In Kissimmee, Fla., Gaylord Palms is putting the finishing touches on a $50 million renovation. The new 10,000-square-foot Coquina Lawn features lush conversation pods and dramatic lighting, and it accommodates up to 1,000 people for a private reception. The area can be tented in inclement weather. All 1,406 guest roomsat Gaylord have been renovated, and include updated amenities such as flat-screen TVs and ergonomic desk chairs. Wi-Fi is available in all rooms. Two new offices, perfect for meeting planners, are located close to the ballrooms. They provide conference seating for up to 18 people and come equipped with plasma television with cable and capability to connect to a computer.
In Ohio, the $140 million Hilton Columbus Downtown is approaching completion for a fall 2012 opening. The 532-room, 48-suite hotel will have 22,800 square feet of meeting space (including a 12,000-square-foot ballroom). Being built to achieve LEED certification, the hotel is connected to the Greater Columbus Convention Center, with its 1.7 million square feet of space, via enclosed walkway. There are plenty of dining, shopping, and entertainment opportunities in the area. Close to the hotel and the convention center are the North Market, Goodale Park, the Arena District, and Short North Arts District.
A 234-room Hyatt Place has opened in downtown San Jose, Calif., directly across the street from the San Jose Convention Center, which is undergoing a 125,000-square-foot expansion, expected to be completed in fall 2012. Hyatt Place San Jose/Downtown offers more than 6,500 square feet of function space.
Hyatt Regency Louisville (Ky.) has just completed a $5.8 million renovation. The lobby and front desk area were completely renovated, and the fitness center was doubled in size. The centerpiece of the project is the new Sway restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner focusing on fresh, locally grown and raised foods. The hotel, with 393 guest rooms and suites and more than 20,000 square feet of meeting space, is directly connected to the Kentucky International Convention Center.