Home to the fourth-largest convention center in the United States, Atlanta is well known as a premier convention destination. But this hub of the Southeast offers much more than meeting space.
"The transformations of Georgia World Congress Center Authority's campus will completely revolutionize the convention experience in Atlanta," says Mark Vaughan, executive vice president and chief sales officer of the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB).
Atlanta's walkable convention and entertainment district is undergoing a major transformation as part of Georgia World Congress Center Authority's (GWCCA) 2020 Vision strategic plan. Before the end of the decade, the heart of Atlanta's convention district will see a series of new additions and renovations.
The first phase of 2020 Vision will come to life with the opening of Mercedes-Benz Stadium on July 30 of this year. This state-of-the-art, retractable-roof sports arena will double as an event venue, adding the potential for an additional 70-80 events per year. In addition to being the new home of the NFL's Atlanta Falcons and Major League Soccer expansion team Atlanta United FC, Mercedes-Benz Stadium will host the College Football Playoff National Championship Game in 2018, Super Bowl LIII in 2019, and NCAA Men's Final Four in 2020.
Hard Rock International will open a 200-room Hard Rock Hotel Atlanta on Centennial Olympic Park Drive next to Mercedes-Benz Stadium next year. The hotel will include an outdoor swimming pool, rooftop bar, and more than 10,000 square feet of meeting space.
The 2020 Vision plan also calls for a high-end, high-rise convention center hotel with as many as 1,100 rooms to open adjacent to GWCC building C. The addition of the hotel to this campus will also increase meeting space for larger meetings.
Beginning with the 2017 baseball season, the Atlanta Braves will play at SunTrust Park, the new ballpark and mixed-use development just 10 miles north of downtown Atlanta.
The $400 million entertainment complex called The Battery Atlanta will surround SunTrust Park and include a 260-room Omni Hotels & Resorts property, El Felix by chef Ford Fry, the steakhouse C.Ellet's from chef Linton Hopkins, and the Coca-Cola Roxy Theatre (a returning, iconic music Atlanta venue).
In other hotel news, Grove Street Partners is developing Renaissance Atlanta Airport Gateway Hotel, set to open in May. The Candler Building, one of downtown Atlanta's famed structures, will be transformed into a 265-room Curio hotel. Capella Hotel Group will open the 214-room Solis Hotel in the fall near Porsche's North American headquarters.
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This article appears in the April 2017 issue of Successful Meetings.