Conference Center News

Pacific Palms Conference Resort, Industry, Calif., began a $10 million expansion project in October. When it is finished later this year, it will complete a $42 million transformation begun six years ago. The resort will have an additional 90,000 square feet of interior space and 130,000 square feet of updated outdoor space, as well as a new spa, patio, restaurant, bar, golf pro shop, golf staging area, and improvements to two 18-hole golf courses. In 2004, the resort completed a $32 million renovation that included more than 45,000 square feet of meeting space, 292 guest rooms and suites, and a new lobby. [4]

As part of a $200 million expansion, Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., is adding 25,000 square feet of multi-functional meeting space to its conference center. It will also break ground, this summer, on a 200,000-square-foot expo center. The resort will offer about 80,000 square feet of meeting and convention space when the first phase of the project is completed in June. [5]

A new conference center has opened in Mexico's Riviera Maya, south of Cancun, at Barceló Riviera Maya Beach Resort. The center has opened in conjunction with the opening of two new hotels at the resort: the all-inclusive Barceló Tropical Beach Hotel and Barceló Maya Colonial Beach Hotel. The resort complex now includes four hotels with more than 1,900 guest rooms and with meeting facilities that can accommodate groups of as many as 850. The free-standing conference center has a 12,000-square-foot ballroom that can be divided into three breakout rooms. There are five additional meeting rooms ranging in size from 300 square feet to more than 2,140 square feet. Barceló is offering a special meeting package, based on availability, through the end of the year. [6]

In late September, the Stonewall Jackson Hotel & Conference Center reopened in downtown Staunton, Va., in the Shenandoah Valley after a $21 million restoration. It included all 124 guest rooms and nearly 11,000 square feet of meeting, pre-function, and dining space. The hotel, opened in 1924, was recently recognized by the National Trust for Historic Hotels of America for its architectural significance. [7]

The Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority has just released its “2006 Lake Tahoe Travel Planner,” available either in print or electronically at [8] (click on “Meeting Planners”). It helps planners connect with the right meeting locations, and also provides ideas for off-site activities, from party boats to trail rides.