Overland Park, Kansas, will debut its first full-service convention center in December 2002. The Overland Park Convention Center will offer an alternative venue for groups meeting in the Kansas City metro area. The $46.5 million center encompasses 237,000 square feet of function space, including meeting rooms, exhibition halls, banquet area, and pre-function and service space. The center will be connected to a new, 20-story, 412-room Sheraton Hotel by a football-field-size outdoor courtyard.

Transformations

The 347-room Radisson Kauai Beach Resort, Kauai, Hawaii, recently completed a $10 million renovation. The former Outrigger Hotel, purchased just over a year ago by Driftwood Hospitality Management, has renovated all guest rooms, public areas, and landscaping, as well as added a spa and fitness facility, an in-house coffee roasting center, several koi ponds, and a sandy-bottom pool. Included in the renovation is high-speed Internet access in all guest rooms. The Radisson Kauai has 12,000 square feet of meeting space.

Marriott's Desert Springs Resort & Spa, Palm Desert, Calif., is undergoing a multimillion-dollar refurbishment to its 884 guest accommodations that will be complete this October. The luxury resort also features 51,300 square feet of conference space, two championship golf courses, 20 tennis courts, 9 swimming pools and whirlpools, along with a 30,000-square-foot, European-style spa and fitness center.

Atlanta's Cobb Galleria Centre is in the final phase of its $22.7 million expansion, which includes an exhibit hall, a complimentary parking deck, and a 36,000-square-foot exhibit hall. The new exhibit space will increase Cobb's total exhibit square footage to 144,000 square feet. The current 280,000-square-foot center sits on 88 acres in the Galleria complex.

San Diego's Hyatt Regency San Diego on San Diego Bay is adding a 33-story, 750-room tower that will feature an additional 86,000 square feet of meeting space. Expected to be completed in the summer of 2003, the expansion will connect to the existing 40-story, 875-room Hyatt. Once complete, the finished property will be renamed the Manchester Grand Hyatt and will offer more than 120,000 square feet of meeting space and 1,625 sleeping rooms.

Openings

The new, 404-room Radisson Plaza Myrtle Beach Hotel recently broke ground in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The $48 million, 14-story hotel will adjoin the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. The hotel's lobby and its second floor lounge will open directly onto the 249,000-square-foot convention center's pre-function space. A 30,000-square-foot outdoor special events plaza will also be added to the complex. The hotel is expected to open in February 2003.

The Ritz-Carlton, Boston Common opened in September with 193 luxury guest rooms, and seven meeting rooms totaling 4,000 square feet of function space. All meeting rooms offer broadband Internet access and video teleconferencing. The boardroom features a plasma screen. Also available: four of the adjacent Loews Theatres Boston Common's high-technology screening rooms, which will make meetings from 200 to 600 people possible. The property also offers 309 luxury condominiums and 62 extended stay apartments.