Successful Meetings - April 2008 - (Page 116)

Meeting Sites ESSENTIAL TOOL BOX Convention Facilities: Puerto Rico Convention Center, 152,700 sf of exhibit space, a 39,500-sf ballroom, and 36,200 sf of meeting space. Dedicated Convention Center Hotel: 500room Sheraton (2009) Rooms Close to the Center: 1,382 Hotel Rooms: 13,600 (islandwide) Average Daily Business Travel Costs*: Hotel $196 F&B $83 For More Information: Puerto Rico CB Puerto Rico R E N E WA L : Between the building, rebuilding, and rebranding of the island’s hotel inventory, planners will be astounded at the variety and luxury that awaits them. The Convention Center District, Isla Verde, and Condado areas are bustling with development. By Robert Curley For more listings, visit Facility Quick Search at *Business Travel News 2008 Corporate Travel Index HOME TEAM RECOMMENDS For fewer than 100 attendees, Nancy MatosTanal of Group Services Inc. (and a Global Events Partner) recommends the Casa Blanca Museum in Old San Juan, “originally built as the home for the first governor of Puerto Rico, Juan Ponce de Leon.” For larger groups, she suggests Rio Grande’s Hacienda Siesta Alegre, near the entrance of sector El Verde, the surrounding area of the El Yunque National Rain Forest. NJ- yard at El Convento. Stephen Patterson of Boca Raton’s Multi Image Group hotels with a total of 1,770 rooms as well as a “lifestyle center” with residences, office space, retail shops, and restaurants. The 500room Sheraton Puerto Rico Convention Center is currently under construction and slated to open in 2009. In Jun, the 751-room El likes the El Conquistador, Ronnie Ramirez Vilches of San Juan-based Audiovisualcomm Rentals likes the Four Points by Sheraton at Palmas del Mar (Humacao), based Rosaelena Bernaducci, of AMEX Corporate Meetings Solutions, also likes to have events at El Yunque, as well as in the court- and Emily Berdell, with the Conquistador Resort & Constructors AssociThe view from El Conquistador Golden Door Spa opened ation of Western Pennsylvania, suggests the San Juan the new 21,000-sf Grand Atlantic Conference Center and added a water park. Our subscribers gave a Pinna- Marriott & Stellaris Casino. cle Award to the following: FACILITIES UPDATE The Puerto Rico The Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa, Westin Rio Mar Convention Center sits at the center of is now a Wyndham with a Mandara Spa, fol(now Wyndham) San Juan’s 113-acre, waterfront Con- lowing a multimillion-dollar renovation. For more listings, visit Facility vention Center District, which is curQuick Search at rently a hub of activity. Plans call for For more Facilities Updates, go to the the district to eventually include three Caribbean section of READERS RECOMMEND Taking the Measure of Meetings It is hard to calibrate the economic impact of a convention center—except in the case of the 580,000-sf Puerto Rico Convention Center. The 2005 opening of PRCC placed San Juan on equal footing with competitors like Orlando and Nashville, and crowned the U.S. commonwealth the undisputed king of Caribbean conventions. Acknowledging that San Juan has more meeting capacity than beds, officials note that the city is more than halfway home with its ambitious plan to add 5,000 new hotel rooms by the end of 2008. Public and private financiers are pouring $1 billion into renovations and new hotel construction in Puerto Rico, mostly in the San Juan area. In August 2007, the PRCC played host to San Juan’s largest citywide in history, when the National Guard Association of the United States came to town with more than 5,000 delegates. The group utilized 13 hotels and pumped $10 million into the local economy during the three-day meeting, according to Ramon Martinez, EVP and COO of the Puerto Rico CB. Martinez says about one citywide per month is scheduled for 2008 as hotel capacity begins to catch up with the Convention Center PRCC’s capabilities. —RC APRIL 2008 SUCCESSFUL MEETINGS PHOTO: PUERTO RICO CB 116

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Successful Meetings - April 2008

Successful Meetings - April 2008
Editor's Note
Industry Trends
On the Record
Planner's Spotlight
Technology Talk
Personal Success
Websites of the Month
Food & Beverage
On Site
Professional Development
On Site
Professional Development
Miforum Q&A
Beyond the Flames
Reservation for—21,000
Casino Riches
Entertainment Jackpot
Who Needs a Passport?
The International Swing
Around the World in 18 Holes
Places & Spaces
Puerto Rico
Show Special: Washington DC / Frankfurt, Germany

Successful Meetings - April 2008