Omaha, Nebraska's, new $281 million, 336,200-square-foot convention center and arena is scheduled to open in August 2003. The flexible main exhibition hall will offer 195,000 square feet of continuous flat floor area. The center's horseshoe-shaped arena will accommodate up to 17,000 people and the 30,500-square-foot grand ballroom will seat 2,183 banquet-style. The center will also offer more than a dozen meeting rooms that will total 32,700 square feet of space. A large pre-function area, as well as a 9,000-square-foot open-air terrace will be available. www.visitomaha.com

Openings

The new Hotel Monaco New Orleans, steps from the French Quarter, was originally a Masonic Hall built in 1926. The hotel offers 6,000 square feet of meeting space, comprising two ballrooms and three boardrooms, and can accommodate up to 190 people banquet-style. www.monaco-neworleans.com

A second Starwood property recently opened in Dana Point, Calif. The 400-room St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort & Spa is perched on 200 acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The resort features a four-star restaurant, a 30,000-square-foot spa, an 18-hole championship oceanfront golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., and 30,000 square feet of flexible indoor meeting space. www.stregismonarchbeach.com

An 18-story, 405-room Courtyard by Marriott recently opened in downtown San Francisco. Located in the convention district, the new San Francisco Downtown Courtyard is steps from the soon-to-be-expanded Moscone Convention Center. Included in the property's 7,000 square feet of meeting space are two boardrooms, three conference suites, and seven meeting rooms, accommodating as many as 250 people. www.marriott.com

In Mexico City, the 203-room Fiesta Americana Grand Chapultepec opened recently. The 19-story luxury hotel features a long-stay floor that includes six suites with kitchenettes, and a business center with two boardrooms. www.fiestaamericana.com

The St. Regis Shanghai recently opened its doors. Located in the heart of Shanghai, China's, business district, the 40-story property features 318 guest rooms, including 48 suites. The hotel has nearly 11,000 square feet of meeting space. www.starwood.com/stregis/index.html

Transformations

Set on the grounds of the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., overlooking the Hudson River, Hotel Thayer recently underwent a $26 million restoration that included the reconstruction and enlargement of its 150 guest rooms, the addition of new meeting rooms, and the upgrade of existing ones. The property can now accommodate meetings for 300 people within its 10 conference rooms that total 18,250 square feet of space. A new wing is slated to open in 2003 that will feature an additional 128 guest rooms; a health club; and 25,000 square feet of meeting space, including a new 5,000-square-foot grand ballroom. www.hotelthayer.com

The 402-room Four Points by Sheraton St. Louis Downtown, in St. Louis, Mo., is now operated by Millennium Hotels and Resorts and shares with its sister property — Millennium Hotel, St. Louis — such amenities as a business center, fitness center, and indoor and outdoor swimming pools. The Four Points by Sheraton's 63,000 square feet of function space is located on one level. www.millennium-hotels.com

Hotel Inter-Continental in Dallas has just launched phase one of a $10 million renovation that will refurbish the hotel's more than 100,000 square feet of meeting space, including the 25,000-square-foot main ballroom and its 10,000-square-foot foyer. Two additional ballrooms and a foyer will also be upgraded, and 1,100 square feet of retail space will be converted into a new ballroom. The second phase of the renovation will begin this fall with upgrades to the property's suites. Phase three will add yet another ballroom. At present, the hotel has 24 meeting rooms, 529 guest rooms, and 39 suites. www.interconti.com

Located on the former site of John Gardiner's Tennis Ranch, the completely remodeled Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain, Paradise Valley, Ariz., is set on 53 acres. The property offers 74 casitas and 24 “spa villas.” Due to open in December 2001, the Sanctuary Spa will include 10 treatment rooms and a lap pool. The 9,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting facilities include a dedicated meeting building with more than 3,500 square feet of space, and a ballroom that can accommodate 200 people banquet-style. www.sanctuaryoncamelback.com

In December, the Snake River Lodge & Spa, Jackson Hole, Wyo., will open its newly renovated meeting center. The center's 3,250 square feet of space will accommodate 200 people. The largest of the resort's four meeting rooms is 2,300 square feet in area. The property offers 88 renovated lodge rooms and 40 suites, a 17,000 square foot spa and health club, and a year-round indoor/outdoor pool. www.snakeriverlodge.com

The Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites, Los Angeles, recently completed its $3.8 million ballroom enhancement. The 1,354-room property renovated its 6,108-square-foot California Ballroom, its 8,190-square-foot Catalina Ballroom, and added a third ballroom at 4,750 square feet. The Westin now offers a total of 110,000 square feet of meeting and function space, with the California Ballroom seating 3,000 people theater-style or 2,350 banquet-style. www.westin.com