NEW AND IMPROVED Denver's downtown Executive Tower Hotel is being completely renovated to reopen in summer 2001 as the 659-room Hilton Denver Hotel. Across the street from the Denver Performing Arts Complex and one block from the Denver Convention Complex, the new hotel will offer 30,000 square feet of meeting space.
*The Loews Philadelphia Hotel, across the street from the Pennsylvania Convention Center, will open in April 2000. The 583-room hotel will offer 40,000 square feet of function space, including three ballrooms, as well as in-room technology that includes high-speed Internet access, cordless phone, and combo fax/copier/printer.
*Wyndham Hotels and Resorts has converted the Arlington Marriott Hotel to the Wyndham Arlington DFW Airport South Hotel in Arlington, Texas. The 310-room hotel is the brand's first property in the city. As part of the conversion, Wyndham is putting $46 million into a two-phase renovation. The first phase, to wrap up at the end of the year, will redo all first-floor public space and landscaping. The second phase, to begin early next year, will redo all meeting facilities. The property's guest rooms, which were completely renovated 18 months ago, also will be updated. The hotel offers 21,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 6,000-square-foot ballroom and a 4,000-square-foot outdoor plaza with private yacht club.
* The new Hyatt Regency Lake Las Vegas Resort is close enough to the excitement yet far enough to offer quiet elegance amid the hubbub. Expected to open in December, the 496-room resort will cater to meetings, with 40,000 square feet of indoor function space, including a 21,330-square-foot ballroom. An additional 70,000 square feet of function space is available outdoors. The resort marks Hyatt's first foray into Las Vegas. The property is located on the 320-acre Lake Las Vegas, some 17 miles from the Strip, with views of the southern Nevada mountains. Also on property is a championship golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus, a complete spa and fitness center, a casino, and three restaurants.
INTERNATIONAL BEAT The completion of Monaco's new convention center, the Grimaldi Forum, is scheduled for June 2000, and the first official event will take place that September. The Grimaldi Forum is ideal for groups of 800 to 1,200 people. It will include 1,900-seat, 800-seat, and 400-seat auditoriums; a meeting room capable of seating 400 theater-style; 23 breakout rooms; and two exhibition halls, one with 42,000 square feet and the other with 45,000 square feet.
*The Fairmont Vancouver Airport opened recently, offering 392 rooms, 7,000 square feet of meeting space, and a business center.
Philadelphia's Medical Story During a media tour at this past summer's Meeting Professionals International conference, showcasing Philadelphia's history, we were taken to the exclusive Philippe on Locust for dessert. After we sampled exquisite concoctions, the owner explained to us that the restaurant was started as a Jewish gentlemen's club, a refuge for the men denied access to the restricted WASP version. Interesting enough, but when he realized I was from MM, the owner whipped out his card and gave it to me. It said David M. Raezer, MD, FACS. Restaurant owner by night, urologist by day. What more appropriate venue for an off-site function?
Actually, it's just one of the numerous Philadelphia sites that reveal the city's medical roots. Delegates can visit the nation's first hospital, the oldest college of pharmacy, the world's first women's medical school, a dental museum, the Pennsylvania College of Podiatric Medicine's Shoe Museum, and much more. There are so many historic sites for medical convention delegates--and health care conventions are so important to the city--that the CVB has formed the Greater Philadelphia Health Care Congress, which serves as a liaison between meeting planners and regional health care resources and experts.
And, more good news: The city has launched a major building boom as it gears up for the Republican National Convention. About a dozen new properties are on the drawing board, with other hotels planning expansions. In all, the city's hotel room inventory will increase by 60 percent in time for the new millennium.
For more information, call (215) 636-3413 or visit www.libertynet.org.