In a $194 million project, the Virginia Beach Convention Center in Virginia Beach, Va., will triple in size. The enlarged 500,000-square-foot center will include a 150,000-square-foot exhibition hall, a 30,000-square-foot ballroom, and a total of 25,000 square feet of meeting rooms. Pre-function space will also be increased, and an additional 3,000 parking spaces added. Phase one of the project, including 64,000 square feet of exhibition space, will be completed in 2005. By 2007, the new convention center will open. The Virginia Beach area offers 11,000 hotel rooms.

Openings The 295-room Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples (Fla.), opened last month with a 7,800-square-foot grand ballroom within 14,800 square feet of meeting and conference space. Eight additional meeting rooms and two private dining rooms are also available for group functions. The property, eight miles from the Naples Airport, is surrounded by the Greg Norman-designed, 27-hole Tiburon Golf Course.

Massachusetts' Boston Convention & Exhibition Center is slated for a June 2004 opening. The convention center will total 1.6 million square feet of air-conditioned space and will cover 42 acres of a 60-acre site. There will be 516,000 square feet of contiguous space, with the exhibition halls divisible into two or three ballrooms. Along with a 41,000-square-foot grand ballroom, the center will include 86 meeting rooms and a 54-bay loading dock with drive-on floor access. Starwood Hotels and Resorts plans to build the center's headquarter hotel.

Scheduled for a summer 2003 opening, the JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes Resort, in Orlando, Fla., will have 1,000 rooms. The property will be sited within a 500-acre resort complex that also includes a 584-room Ritz-Carlton hotel, a 40,000-square-foot spa, and an 18-hole golf course designed by Greg Norman. The hotel's 72,000 square feet of flexible meeting space includes two ballrooms measuring 30,000 square feet and 20,000 square feet. There will be two boardrooms, 23 conference rooms, and an additional 62,000 square feet of outdoor meeting space.

Six miles from downtown Los Angeles and 30 minutes from Disneyland, the Crowne Plaza Los Angeles — Commerce Casino has just opened. The 220-room hotel offers 20,000 square feet of flexible meeting space. Its 11 meeting rooms include a 13,600-square-foot ballroom that can seat 1,430 people. The hotel also has a full-service spa and a 24-hour casino.

This fall, the Centro de Congressos do Estoril, a state-of-the-art conference and exhibition center, opened in the Portuguese seaside city of Estoril, just west of Lisbon. The conference complex offers almost 70,000 square feet of exhibition space, a 600-seat auditorium, more than 20 flexible meeting and breakout rooms, videoconferencing and Web connectivity throughout, translation facilities, a business center, and catering and banquet facilities.

The recently opened Westin Dublin is the first Starwood property in Ireland. Overlooking historic Trinity College, the completely redone,163-room luxury hotel is housed in the former Allied Irish Bank, built in 1863. Each of the eight flexible meeting rooms features natural daylight and the latest in audiovisual equipment. The original 19th-century Banking Hall seats more than 200 people. The Mint bar is located beneath Banking Hall in the original bank's vaults.

Transformations With its $25 million renovation and expansion, the Sheraton Station Square Hotel in Pittsburgh has added a 97,000-square-foot, nine-story addition that includes 104 new guest rooms and eight new meeting rooms. The hotel's guest rooms now total 396. There are now 21 meeting rooms, plus an executive boardroom. The Sheraton can accommodate up to 1,000 meeting attendees.

The Doubletree Park Terrace, in Washington, D.C., recently closed its doors for a $12 million renovation. The 219-room property is scheduled to reopen as the Washington Terrace Hotel in April.

Virginia Beach, Va.'s, Founders Inn & Conference Center has unveiled its new 5,000-square-foot conference center expansion. New meeting space includes an 80-seat amphitheater, as well as two conference rooms. The 240-room, Georgian-style property has more than 25,000 square feet of meeting and conference space.

Adam's Mark Daytona Beach (Fla.) Resort finishes a $45 million expansion this month. The new North Tower will add 306 guest rooms, bringing the total to 746. More than 30,000 square feet of flexible meeting space has been added, including an 18,000-square-foot ballroom, which brings the function space to 60,000 total square feet.

Marco Island (Fla.) Marriott Resort and Golf Club recently announced a $43 million renovation project slated to add a new 24,000-square-foot health spa and a new 10,000-square-foot ballroom that will bring the total meeting square footage to 60,000. In addition, the 18-hole golf course will be enhanced to the tune of $3.5 million, and all 735 guest rooms will be refurbished. A spring 2003 completion is planned.

The Hyatt Regency Miami's $8 million renovation project of all 612 guest rooms and suites was completed in December. The downtown hotel, with 100,000 square feet of meeting and convention space, has also installed T3 lines in each of the 27 meeting rooms. Located on the Miami River and adjoining the Miami Convention Center and James L. Knight Convention Theatre, the Hyatt has more than 100,000 square feet of function space.

In Bloomingdale, Ill., in suburban Chicago, Indian Lakes Resort is undergoing an $18 million renovation. The 260-acre resort recently completed a redesign of its garden-level ballrooms. Renovation of its 30,000-square-foot conference center, which can accommodate 2,000, will be complete this spring.