South Florida Woos Meetings

Expanding rail service and new meetings-ready properties are on the horizon here.

Palm Beach Convention Center

Southeast Florida offers all the elements that make meetings and incentives outstanding: elegant resorts, vibrant cities, top dining, gorgeous beaches, premium golf, sizzling nightlife, a teeming arts scene and superb shopping at venues like CityPlace in West Palm Beach.

Among the news here is that the 178-room Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa has debuted in Jensen Beach. This Opal Collection resort includes an oceanfront restaurant, two bars, two pools, a fitness center, a signature spa and more than 8,000 square feet of meeting and event space.

The Palm Beach County Convention Center this year launched an expansion study to weigh plans to double its exhibit space to 200,000 square feet.

The Mandarin Oriental Boca Raton will debut in 2020 in the city's downtown. Part of a mixed-used development, the 118-room property will comprise two adjacent towers and will feature several meeting and event spaces, including a 4,500-square-foot ballroom.

The 150-room Banyan Cay Resort & Golf, a Noble House resort, will open in late 2019 in West Palm Beach. The property will have a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, a clubhouse, a spa and a restaurant, as well as conference facilities.

Groups can also consider The Seagate Hotel and Spa, which offers a range of spaces for groups, from the 1,408-square-foot Beach Club to the 250-person-capacity Grand Ballroom.

Brightline, the express intercity rail service between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, launched in May. Phase Two of the line will run from West Palm to Orlando International Airport in two hours. Train features include wide-body leather seats, complimentary WiFi, and both in-station and onboard F&B service.

This article appears in the December 2018 issue of Successful Meetings.