 760-room Sheraton Atlanta Hotel; 444-room Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta; 312-room Atlanta Marriott Downtown, and 260-room Holiday Inn Atlanta Downtown.

In Midtown, properties include the 435-room W Atlanta-Midtown, 252-room Georgia Tech Hotel and Con­ference Center, and 191-room Wyndham Midtown Atlanta.

In Buckhead, properties include the 553-room Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead; 438-room Grand Hyatt Atlanta; 422-room InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta; 367-room JW Marriott Hotel Buckhead Atlanta, and 151-room St. Regis Atlanta.

In Perimeter Center are the the 495-room Crowne Plaza Ravinia and 400-room Marriott Perimeter Center.

Near Jackson-Hartfield International Air­port are the 638-room Atlanta Airport Marriott and 387-room Renaissance Concord Hotel.

For a more complete list of area properties, visit mcvenues.com.

Convention Centers
Geor­gia World Congress Center; exhibit space, 1.4 million square feet; number of meeting rooms, 106; (404) 223-4200

AmericasMart Atlanta; exhibit space, 800,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 41; (404) 220-2686

Georgia Interna­tional Con­vention Center; exhibit space, 150,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 10; (770) 997-3566

Airport Transit
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, eight miles south of downtown. Transfer cost by taxi to downtown, $30; by shuttle, $16.50; by MARTA rail, $1.75 (plus a 50¢ surcharge if purchasing a new fare ticket)

Taxes
Room tax, 7%; sales tax, 8%; total tax on hotel rooms, 15%

Group Venues
Coca-Cola was invented by an Atlanta pharmacist, and now, the city is home to the World of Coca-Cola, a 60,000-square-foot museum dedicated to the beverage. The venue features several event spaces, including a 225-seat theater. (800) 676-2653
Centennial Olympic Park
Centennial Olympic Park, which hosted the 1996 Summer Olympics, is now a public park with a fountain in the shape of the iconic Olympic rings. The 21-acre space is available for events. (404) 223-4412

Each spring, Atlanta hosts the Georgia Renaissance Festival, patterned after a 16th-century European country fair, that draws about 1,000 costumed visitors. Popular activities include jousting and engaging in a variety of Renaissance-themed games and rides. (770) 964-8575

Dining Out
The Sun Dial Restaurant Bar and View, which sits atop the 73-story, 1,068-room Westin Peachtree Plaza, makes a full revolution every 60 minutes, giving diners a 360-degree view of the city. The menu's regional fare includes Georgia mountain trout and spiced pumpkin ravioli. Groups are accommodated on request. (404) 659-1400

CVB Services
Atlanta Con­vention and Visitors Bureau, (800) 285-2682