Announcing its third Opryland development outside of Nashville, Gaylord Entertainment Co. unveiled plans for a self-contained, 2,000-room destination hotel and convention center in Prince George's County, Maryland. The Opryland Hotel Potomac, which is slated to offer 400,000 square feet of meeting space, will be the first phase of the 534-acre National Harbor development.
The hotel is expected to open, complete with a signature Opryland atrium, in 2004. There are also plans for a 24,000-square-foot spa and fitness center and 18,000 square feet of retail space.
National Harbor is just downriver from Reagan National Airport. The site has more than a mile of frontage on the Potomac River. Right off the Capital Beltway, National Harbor will have a full interchange with Interstate 495, I-95, and I-295 that will connect the area directly to downtown Washington.
A Gaylord assessment of where meeting planners were looking for additional facilities put the D.C. area at the top of the list. Gaylord has two other Opryland hotels in development, one in Orlando (to open in 2002) and one in Grapevine, Texas (to open in 2003). Dave Jones, president of Gaylord's Hospitality and Attractions Group, says there are plans to open a total of five to seven properties during the next decade.
Mid-Atlantic Updates * The 2.1 million-square-foot convention center building under construction in Washington, D.C., will have 750,000 square feet of exhibit space and enough meeting space to make 1 million square feet of usable space, including a 50,000-square-foot ballroom. It opens in 2003.
* The Hilton Washington & Towers has 1,118 guest rooms and 45,000 square feet of exhibit space, with 31 meeting rooms capable of accommodating more than 4,000 guests.
* The 543-room Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C., has opened its 11,000-square-foot spa and fitness center. The hotel has 14 meeting rooms, with a capacity of almost 900 in the largest room.
* The 350-room Ritz-Carlton, Washington, is scheduled to open on M Street and 22nd late this year.
* The Executive Conference & Training Center at Dulles recently opened with more than 10,000 square feet of flexible conference and meeting space, including six individual conference rooms that can accommodate groups of six to 80 people. The center is equipped with high-speed Internet access capabilities, and all conference rooms feature tables that have built-in power capabilities for computers.
* The Norfolk (Va.) Waterside Marriott Hotel has struck an agreement with Darwin Networks to bring DSL broadband service to its meeting rooms and selected guest rooms. Guests at the 405-room hotel need only bring a laptop, an Ethernet card, and a dongle (network adapter) to be able to use the service.
* Westfields Marriott, Chantilly, Va., offers 40,000 square feet of meeting and pre-function space for up to 950 people. The 30 meeting rooms are equipped with state-of-the-art AV equipment and an electronically tuned audio system designed on a 10-foot speaker grid.
* The 750-room Baltimore Marriott Waterfront is expected to open in February.The hotel will have 46,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 20,000-square-foot ballroom. All guest rooms in the hotel will have data ports and voice mail capabilities.
* The Annapolis Marriott Waterfront can accommodate groups from 10 to 500 people in its 5,200 square feet of flexible meeting space in seven meeting rooms. Charter cruises also are available on a schooner docked behind the hotel, including specialcruises.
* A $10 million renovation included a new executive club floor at the Radisson Valley Forge, which has 328 rooms and suites and adjoins the Valley Forge Convention Center near the Court & Plaza at King of Prussia.
Mid-Atlantic Resources Washington, D.C., CVA * www.washington.org
Baltimore Area CVA * www.baltimore.org
Valley Forge CVB * www.valleyforge.org
Canada * The $55 million (Canadian) Sheraton Suites Eau Claire has opened in downtown Calgary with 326 suites.
* The Calgary Marriott Hotel is nearing completion of a $7.9 million (Canadian) renovation to the first- and second-floor lobby, guest rooms, corridors, meeting space, restaurants, and fitness facility.
* The 446-room Delta Pinnacle Vancouver will open early next year, with 12,000 square feet of meeting space.
* The 455-room Sheraton Wall Centre in Vancouver is building a second hotel tower of 344 rooms, due to open later this year.
* The newly opened Vancouver Airport Marriott has 237 guest rooms and 4,600 square feet of meeting space suitable for groups of up to 600.
* The Hyatt Regency Vancouver offers 34,262 square feet of meeting space, including the Regency Ballroom, which can accommodate conventions, meetings, and product launches.
* Toronto's historic Park Plaza Hotel is now the Park Hyatt Toronto. The hotel has 348 guest rooms and 16,000 square feet of meeting space.
* The Sheraton Four Points Hotel, formerly the Inn on the Lake, offers 150 renovated rooms overlooking Lake Ontario, just minutes from downtown Toronto. A new penthouse-level conference center provides meeting space for up to 200.
* The Radisson Montreal is now the Delta Centre-Ville. A $6.4 million (Canadian) renovation has brought the total number of rooms to 711, with 21 meeting rooms able to accommodate up to 1,000 people for a banquet.
* The Novotel Montreal Centre was recently redesigned and has completed a 27-guest room and meetings space expansion that includes four multimedia conference rooms.
* The Royal Palace, in the heart of Quebec City, opened this summer with 160 suites, 74 guest rooms, and meeting space for up to 500 people.
* The Westin Nova Scotian has completed a soft goods renovation of its 300 rooms and public spaces on the hotel's conference floor.
* The 200-room Delta Barrington, connected to the 296-room Delta Halifax and to the World Trade and Convention Centre, has completed a $4 million (Canadian) renovation.
* The 112-suite Le Grand Lodge du Lac Ouimet in Tremblant opened last summer, with 10,000 square feet of meeting space and 12 meeting rooms for up to 175 people. A 23,000-square-foot conference center opened in June.
Canada Resources Travel Alberta * www.travelalberta.com
Banff/Lake Louise Tourism Bureau * www.BanffLakeLouise.com
Calgary CVB * www.tourismcalgary.com; or
City of Calgary * www.discovercalgary.com
City of Edmonton * www.discoveredmonton.com
Tourism British Columbia * www.tbc.gov.bc.ca
Tourism Vancouver * www.tourismvancouver.com
Tourism Whistler * www.tourismwhistler.com.
Tourism Victoria * www.tourismvictoria.com
Tourism Toronto * www.tourismtoronto.com
Tourisme Montreal * www.tourism-montreal.com
The Tourism and Convention Bureau of the Greater Quebec Area * www.quebec-region.cuq.qc.ca
Greater Halifax Conventions & Meetings Bureau * www.meethalifax.com