A $50 million renovation will add 158 guest rooms, a “lazy river,” and a steakhouse to The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center in The Woodlands, Texas. Ten lodges will be converted to residential use in 2009. Upon completion, the facility will have 380 guest rooms (reduced from 440) and more than 60,000 square feet of conference space. The project is expected to be complete in late 2009.

In the News

Norris Conference Center
Fort Worth, Texas

The News: Norris Conference Centers has finalized a deal with Sundance Square 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 in fall 2008. The design includes six executive meeting rooms. One room will remain in a theater-seating configuration. Up to 300 participants will be able to be accommodated at the center.

Monterey Conference Center
Monterey, Calif.

The News: Along with the entire city of Monterey, the Monterey Conference Center is going green, utilizing energy-saving measures such as compact flourescent bulbs. The center has received new furniture and carpeting, and a new heating and air-conditioning system was installed last year.

Specs: Three levels of meeting space include an exhibit hall, ballroom, theater, boardroom that total 58,000 square feet.

Extra: The center celebrated its 30th anniversary last year.

Granlibakken Conference Center & Lodge
Tahoe City, Calif.

The News: The expansion of the Executive Lodge was completed in June with the addition of two new conference areas and eight lodging rooms.

Specs: The resort has 16,000 square feet of meeting space for groups of up to 400, and 188 lodge guest rooms.

Santa Cruz, Calif.

News: Benchmark Hospitality International, operator of Chaminade, was awarded “Green Business Certification” by Santa Cruz County for exceeding environmental regulatory requirements, preventing pollution, and conserving natural resources.

Specs: 156 guest rooms and 12,000 square feet of meeting space

The Chattanoogan
Chattanooga, Tenn.

The News: Renovations to guest rooms, lobby, and Foundry Bar are complete.

Specs: 199 guest rooms all feature complimentary high-speed Internet access. The conference center has 25,000 square feet of meeting space. The property also has a spa with four treatment rooms.

Time Frame: Renovations finished in September.

Skokie Banquet & Conference Center
Skokie, Ill.

The News: The $10 million Skokie Banquet & Conference Center opened adjacent to the 244-room Holiday Inn North Shore.

Specs: 15,000 square feet of meeting space and a 12,000-square-foot ballroom, the largest on Chicago's North Shore. The ballroom can be divided into eight rooms.

Time Frame: Opened February 2007

Extra: Eight crystal chandeliers, each 15 feet wide, grace the facility.

Tokyo Conference Center Shinagawa
Tokyo, Japan

The News: Benchmark Hospitality has formed a joint venture partnership with Hiromi Takagi and Kozue Honda, both of Tokyo, launching Benchmark Hospitality International Japan. The company has acquired 100 percent ownership of Benchmark Tech from Tech R&DS, a wholly owned subsidiary of Daiwa House. Benchmark Tech operated the Tokyo Conference Center Shinagawa, a member of the International Association of Conference Centers, with 20,000 square feet of meeting space.

News Makers:

  • The Omni Interlocken Resort and Spa, just outside of Boulder, Colo. has appointed Carolyn Israel (right) director of group sales. Tara Seech has joined the resort as convention services manager.

  • Concorde Hotels and Resorts has appointed Lucy Augustin director of group sales for the U.S. meeting and incentive market. Augustincomes to this position from Leading Hotels of the World where she has worked for the past 19 years.