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The 143rd annual Shriners International Imperial
Session will take place in Daytona this year,
marking the first time they have held this meeting
in a resort destination.
former storage and maintenance facility
for Tampa's streetcars. Local restaurateurs
and chefs will spearhead the market's
culinary offerings. The building is also being
repurposed to accommodate multiple event
spaces, the largest holding room for 1,300
cocktail-style, a shared workspace, rooftop
social area and two restaurants.
At Saddlebrook Resort & Spa,
a different kind of foodie experience
takes place right on the golf course. The
"Progressive Dinner" starts with the group
meeting at the golf staging area, where
they board golf carts to the fairway of the
fifth hole for an opening reception, followed
by a different course at each hole and
ending at The Commons for dessert and
after-dinner drinks. The 540-room resort
has over 95,000 sf of meeting space
including a 18,000-sf ballroom.
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Daytona Beach is gearing up for the 143rd
annual Shriners International Imperial
Session in July-the smallest city ever to
host this 10,000-person meeting and the
largest convention ever held here.
"They will have various activities
throughout the entire county and they are
also bringing their families with them," says
Linda McMahon, director of group sales,
Daytona Beach Area Convention &
Visitors Bureau. "It's the first time they have
held this meeting in a resort destination."
In fact, meeting at the 200,000-sf
Ocean Center and the adjacent 744-room
Hilton Daytona Beach Resort/Ocean
Walk Village is practically like meeting on
the beach, with the surf literally 400 ft
away and spectacular seaside views from
A $400 million renovation project at
Daytona International Speedway was
completed last January. Two new hotels
are in the planning stages: a Marriott
Autograph Collection hotel called The
DAYTONA and an upscale Westin.
The Lee County area is known for its shelling,
with the Gulf current refreshing its beaches with
a regular supply of everything from coquinas
to cockle shells. Sanibel and Captiva beaches
often take top prize for best shelling beaches in
the country and some hotels even offer rooms
equipped with special sinks and worktables for
cleaning and packing the day's finds.
The 190-room Sundial Beach Resort
& Spa often arranges for shelling excursions
for groups, as well as fishing charters and
dolphin sunset cruises. A new addition to
the resort is Shima Japanese Steakhouse &
Sushi Bar, which offers dinner and a show
and can accommodate up to 300 guests
in its event space. In total, the resort has
12,000 sf of indoor and outdoor space.
In Fort Myers, a much-needed hotel
adjacent to the Harborside Event Center
is in the planning stages and on track to
break ground this year.
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2/1/17 2:30 PM