Successful Meetings - February 2009 - (Page 86)

FLORIDA’S EAST COAST > BURIED TREASURE TREASURE By Christopher Hosford BU RIED AN EXPANSE OF FLORIDA’S EASTERN OCEANFRONT IS JUST WAITING TO BE DISCOVERED F lorida’s east coast suffers from the “TOM effect,” jokes John Reyes, president and CEO of Visit Jacksonville. “That stands for ‘TampaOrlando-Miami,’ and those well-known destinations can sometimes obscure what this stretch of Florida is all about. But the real story is, once we get people here, we convert them. We’re an emerging brand.” Emerging, yes, and also different from the surf-and-sun playgrounds of other Florida destinations. Daytona Beach, for example, a short hop east of Orlando on Florida’s Atlantic coast, is preparing a series of grand opening events for this month through the spring to celebrate The Ocean Center, the resort destination’s newly enlarged convention center. The grand reopening will show off a $76 million renovation of the center that is essentially triple its original size, with 200,000 sf of indoor exhibit and meeting space, 36 breakout rooms, and a Cultural Information Center. It epitomizes much of what Florida’s east coast is all about: A largely undiscovered and value-oriented meetings destination in the Sunshine State, but with plenty that’s new and exciting to offer the smart meeting planner. In short, the new center makes a Jacksonville’s skyline above St. Johns River 86 I SM I February 2009 I

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Successful Meetings - February 2009

Successful Meetings - February 2009
Editor's Letter
News Update: Meetings Associations Band Together
Planner Spotlight
Technology Talk
Food & Beverage
Making Cents of It All
Meanwhile, Back at Headquarters
Seal of Approval
Come Sail Away
Making Tracks
Places & Spaces
Florida’s East Coast
3 Days in Philadelphia

Successful Meetings - February 2009