Crowne Plaza Atlanta-Buckhead recently began a 6,300-square-foot ballroom expansion. The $15 million renovation will also encompass a new facade and a redesign and refurbishment of the lobby, public areas, and 290 guest rooms and suites. The new grand ballroom will be divisible by three and offer high-speed T1 lines. It will seat up to 280 people theater-style or 500 for a reception. On completion, the property will offer more than 8,900 square feet of function space, including a pre-function area of 2,196 square feet and four meeting rooms totaling 2,532 square feet.
Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels recently added 10,000 square feet of meeting space. The new space, slated for fall completion, includes a junior ballroom with 4,000 square feet of indoor function space, along with 6,000 square feet of exterior space. The 2,267-room properties have more 250,000 square feet of indoor function space, as well as additional outdoor venues. www.swandolphin.com
Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando, a Loews Hotel, will become the third on-site property at Universal Orlando, Florida, in 2002. Set on 53 acres, the luxury resort will offer 1,000 guest rooms and suites, and almost 80,000 square feet of meeting and function space that will include a 41,503-square-foot ballroom seating up to 4,600 people. In addition, the resort will offer two group registration desks, meeting planner offices, and 25,000 square feet of outdoor function areas. www.universalorlando.com
Crowne Plaza Houston Downtown, a Bass Hotels & Resorts property, is newly branded and recently reopened after a $25 million renovation transformed the old Whitehall Hotel, closed for 10 years. Part of a larger development known as the Cullen Center, the reborn hotel has 259 rooms, professional conference and catering staffs, and 11,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, including a grand ballroom, a junior ballroom, and pre-function space. www.crowneplaza.com
Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino recently broke ground on a three-level, 1.8-million-square-foot convention center complex at the 3,300 room resort. Expected to open in summer 2002, the new complex will include more than one million square feet of exhibit space, a 100,000-square-foot pillarless ballroom, a 50,000-square-foot ballroom, and more than 100,000 square feet of divisible breakout meeting space. Adjacent to Mandalay Bay's existing, 190,000-square-foot conference center, it will have high-tech voice, data, and fiber-optic transmission capabilities; a 10,000-square-foot business center; and three separate loading docks that can simultaneously house 36 tractor-trailers.
Montana's Big Sky Resort, a Boyne USA property, recently announced a $400 million expansion and enhancement to the resort and mountain village. The mountain property and village will add more than 100 shops and restaurants, a new spa, and additional conference facilities in the Mountain Village. The resort currently features 40,000 square feet of function space at Yellowstone Conference Center at Big Sky, as well as 300 lodge rooms and suites. www.bigskyresort.com