New England

Pedal On
Cape Cod offers 106 miles of scenic cycling routes, including the 26-mile Cape Cod Rail Trail.

Local Update:The owners of Suffolk Downs, a historic racing park in East Boston, have proposed building a $600 million resort complex that would offer a number of gaming options. The project would begin with the renovation of the park's current 800,000-square-foot facilities, followed by the construction of a luxury hotel with a spa plus new restaurants and nightclubs. Construction is contingent on state lawmakers approving expanded gaming for Massachusetts.

In April, the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, which operates the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center and the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center, launched Conventions C.A.R.E. (Com­munity Assistance by Respon­sible Events), which helps all involved in shows donate nonperishable items to local nonprofits.

Local officials are contemplating ways to expand the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center and the possibility of building a hotel next door with approximately 1,000 rooms. Learn more at

The new 3,300-square-foot Seasons Ball­room has opened at the 201-room Millennium Bostonian Hotel. The property has a total of 7,084 square feet of meeting space.

A $44 million renovation of the 1,098-room Marriott Copley Place has been completed. Three meeting rooms were added, each with more than 1,000 square feet of space. The hotel's total meeting space now comes to 70,000 square feet.

The 383-room Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel has been sold to FelCor Lodging Trust for $98.5 million. Fairmont will continue to manage the property through a long-term contract. The hotel offers approximately 23,000 square feet of meeting space.

Meeting Hotels: There are more than 22,000 guest rooms in Boston and Cambridge combined, and 36,715 rooms in Greater Boston. To explore hotel options, visit

Convention Centers: Boston Convention & Exhibition Center; exhibit space, 516,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 84; (617) 954-2000;

John B. Hynes Vet­erans Memorial Con­vention Center; exhibit space, approximately 174,980 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 35; (617) 954-2000;

Airport Transit: Lo­gan Inter­national Airport, about three miles from downtown Boston and one mile from the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Transfer cost by taxi, $20 to $35; by Silver Line rapid transit bus, $2

Taxes: Room tax, 14.45%; sales tax, 6.25%, total tax on hotel rooms, 14.45%

Group Venue:
 In Harvard Square, the Russell House Tavern is a New American establishment that opened this past April. All menu ingredients come from within a 20-mile radius of the restaurant. A private dining room can hold up to 40 and can be divided in two; A/V equipment and free Wi-Fi are available for events. (617) 50-3055;

CVB Services: Greater Bos­ton Convention & Visitors Bureau, (617) 867-8288 or (888) 733-2678;

Transportation Anticipation
Opening this month is the Intermodal Facility at Rhode Island's T. F. Green Interna­tional Airport. What does that mean for the traveler? On Sept. 23, a new rental-car depot will debut, linked by skywalk to the terminal. And starting sometime in October, passengers will be able to deplane and then catch a train at the facil­ity into downtown Providence, as the $267 million project features a new stop on the commuter lines run by the Massachu­setts Bay Transit Authority, linking the airport in Warwick, R.I., with Providence and Boston. The building also will offer 800 parking spaces. These additions will make even better this already efficient airport -- which  ranks among the top 10 in on-time performance, staff efficiency, functional design and food, according to the July issue of Travel and Leisure.

Providence, R.I.
Local Update:The Providence/Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau recently partnered with the Rhode Island Hospitality Association, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and other state hospitality and tourism organizations to create the Rhode Island Hospitality Green Certification Program. For a current list of PWCVB members who have received the certification, go to

The Providence/Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau is offering planners more than 110 special offers as part of its VIP Program. For details, go to

Meeting Hotels: Meetings properties in the Providence/Warwick area include the 564-room Westin Pro­vi­dence, 351-room Providence Marriott Downtown, 291-room Pro­vidence Biltmore, 274-room Hilton Providence, 274-room Renaissance Providence Hotel and 266-room Crowne Plaza Hotel Providence-Warwick.

For a more extensive listing of meeting hotels, visit

Convention Centers: Rhode Island Convention Center; exhibit space, approximately 100,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 23; (401) 458-6000;

Airport Transit: T.F. Green Airport, about 8.5 miles from downtown Providence. Transfer cost by taxi, $30

Taxes: Room tax, 6%; sales tax, 7%; total tax on hotel rooms, 13%

Group Venue:Blush Wine Bar on Federal Hill is an oenophile's dream, serving 272 wines by the glass. Light fare, including pizzas, paninis, cheese plates and an antipasti bar, is offered for the sole purpose of complementing the wines. The establishment can accommodate up to 130 people for a private event. (401) 270-0050;

CVB Services: Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau, (401) 456-0200 or (800) 233-1636;

Other Cities, Other Sites
Cape Cod, Mass. A number of resort gems on the Cape are perfect for getaway meetings; for example, the 334-room Ocean Edge Resort in Brewster offers approximately 15,000 square feet of meeting space, along with an acclaimed 18-hole Nicklaus Design golf course, a bicycle trail and six tennis courts. The property is closed in December and January...In Chatham, the Chatham Bars Inn, open year-round, features 217 rooms, more than 7,500 square feet of meeting space, a private beach, four restaurants and a spa...Catania Hospitality runs two resorts on the Cape: the 260-room Cape Codder Resort in Hyannis with 18,000 square feet of meeting space; for smaller groups, the 48-room Dan'l Webster Inn and Spa in Sandwich Village features 5,000 square feet of event space.
Contact: Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, (888) 332-2732;

Connecticut's Casinos
When groups look to gather as close to home as possible, the reduction in distance traveled doesn't have to mean a reduction in fun. New England benefits from the proximity of two high-end gaming resorts.

Foxwoods Resort Casino
Mashantucket, Conn.
(800) 488-7777;

Four hotels featuring a total of 2,200 guest rooms allow Foxwoods to welcome groups of all sizes. The resort's 150,000 square feet of meeting space includes the 50,000-square-foot Pre­mier Ballroom at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods, its 15,000-square-foot Celebrity Ballroom and the casino's 25,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom.

Opening this fall are two new venues. The 35,000-square-foot High Rollers bowling lounge will feature 20 lanes; eight pool tables; a two-level lounge with a fireplace and a 50-seat marble bar; two private rooms, each holding 50 people; and top-notch A/V, including more than 50 big-screen HDTVs. The space will hold more than 800 for an event, with a bar menu created by chef Kevin Long.

Also new this season is the Comix comedy club, an offshoot of the New York City-based original. The 7,900-square-foot facility regularly will feature top comedians and rising stars. It also will have a VIP lounge.

Basketball Hall of Fame induction in the Uncas BallroomMohegan Sun
Uncasville, Conn.
(888) 226-7711;

This casino resort also sports a new outpost of a New York City establishment: Chef Bobby Flay opened Bar Americain at Mohegan Sun last November. The 276-seat restaurant is the second Bar Americain and Flay's 10th eatery in all. A private dining room accommodates groups of 50.

Plans call for the addition of a new hotel, although construction has stalled while the resort waits for better financial weather. Currently, the property has 1,200 hotel rooms and 100,000 square feet of meeting space, including the 38,000-square-foot Uncas Ballroom, more than 30 breakout rooms and a 17,500-square-foot sun terrace for outdoor events.