IN NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y., the 116,000-square-foot Conference Center Niagara Falls opened last June, across from the Seneca Niagara Casino. It features a 10,500-square-foot ballroom, a 32,200-square-foot entertainment/exhibit hall, and a 19,500-square-foot learning center. It is certified by the International Association of Conference Centers.
In Skytop, Pa., Skytop Lodge has opened its new Executive Conference Center. It features two main ballrooms that accommodate up to 300 people and a 700-square-foot boardroom. The new center doubles the resort's meeting space to 20,000 square feet.The property is set on 5,500 acres in the Pocono Mountains and has a par-72 championship golf course. www.skytop.com
Destination Hotels & Resorts opened Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa last summer north of San Diego with 210 guest rooms, 11 suites, and 25,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and event space. The IACC-certified Learning Retreat features a 125-seat amphitheater and a 6,000-square-foot ballroom. The 8,000-square-foot Spa at Estancia has 11 treatment rooms and a heated outdoor pool. www.estancialajolla.com
Hotel Orrington, in Evanston, Ill., opened a ninth-floor conference center in February. The IACC-certified facility has 8,000 square feet of dedicated meeting space, including 13 conference rooms that accommodate from 25 to 75 people. The conference center was constructed by adding a floor to the hotel, which was built in 1923, making it the only “rooftop” hotel in IACC's portfolio. The private outdoor terrace off the main boardroom and the terrace adjacent to the 76-seat amphitheater take full advantage of the Lake Michigan views. The hotel has 269 guest rooms. www.hotelorrington.com
Chicago's 18-story, $151 million University Center opened in August. Owned by the nonprofit Educational Advancement Fund, it is both a multicollege student residence and a conference facility. The 30,000-square-foot conference center has nine meeting rooms. www.universitycenter.com
The former Merrill Lynch Conference & Training Center in Plainsboro, N.J., has been renamed Harrison Conference Center & Hotel, Princeton Forrestal Center. Plans call for conversion of 20,000 square feet of office space into additional meeting rooms. The center now has 37,000 square feet of IACC-approved meeting space and 350 guest rooms.
Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs, Colo., completes a $2.2 million renovation of all meeting rooms and its 316 guest rooms in April. Wireless high-speed Internet access will be available throughout the resort, which includes a 40,000-square-foot conference center.
In Portland, Ore., Doubletree Hotel & Executive Meeting Center Portland — Lloyd Center opened an IACC-certified conference center last year. It has 8,500 square feet of space with nine conference rooms, complementing the 38,000 square feet of event and banquet space at the hotel. www.doubletree.com
A $40 million redevelopment project is under way at The Abbey Resort on Lake Geneva in Fontana, Wis., and is slated for completion in May. All 334 guest rooms will be refurbished, as well as public spaces and 40,000 square feet of meeting space, which includes the 6,000-square-foot conference center. www.theabbeyresort.com
Opened two years ago this spring, Baytowne Conference Center at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort on Florida's Emerald Coast has 32,000 square feet of meeting space to accommodate up to 1,600 attendees. The new Grand Sandestin, with 168 condo units, is right next door. www.sandestin.com