Prevue November/December 2010 - (Page 18)

bureau buzz meeting options for artsy types Colorful grouP VeNueS Are PArt of tHe SoCiAl fABriC iN SAN ANtoNio, PHilAdelPHiA + lAS VegAS Are you the creative type? You are when you bring groups together in a city core where culture and creativity collide around the downtown landscape. Here are three sizzling meeting metros where the convention and events infrastructure is continually evolving. SAN ANtoNio “Everyone thinks of Texas as flat, dry and industrial, but San Antonio has a very soft feel with brick streets and rolling hills,” says Scott White, Executive Director of the San Antonio CVB. “We are not just brass and glass.” He explains that when groups step one foot into San Antonio, they’re always amazed by the wealth of historic attractions, many made more accessible thanks to the recent River Walk extension. “Just last year we opened a 1.3-mile extension of the San Antonio River Walk called the Museum Reach,” says White. “Now, visitors can walk from the convention center district up to the Southwest School of Art & Craft; the San Antonio Museum of Art; The Witte Museum, which highlights Texas history; and the historic Pearl Brewery, which has tons of fun stuff inside.” Over 100 years old, the restored Pearl Brewery functions as a massive complex of retail outlets, dining establishments, residences, and one particularly exciting addition—The Culinary Institute of America, which opened Oct. 4. “This is just the third CIA campus in the country. The school focuses on the growing trend in Latin cuisine and groups are able to take classes there.” Also on the River Walk there’s an impressive new hotel transformation. In September, the 99-room Watermark Hotel & Spa was rebranded Mokara Hotel & Spa, the first in a new collection of Omni hotels. The property welcomes groups with 3,200 sf of meeting space, a 17,000-sf spa and a new dining concept titled Ostra, led by Chef John Brand whose Flavors of Texas menu is winning raves for its creative farm-to-fork cooking. The River Walk is the cultural vein of the city and it’s continuing to grow. The next phase will link the city’s four Spanish missions and Brackenridge Park, all slated for completion in 2013. “Our brand, ‘Deep in the Heart,’ showcases our authentic culture and commitment to preserving and protecting the history and culture of the destination,” says White. For a taste of San Antonio’s vibrant Mexican heritage, head over to Market Square, a large shopping district that’s home to Museo Alameda. “Museo Alameda is a Smithsonian affiliate dedicated to Hispanic artists.” Adding that the venue has several spaces for groups to rent, he says, “One thing that sets us apart from many other destinations is that we really take pride in our history.” PHilAdelPHiA As the nation’s first capital back in the 1760s, the City of Brotherly Love exudes culture and history. “Back then, Philadelphia was truly the Athens of America,” says Jack Ferguson, incoming President of the Philadelphia CVB. “When people come to Philadelphia, they get their socks blown off by the historical and cultural aspects of the city.” While groups are well versed in attractions such as the Liberty Bell Center and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, there is a newbie on the horizon. “In November, we are opening the National Museum of American Jewish History directly across from the Liberty Bell on Pearl Brewery Independence Mall,” Ferguson says. “The museum will look at the contributions the Jewish community has made in the US.” 18 | prevue magazine

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Prevue November/December 2010

Dolce Hayes Mansion, CA
ARIA, Las Vegas
Starwood Lux, Merida
San Antonio/Philly/Vegas
Crowne Plaza, Trinidad
Florida Faves
Gansevoort Miami Beach
Ocean Reef Club, Key Largo
HIlton Bonnet Creek, Orlando
Culture + Creativity
La Cote D'Azur
Culture 2011

Prevue November/December 2010