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Business Traveler (USA) - - MEETING MATTERS -

This fits in line with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s com­ment that“Chicago’s tourism strat­egy is about more than show­ing off our great city to vis­i­tors from around the coun­try and globe; it’s about cre­at­ing jobs and eco­nomic op­por­tu­nity for ev­ery Chicagoan and ev­ery neigh­bor­hood. Th­ese re­sults show the po­ten­tial of this part of our econ­omy to con­tinue to re­turn sig­nif­i­cant div­i­dends.” Or­lando – Last year’s #1 and this year’s #2, Or­lando is con­sis­tently named among the top des­ti­na­tions for meet­ings in the world for its ser­vices and ameni­ties, and for its in­cred­i­ble port­fo­lio of ho­tels that fit a wide va­ri­ety of bud­gets. This year, Or­lando’s tradeshow in­dus­try grew by 1 per­cent in the sec­ond quar­ter of 2014, mark­ing its 16th quar­ter of con­sec­u­tive growth, ac­cord­ing to the most re­cent Cen­ter for Ex­hi­bi­tion Re­search (CEIR) In­dex re­port.

At Univer­sal Or­lando, Loews Ho­tels & Re­sorts an­nounced the 1,000-room, Caribbean-themed Sap­phire Falls Re­sort, to open in 2016 with 131,000 square feet of meet­ing space. Mean­while, Loews Royal Pa­cific Re­sort has an ex­pan­sion of more than 56,000 square feet of meet­ing space in the works for fall 2015.

Other changes in the past few years have in­cluded new re­tail, din­ing and en­ter­tain­ment op­tions, plus ad­di­tions to theme parks. Among th­ese, the Dr. Phillips Cen­ter for the Per­form­ing Arts is sched­uled to open in Novem­ber 2014, fea­tur­ing the 2,700-seat Walt Dis­ney Theater, 300-seat Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater, Sen­eff Arts as 150,000 guest rooms – mean­ing it can de­liver the right fa­cil­i­ties for just about ev­ery type of meet­ing.

With so much room, Las Ve­gas es­pe­cially ex­cels at tradeshows. Last March,Ve­gas cel­e­brated two decades of be­ing voted the #1 Tradeshow City in Trade Show News Net­work’s 2013 TSNN Top 250 Trade Shows in the US.

By the end of this year,Ve­gas ex­pects to have com­pleted more than $2.6 bil­lion of new and ren­o­vated venues, en­com­pass­ing 44,000 square feet of meet­ing space and 1,955 guest rooms.

South­ern Ex­po­sure

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