BRAND NEW Two new hotels are online for Indianapolis, part of the expansion of the Indiana Convention Center and RCA Dome. A 600-room Marriott is planned across the street from the center's main entrance. The $90 million hotel will include extensive meeting space and will connect to the center via skywalk. A 280-suite Adam's Mark hotel is going up two blocks from the convention center. Both hotels are expected to be completed by June 2000.
* The 238-room Denver Airport Marriott opened recently with 6,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 3,400-square-foot ballroom. The hotel also features a business center, a concierge floor, and a fitness center. All guest rooms have been designed with the Marriott "Rooms that Work" concept.
* A site has been selected for the new $125 million Buffalo (N.Y) Convention Center. The new center will have a 125,000-square-foot exhibit hall and a 30,000-square-foot ballroom. Plans call for an enclosed walkway connecting the center with the Hyatt Regency Buffalo.
RENOVATIONS AND EXPANSIONS * The 1,172-room Chicago Marriott Downtown celebrated its 20th anniversary with a $30 million renovation of its exterior, lobby, main entrance, meeting facilities, and retail space. A $10 million room-upgrade project is now under way. The hotel offers 58,000 square feet of meeting space.
* A groundbreaking ceremony was held recently for the $14 million La Crosse Center project in La Crosse, Wis. The expansion will double the current facility's space to more than 90,000 square feet and will include a new 6,000-square-foot ballroom, an outside terrace overlooking the Mississippi River, and 3,000 square feet of meeting rooms on the second level. The project is slated for completion in the spring of 2000.
* The $72 million expansion and renovation of the Commonwealth Convention Center in Louisville, Ky., has reached its midpoint. The new facility will have 200,000 square feet of exhibit space and a new 30,000-square-foot ballroom. The project will be completed by December 1999.
* The Milwaukee Hilton has started construction on a 20,000-square-foot water theme park, the first of its kind in an urban hotel setting. Called Paradise, the park is part of a $40 million expansion project to include a tower with 200 new guest rooms, 4,000 square feet of meeting space, and a skywalk connecting the hotel to Milwaukee's new Midwest Express Convention Center. At completion in the summer of 2000, the hotel will have 750 guest rooms and 30,000 square feet of meeting space.
RENAMINGS Destination Hotels & Resorts has taken over management of the ANA Hotel San Francisco. The renamed Argent Hotel San Francisco has 667 rooms and can accommodate meetings for up to 1,400. Over the next five years, Destination Hotels & Resorts will spend $20 million improving the hotel's meeting space and restaurant.
On Location Enchantment Resort, Sedona The red rock walls of northern Arizona's Boynton Canyon are a breathtaking backdrop for guests at Enchantment Resort, nestled deep within the canyon, about five miles from Sedona. At the secluded 70-acre resort, the towering rocks enhance everything from an intimate meeting to a sunset group event followed by stargazing on the rooftop deck of the resort's clubhouse.
For a memorable introduction to the enchantment of the canyon, attendees can participate in a "Walk with the Ancestors" tour. Wearing full ceremonial dress, Enchantment's Native American concierge Uqualla evokes the ancient world of the Southwest.
The healing rituals practiced by the Navajo, Apache, and Havasupai people are the inspiration behind a new line of spa treatments at the resort. Plans are under way to open a 20,000-square-foot spa facility with 18 treatment rooms, a kitchen, and a private dining area in January 2000.
Enchantment's just-opened meeting "village" consists of 13,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space and three "patio homes" that can be used for private receptions, offices, or breakout space. The meeting area will accommodate as many as 400 people.
The resort offers world-class tennis facilities, four swimming pools, croquet court, or the par-three golf course and putting green. --Patricia Wargocki