Opened earlier this year, Toronto Congress Centre North brings Toronto Congress Centre's trade and convention space to a total of more than one million square feet, making it one of the largest such facilities in Canada. At the forefront of the “green” design movement, the TCCN has incorporated zero-waste construction, environmentally friendly purchasing policies, reduced energy use, storm water recirculation, and green-roof technology. Norr Architects of Toronto re-engineered a derelict building with the goal of turning it into an eco-friendly, multipurpose facility that uses less energy, less water, more fresh air, and more natural light, with fewer toxins and less waste than other facilities of its kind. Located north of the existing Toronto Congress Centre, the expansion includes a massive lobby area that offers plenty of natural light, 500,000 square feet of exhibition space, 40 meeting rooms, and a 25,000-square-foot ballroom.

Venue News

Convention Centers

Pennsylvania Convention Center
Philadelphia

The News: A $700 million expansion of the convention center is underway.

Specs: A total of 1 million square feet of space, including 541,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space, a 60,000-square-foot ballroom (the largest on the East Coast), and the ability to host large trade shows or two major conventions simultaneously.

Time Frame: Completion is scheduled for 2010.

Indiana Convention Center
Indianapolis, Ind.

The News: The ICC has announced plans for a $275 million expansion to the existing center as well as construction of a new Lucas Oil Stadium to replace the RCA Dome.

Specs: The new convention center/stadium complex will offer 747,000 square feet of exhibition space, 129,000 square feet of meeting room space, 67,000 square feet of ballroom space, and 296,000 square feet of pre-function space. A walkway will connect the convention center expansion with the new Lucas Oil Stadium.

Time Frame: Construction will start this summer after the demolition of the RCA Dome. Completion is scheduled for 2010.

Oncenter Complex
Syracuse, N.Y.

The News: In January, the convention center completed the first major renovation of its ballroom since opening 15 years ago.

Specs: The renovation updated the walls, ceiling, carpeting, lighting, and furniture. The complex consists of three venues: The 99,000-square-foot Nicholas J. Pirro Convention Center at Oncenter, the War Memorial Arena at Oncenter, and the John H. Mulroy Civic Center Theaters at Oncenter.

Extra: Plans are in the works for The Westin Syracuse Hotel to open adjacent to the convention center in 2009.

Santa Fe Convention Center
Santa Fe, N.M.

The News: The city's new convention center is being built with environmentally responsible practices.

Specs: The 72,000-square-foot center will feature green design elements such as rooftop gardens to control heat absorption and transmission; a 45,000-gallon water catchment system for irrigation; non-volatile carpet, paint, and cleaning products; occupancy lighting sensors; skylights; and recycling centers located throughout the facility.

Time Frame: Completion set for September 2008.

New and Renovated

International Plaza Resort & Spa
Orlando

The News: The 28-acre resort and spa opened in October 2007.

Specs: More than 60,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space and more than 1,100 guest rooms. The Oceans Conference Center has about 36,500 square feet of function space, including the 12,000-square-foot Oceans Ballroom. The Lakes Conference Center features nearly 13,000 square feet of event space, including the 10,000-square-foot Great Lakes Ballroom.

Extra: Located across the Bee Line Expressway from the 2.1 million-square-foot Orange County Convention Center

Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa
Galena, Ill.

The News: Recent renovations to meeting and event space have been completed.

Specs: More than 15,000 square feet of newly renovated function space includes 14 meeting rooms and three executive boardrooms. New décor and upgraded lighting and technical capabilities have been added in the conference center.

Extra: On site are 63 holes of golf and the Stonedrift Spa.

News Makers:

  • The Tenn.-based Chattanoogan hotel has hired Jay Hudson as sales manager. Previously, Hudson was national sales manager at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tenn.

  • Doug Copeland will become director of sales and marketing at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center at The University of Texas at Austin when it opens this month‥

  • The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau has named two new executives to its corporate meetings and incentives division. Patricia Tarnutzer has been appointed western regional director of accounts and Meredith Parkins has been appointed regional director of accounts.

  • The Loews Don CeSar Beach Resort in St. Pete Beach, Fla. has hired Kelly Virgin as the hotel's new conference manager. An eight-year veteran in the hospitality industry, Virgin most recently served as convention service manager at the Hilton Carillon Park.