* Harris County Commissioners in Houston recently approved a $95 million expansion and renovation of the Astrodome Complex. To be completed in April 2001, the project will add a 600,000-square-foot exhibit hall, central heating and cooling, and new parking for 3,000 cars.
* The RiverCentre, which opened earlier this year in St. Paul, Minn., recently received verification of its meeting spaces from the Professional Convention Management Association. Its facilities include a 68,700-square-foot exhibit hall, a 27,111-square-foot ballroom, a 5,500-seat auditorium, and 26 meeting rooms, many with view of the Mississippi River.
Brand New * Gaylord Entertainment will spend $300 million to develop the Opryland Hotel-Florida on a 60-acre site near the main gate of Walt Disney World in Orlando. Plans call for a 1,400-room hotel and convention center with a 200,000-square-foot exhibition hall plus 150,000 square feet of meeting and ballroom space.
* The 259-room Inn at Penn, the hospitality component of the University of Pennsylvania's new mixed-use complex, Sansom Common, will open in 1999. It will include a conference center with a ballroom, eight meeting rooms, and a boardroom.
* The 526-room Westin Hotelat theDenver International Airport will open in the summer of 2001. The full-service hotel will be atop a 1,400-space parking garage and will have 30,000 square feet of meeting space, a health club, and a business center.
* The newly opened New York Marriott Brooklyn is Brooklyn's first new hotel construction in 68 years. Part of a mixed-use development, the 376-room hotel has 27,000 square feet of meeting space, including an 18,000-square-foot ballroom.
* The 197-room Club Hotel by Doubletree at Bayside in Boston will open in April next to the Bayside Expo and Conference Center with 270,000 square feet of exhibit space and 30,000 square feet of meeting space. An additional 18,000 square feet of space will be available in 10 new meeting rooms and a ballroom that will open at the end of this year adjacent to the hotel.
* The African-theme Wyndham Safari Resort, in Orlando, recently opened its new conference center. The 6,000-square-foot Safari Ballroom accommodates 480 for a banquet and can also be divided into three salons.
Renovations * The Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C., is undergoing a $50 million renovation. The 1,348-room hotel has a total of 170,000 square feet of meeting space in 46 meeting rooms.*