Prevue November/December 2011 - (Page 16)

bureau buzz creative venues pack a wallop of brains + beauty WASHIngTOn DC, AnAHEIM + DETrOIT CVBS DISCUSS DynAMIC EVEnT OPTIOnS frOM POSH EMBASSy gAlAS TO A TITAnIC TOUr Everyone is talking about “creativity” these days as a way to accomplish everything from working within tighter budgets to boosting attendance and ROI. Here are some compelling group experiences to light a fire under your muse. WASHIngTOn, DC Rooftop entertaining is all the rage these days in Washington, DC with a host of new spaces overlooking the city’s architectural wonders. The capital has strict height restrictions so the views are incredible at places like Top of the Hay, crowning one of DC’s most revered landmarks, The Hay-Adams hotel. The elegant 3,200-sf space with floor-to-ceiling windows and a wraparound balcony seats 200 diners. “Top of the Hay experiences are very popular... with spectacular views of The White House, Lafayette Park and St. John’s Church,” says Ronnie Burt, vp of sales for Destination DC. “You have an intimate feeling within the ambience of a formal environment.” If one rooftop setting is great, the two terraces now facing the National Mall atop the newly renovated American Pharmacists Association Building are even better. The East Terrace is an outdoor bi-level structure with gorgeous views of the National Mall. The Potomac View Terrace has reception space for 600 overlooking the Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, the Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol. The contemporary design of the House of Sweden Embassy’s 12,000-sf rooftop space (500 pax) and views of the Potomac, Kennedy Center, Air Force Memorial and Watergate Complex account for its popularity for parties. Although not new, “Few people seem to know the embassies are available for group rental, with or without catering native to that embassy,” says Burt. “I never presume what is known about DC’s unique event spaces,” which is why Destination DC offers its Unique Spaces Guide free to planners. No rooftop venue, but the new U.S. Institution of Peace opening in March does offer balcony space. The striking modernist building has natural lighting and various boardrooms, atriums and auditoriums for up to 500-pax gatherings. A recent, comprehensive facelift added modern oomph to the artistic countenance of the Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. The 200,000-sf theater (680 max) is part of a new 3-stage, $125 million theater complex that is now the second largest performing arts center in Washington, DC after the Kennedy Center. AnAHEIM Anaheim has what other cities wish for: sunny 72º weather on average, no humidity and a casual laid-back culture. Best of all for event planners, “We have fully-funded projects that create business,” says Charles Ahlers, president and CEO of Anaheim/Orange County VCB. Come April, the new Grand Plaza will open for business in front of Anaheim Convention Center. A 1/4-mile of Convention Way was converted into 120,000 sf of open space between two of the city’s largest hotels: the 1,030-room Anaheim Marriott and 1,572-room Hilton Anaheim. “We already have a compact campus environment, but this will be a campus environment on steroids,” says Ahlers. Creative elements include pavers embedded with microorganisms that reflect light from the moon. “You’ll have stars above and stars at your feet,” laughs Harriet Porter, sales director. “Where else could you get that? We’re giving groups a blank canvas in front of the convention center under sunny skies, palm trees and orange trees to create what they want in terms of a meeting venue.” Arena Stage at the Mead Theater 16 | prevue magazine

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Prevue November/December 2011

Planner's Pick: Sheraton Nassau
Planner's Pick: Buenos Aires
Fresh Meets: Park Hyatt
Good Business: Hilton Head
Bureau Buzz: Washington DC/Anaheim/Detroit
On Location: Paws Up, Montana
On Location: The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas
Meetings + The Muse
Meetings + The Muse
Mexico, Now
Mexico, Now
On Location: Marriott Resorts, Cancun
On Location: Marriott Resorts, Cancun
On Location: Starwood Resorts, Los Cabos
On Location: Starwood Resorts, Los Cabos
The Next Latin Boom
The Next Latin Boom
Barcelona
Barcelona
Queensland
Queensland
On Location: Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado
On Location: Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado

Prevue November/December 2011

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