Norris Conference Center
Fort Worth, Texas

The News: Norris Conference Center has finalized a deal to bring conference facilities to downtown Fort Worth.

Specs: After renovation of the site on Houston Street, now occupied by AMC Sundance, the 40,000-square-foot conference facility is scheduled to open this fall. The design includes six executive meeting rooms. One room will remain in a theater-seating configuration. Groups as large as 300 participants can be accommodated.

Woodlands Resort & Conference Center
The Woodlands, Texas

The News: The conference center is undergoing a $50 million renovation.

Specs: Ten lodges will be converted to residential use and 158 guest rooms added along with a “lazy river” and a steakhouse. Once complete, the facility will have 380 guest rooms (reduced from 440) and more than 60,000 square feet of conference space.

Time Frame: The project is expected to be complete in late 2009.

Renaissance Conference Center
Detroit, Mich.

The News: The conference center reopened in April following a major renovation that expanded its square footage and added state-of-the-art technology.

Specs: The expanded, 22,000-square-foot facility features six meeting rooms. Also available on-site are catering facilities, two-way videoconference capabilities, high-speed Internet access, Wi-Fi capability, built-in projection screens, and concierge and shipping services.

Legacy Lodge & Conference Center
Lake Lanier Islands, Ga.

The News: The new property opened in August as part of the first phase of a 10-year, multimillion-dollar expansion at Lake Lanier Islands Resort.

Specs: The Conference Center at Legacy Lodge features 21,000 square feet of flexible, IACC-certified meeting space that will accommodate groups of five to 500. The center has 23 possible meeting rooms, including three spacious ballrooms and an executive boardroom. Legacy Lodge also features 221 guest rooms and suites.

Extra: The ballrooms offer complimentary high-speed wireless Internet access, state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, and complete sound and lighting capabilities.

Beachside Resort & Conference Center
Key West, Fla.

The News: This new five-star resort and conference center opened last fall.

Specs: With 222 rooms and suites, the resort has a total of 9,600 square feet of meeting space, including a 6,000-square-foot conference and meeting center with its own food-service kitchen. The Beachside Ballroom can accommodate up to 400 guests for a seated dinner.

Extra: Overlooks the Gulf of Mexico

News Makers:

  • The Sheraton Hacienda Del Mar Resort & Spa in Los Cabos, Mexico has named René Aguado director of sales and marketing. Previously he was the corporate director of sales hospitality at the Puntacana Resort and Club in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

  • Rodney Lau has been named director of sales and marketing at Mauna Lani Bay Hotel Bungalows on the Kohala Coast of Hawaii. He was most recently regional associate director of sales at the Marriott Resort Hawaii on Kaua'i.

  • The Arizona Grand Resort in Phoenix has named Greg Waters director of sales and marketing, with a focus on groups, meetings, and special events. He brings more than 25 years experience to the role.

  • Loews Hotels has promoted Michael Dominguez to vice president of global sales. Dominguez joined Loews Hotels as the director of marketing for Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in 2005.

  • The Palace at Somerset Park in Somerset, N.J., has named Richard Cimilluca director of sales and marketing. Cimilluca was previously opening director of sales and marketing for The Heldrich in New Brunswick, N.J.

  • Associated Luxury Hotels International has added Mary Kreins to its Mid-Atlantic region sales team. Kreins joins as a director of sales, based in ALHI's Washington, D.C., office. She comes to ALHI from Marriott International.