The Georgia World Congress Center (www.gwcc.com) debuted its e-commerce site in March. The site allows exhibitors to order electrical, plumbing, labor, telephone, Internet, cable television, and food online. The Propane Gas Association was the first show to use the e-commerce function.
The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation, opened in February near Greensboro, Ga., on Lake Oconee with 250 guest rooms, a 26,000-square-foot spa, and 81 holes of golf.
In March 2001, Atlanta's 1911 Georgian Terrace Hotel opened its 6,000-square-foot Atlanta Conference Center with six meeting rooms that hold 10 to 80 people. The upscale property has 326 guest rooms and suites.
Lake Lanier Islands introduced the 216-room Emerald Pointe Resort and Conference Center in March 2001. It has two ballrooms and 19 meeting rooms, for more than 21,000 square feet of dedicated conference space.
The Sea Island Co. opened the Lodge at Sea Island Golf Club in February, with 40 guest rooms, two boardrooms, butler service, and an adjacent private airport. Guests have access to all amenities at The Cloisters.
Callaway Gardens, a resort and garden complex an hour's drive from Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport, will mark its 50th anniversary with the September opening of The Southern Pine. The 54,000-square-foot facility will have 22,000 square feet of function space, a 150-seat restaurant, and outdoor terraces for functions. Other facilities include Callaway Convention Center, next to the 349-room Callaway Gardens Inn, with 17,000 square feet of function space. The resort has three 18-hole golf courses.
Rosen Hotels & Resorts recently announced plans to open a 1,500-room hotel with 250,000 square feet of meeting space and an 18-hole golf course just east of Orlando's Orange County Convention Center. The yet-to-be named property is scheduled to open in 2004.
The Royal Pacific Resort is slated to open later this year at Universal Orlando. The 1,000-room property will have 80,000 square feet of meeting and function space that will include a 41,503-square-foot ballroom.
XS Orlando, which opened late last year at Pointe Orlando, is a tri-level, 40,000-square-foot complex featuring 110 interactive high-tech games, a 240-seat restaurant, and a rooftop terrace specifically designed for themed events. It can accommodate 1,800.
The 300-unit Ocean Walk Resort opened late last year in Daytona Beach, Fla., across from the Ocean Center convention complex.
In February, Adam's Mark Daytona Beach Resort completed a $53 million expansion that added 310 rooms, bringing the total to 746. Meeting space now totals 60,000 square feet.
The 207-room Adam's Mark Clearwater Beach Resort completed a multimillion-dollar enhancement of its guest rooms and lobby and added an 1,800-square-foot ballroom.
The 2,000-room Orlando World Center Marriott Resort and Convention Center completed a $100 million renovation in March. The project upgraded guest rooms and added a 500-room tower and 14,000 square feet of meeting space dedicated to small groups.
Scheduled for completion in 2005 is Hilton's Orlando Convention Center Hotel, which will feature 1,400 rooms, 70 suites, and 125,000 square feet of meeting space. It will be connected to the Orange County Convention Center by a covered, elevated pedestrian walkway.
A 1,000-room addition, the first part of a two-phase expansion, is slated for completion in 2005 at the Peabody Orlando. Phase two, to be complete in 2008, will add 700 more guest rooms, bringing the total to 2,591 rooms and 182,000 square feet of meeting space.
In North Carolina, the 700-room Westin Charlotte is due to open this fall across from the Charlotte Convention Center. The hotel will have 46,050 square feet of pre-function and meeting space, a health spa, and a stop on the Charlotte trolley.
The Executive Conference Center at North Carolina State University, over-looking Lake Raleigh on Centennial Campus, is expected to open this summer. The 250-room Raleigh hotel will have 29,000 square feet of meeting space and a Tom Fazio — designed 18-hole public golf course.
The 60-room Inn at Harbour Town and 16,000-square-foot conference center opened at Sea Pines Resort in Hilton Head, S.C. The Inn overlooks the first tee of Harbour Town Golf Links and the Plantation Club.
The Lexington (Ky.) Convention Center is on track to open its third-level expansion, including a new 17,000-square-foot ballroom, in mid-2003. The 365-room Hyatt Regency Lexington, attached to the convention center, will complete a renovation later this year.
After a two-year transformation, Millennium Hotels and Resorts has completed the rebranding of the former Copthorne Harbour View Hotel as the M Hotel Singapore. The 416-room property boasts a wireless network, allowing guests to access the Internet anywhere in the hotel. LAN cards are available at check-in.
Marriott International expanded in the resort town of Phuket, Thailand, when the 27-acre JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa opened in December. This is the third property in the chain's upscale JW brand. The resort has 265 guest rooms, each with a traditional Thai sala, a raised area with mats and cushions for relaxing. A ballroom seats 450 people and is divisible into five smaller rooms, and there are three additional meeting rooms. Two lagoon-style swimming pools, 10 miles of beachfront, and an 8,100-square-foot spa are on-site.
The 318-room St. Regis Shanghai opened last year in the rapidly expanding Pudong district. Its ballroom seats 320 theater-style, and there are three other meeting spaces. The high-end business hotel has 24-hour butler service and high-speed Internet in all rooms.
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts opened its 16th hotel in China last year, the 453-room Shangri-La Ding-shan, Nanjing.
Raleigh, N.C.'s, interactive museum, Exploris, opened in 1999 and last fall added a 271-seat IMAX theater. Groups can rent Exploris after hours for programs about the changing culture, the environment, communications, or www.exploris.orgtrade. Exploris accommodates up to 500 people for a reception. (919) 857-1009;
Resources Around the South Asia Resource
- Alabama Gulf Coast CVB
- Greater Birmingham CVB
- Huntsville CVB
- Orlando/Orange County CVB
- Tampa Bay CVB
- Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB
- Greater Miami CVB
- Lexington CVB
- Greater Louisville CVB
- Northern Kentucky CVB
- New Orleans Metropolitan CVB
- Baton Rouge Area CVB
- Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau
- Asheville CVB
- Durham CVB
- North Carolina's Village of Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area CVB
- Greater Raleigh CVB
- Charleston Area CVB
- Hilton Head Island Visitor and Convention Bureau
- Memphis CVB
- Nashville CVB
- China National Tourist Office
- Hong Kong Tourism Board
- Japan National Tourist Organization
- Korea National Tourism Organization
- Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board
- Philippine Convention and Visitors Corp.
- Singapore Exhibition and Convention Bureau
- Singapore Tourism Board
- Tourism Authority of Thailand
- Tourism Bureau, Ministry of Transportation and Communications, Taiwan, Republic of China
Singapore's Tiny Paradise
In keeping with the easy access of everything else in Singapore, the resort island of Sentosa lies less than a thousand yards south of the city, reachable from the heart of downtown in less than 15 minutes by car, bus, foot, ferry, or spectacular aerial tramway.
This tiny (2-square-mile) paradise is packed with fun stuff, including three beaches, dozens of tourist attractions such as Volcanoland and Underwater World, and outdoor public spaces that can be reserved for special events of up to 4,000 persons. Sentosa also has three resorts — Shangri La's Rasa Sentosa, NTUC Sentosa Beach Resort, and the Sijori Resort — and one hotel/conference center, the Beaufort. This year, the 214-room property will see all guest rooms refurbished; the redesign of its award-winning restaurant, and a new multimillion-dollar spa. With all this comes about 14,000 square feet of meeting space.