Venue updates

Conference Center News

The Hotel at Auburn University & Dixon Conference Center
Auburn, Ala.

The News: After eight months of extensive renovations, The Hotel at Auburn University unveiled its 236 new guest rooms in August 2008.

Specs: All guest rooms feature plasma-screen televisions, cordless phones, wireless Internet, microwaves, and refrigerators. The conference center has 22,000 square feet of renovated meeting space, 15 function rooms, two formal ballrooms that accommodate up to 600 guests, an auditorium that seats 356, and an executive boardroom.

Extra: The hotel's Ariccia Trattoria & Bar features a lounge and espresso bar and has a private dining room for special events.

AT&T Executive Education & Conference Center
Austin, Texas

The News: The AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center at The University of Texas at Austin opened in August 2008.

Specs: The new facility offers 40,000 square feet of dedicated meeting space, a 300-seat tiered amphitheater, an 800-seat divisible ballroom, three 90-seat tiered classrooms, four 65-seat tiered classrooms, five conference rooms, and 12 breakout rooms. Also available on site: 297 guest rooms, including 21 suites, and a variety of dining establishments

Extra: The center is an active member of the International Association of Conference Centers.

Renaissance Conference Center Detroit

The News: The conference center reopened in April 2008 following a major renovation that expanded its square footage and added state-of-the-art technology. It is located in downtown Detroit in the GM Renaissance Center.

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

High Country Conference Center
Flagstaff, Ariz.

The News: The center opened its doors in March 2008.

Specs: More than 25,000 square feet of flexible meeting space; can accommodate up to 1,000 people. It is adjacent to the Drury Inn and Suites Flagstaff, with 158 guest rooms.

Extra: The conference center is owned by Northern Arizona University and managed by Sodexho.

Great Wolf Lodge
Grapevine, Texas

The News: A new full-service conference center recently opened.

Specs: The conference center has a total of 20,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space for up to 615 people. There is a 7,350-square-foot ballroom, seven breakout and meeting rooms, an executive boardroom, and pre-function spaces, including an outdoor event plaza. In addition, 203 new guest suites have been built, bringing the total to 605.

The Hilton Conference Center at Kingston Shores
Myrtle Beach, S.C.

The News: In March 2008, Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort opened a 14,400-square-foot conference center.

Specs: The conference center can be divided into nine sections and accommodates groups of up to 2,000. It connects via a covered walkway with the hotel's existing meeting space. Total meeting space for Kingston shore is 48,000 square feet.

Extra: An exterior courtyard adds 3,000 square feet of space for al fresco receptions.

Beachside Resort & Conference Center
Key West, Fla.

The News: This resort and conference center opened in fall 2007.

Specs: 222 rooms and suites; 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.

Newsmakers:

  • The national sales office of Gaylord Hotels has added Russell D. Porter to its Northeast region team as director of national accounts. Before joining Gaylord, Porter was the assistant director of sales, financial/insurance at the Hilton New York.

  • Industry veteran John Jeffrey, formerly with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, has launched Global InSites, a site selection and hotel sourcing company targeted to insurance conference planners. sfs smaller-volume meetings.