July will see the opening of a new 224-room hotel in Cupertino, Calif. The Cypress Hotel, which is being developed by Kimpton Hotel and Restaurant Group, will include 21 suites, a 150-seat restaurant, and 4,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 3,000-square-foot ballroom. Kimpton has also been tapped to transform the Haslett Warehouse at San Francisco's Cannery Wharf into the 268-room Argonaut Hotel.
In San Jose, the Hayes Mansion Conference Center is at work on an expansion that will increase the number of guest rooms from 135 to 214 and bring its total meeting space to 28,000 square feet. The historic property plans to open the new three-story wing this fall.
The newest corporate event site in Fremont, Calif., has guests climbing the walls. City Beach Freemont, billed as a sports, entertainment, dining, andcenter, boasts the largest indoor rock climbing facility in Silicon Valley. The center opened in December with space for up to 1,200 attendees.
If you haven't seen San Francisco's Clift, formerly The Clift Hotel, in a while, get ready for a change. The property, now owned by Ian Schrager Hotels, unveiled its dramatic face-lift last summer, including new flat-screen televisions in the Redwood Room showcasing the work of digital artists.
The new 362-room Omni San Francisco Hotel was scheduled to open in February. It is designed in 1920s and 1930s decor to reflect its heritage as the former 1926 Financial Center Building. The property has 13,000 square feet of meeting space.
In October, the Four Seasons Hotel and Residences opened in San Francisco's Yerba Buena neighborhood with 277 rooms, including 46 suites. More than 15,000 square feet of meeting space is wired with high-speed Internet access. Guests have access to San Francisco's Sports Club/LA, which includes a full-size swimming pool and basketball court.
Also in October, the Courtyard by Marriott-San Francisco opened with 405 guest rooms.
The five-star, 20-story, 425-room Elliott Grand Hyatt Seattle opened in July with 25,000 square feet of meeting space and two elegant ballrooms. Technology is a signature of the property, including three data ports in every room, a 150-seat amphitheater with executive chairs and data ports at each desk, and the ability to link any number of guest rooms as a virtual private network. The hotel delivers high-speed Internet access via Terabeam technology, which uses fiberless optical connections.
Adjacent to the new Elliott hotel, the Washington State Convention & Trade Center's heavy load exhibition space now totals 205,700 square feet.
Convention centers will soon be opening just north and south of Seattle. In Lynnwood to the north, a 35,000-square-foot center for groups of up to 300 is expected to open in fall 2003, and just south of Seattle, the Greater Tacoma Convention Center is under construction. Planning to open sometime in 2004, the $61 million, 75,000-square-foot convention and exhibition center will feature a 50,000-square-foot main exhibit hall and 10 meeting rooms totaling 25,000 square feet of breakout space.
The first Tacoma hotel accessible by water opens this spring. The Silver Cloud Inn overlooks Commencement Bay, with 90 rooms and suites, some with fireplaces, spa bathtubs, and data ports.
The Portland (Ore.) Expo Center last spring unveiled a new 112,000 square foot exhibition building, bringing the facility's total exhibition space to 330,000 square feet.
In January, the design-build team was selected for Boise, Idaho's new convention center. Expected to open by early 2004, the 150,000-square-foot facility will be adjacent to the current Boise Center on the Grove.
Last April, the Boise Best Western Vista Inn opened its Rocky Mountain Conference Center, increasing its meeting space by 3,000 square feet to 4,697 square feet.
The Coeur d'Alene Casino Resort Hotel in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, is constructing a Gene Bates — designed 18-hole golf course. The first half of the course will be playable by this fall. Late last year, ground was broken on a new gaming area, restaurant, and 5,000-seat arena and event center.
Groups of up to 1,200 will soon have a new home in central Australia. The Alice Springs Convention Centre plans to open in March, adjoining Lasseters Hotel Casino and the Alice Springs Golf Course. As a result, Lasseters plans to almost double in size, to 144 rooms.
Melbourne's 484-room Crown Towers hotel has a $200 million expansion under way that will add a 20-story 469-room tower to the complex by November 2003. The hotel features views of the Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay.
Groups headed to Sydney should not forget Homebush Bay, which was the site of the 2000 Olympic Games. Located 10 miles west of Sydney's central business district, Stadium Australia is much more than a top venue for sporting events. Two function rooms can host groups of up to 1,500 people theatre-style, and the complex also has four restaurants with floor-to-ceiling views over the stadium. The food and beverage operation can provide five-star fare for as many as 7,000 guests.
Perth, in western Australia, plans to build a convention center with a 2,500-seat meeting area, a separate 2,500-person banquet facility, 12 to 14 breakout rooms, and 24,000 square yards of exhibition space. Construction is scheduled to be complete in early 2003.
Darwin is also on track to have a convention center open by early 2003. Meetings of up to 1,200 will be available just a short distance from the Northern Territory Parliament.
Oregon Coast Visitors Association
Portland, Ore., Visitors Association
San Francisco CVB
San Jose CVB
Santa Clara CVB
Seattle-King County CVB
Adelaide Convention & Tourism Authority
Cairns & Region Convention Bureau
Gold Coast Tourism Bureau
Melbourne Exhibition & Convention Centre
Northern Territory Convention Bureau
Perth Convention Bureau
Tourism Sunshine Coast
Sydney Convention & Visitors Bureau
New Zealand Convention Association