SUCCESSFUL MEETINGS October 2007 "America's adventure Place" is suddenly placing a lot of emphasis on
meetings. Opening in January is the $25-million, 28,000-square-foot Reno Ballroom (adjacent to the Reno Events Center and the National Bowling Stadium), close to the 1,720-room Silver Legacy Resort Casino, 817-room Eldorado Hotel Casino, and 1,572-room Circus Circus, and a few blocks from the 926-room Harrah's resort and 833-room Sands. The $420-million Chateau at South Tahoe's Heavenly Village expects to have a 50,000-square-foot dedicated
convention center that will be able to handle up to 1,600 for meetings and 4,400 for special events-as well as two luxury condo hotels, a full-service spa, and a slew of restaurants and shops-all by the end of 2009.
Essential Tool Box
Convention Facilities: Reno-Sparks Convention Center, 500,000-sf center with 380,000 sf of dedicated meeting space and 67 meeting rooms, largest accommodates 12,090 theater-style. Reno Event Center, 118,000-sf arena facility with 55,000 sf of dedicated meeting space and seven meeting rooms, largest accommodates 7,000 theater-style.
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The Big News
A major project wraps up in Reno next May when the 960-room Atlantis Casino Resort Spa more than doubles its meeting space to 50,000 sf and builds a skybridge connecting to the Reno-Sparks Convention Center; Phase II will redesign the lobby and construct another guest room tower, ultimately bringing the guest room count up to 1,500 over the next few years.
* A $300-million transformation at the 1,975-room Grand Sierra Resort and Casino, which has revamped exteriors, renovated the casino, and reconfigured the top 11 floors into condos, will culminate with meeting and guest room renovations by the end of 2008.
* The 1,600-room John Ascuaga's Nugget in Sparks is scheduled to wrap up a $12-million renovation early next year that will give the guest rooms in its East Tower a "soothingly sophisticated" look.
* The Legends, expected to open in 2009, will include 1,000 guest rooms, 40,000 sf of meeting space, and a private beach on the 80-acre lake at Sparks Marina.
* In Dec, the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino will open its new 600-suite Tuscan-themed luxury tower as part of a $300-million project that also includes a redesigned entrance, a 30,000-sf spa, new dining and nightlife venues, and a 62,000 sf ballroom that will be the largest in the region.
* Station Casinos has plans under way to build two properties in Reno over the next four years; a 1,000-room resort with 100,000 sf of meeting space across from The Summit Sierra, a complex that opened last year with 70 shops and restaurants; and a property adjacent to the Reno-Sparks Convention Center that will have between 200 and 500 guest rooms.
* The 150,000-sf Cabela's in Reno opens this fall, featuring a freshwater aquarium stocked with native fish, representations of wild game species, and a towering mountain replica complete with waterfalls and streams.
GROUPS SHOULD CONSIDER
Groups should consider these recommendations from Successful Meetings' Home Team* experts. Top choices include the 1,994-room Grand Sierra Resort & Casino, the 403-room Resort at Squaw Creek, the 517-room Harrah's Lake Tahoe, the 740-room Harvey's Lake Tahoe Casino & Resort, and the 422-room Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa & Casino.
*Home Team contributors who informed this section include Michelle DeClerck, CMP; Annette M. Kovalcik; and Jean Travers. Contact them at [email protected]
The News from North & South
In North Lake Tahoe, an $80-million restoration under way at the 200-room CalNeva Resort, Spa and Casino, creating new group-friendly elements like a restaurant with a lake-view deck. A 10,000-sf spa is on track for 2009.
* Renovations have just been completed at The Chateau, a special-event venue located on Incline Village Championship Golf Course.
* Plans are under way to replace the Crystal Bay Hotel and Tahoe Biltmore with a boutique hotel/casino catering to meetings that will be surrounded by a village of shops and restaurants.
* The Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe completed a $2-million remodel of its lakeside cottages last year.
* The Granlibakken Conference Center and Lodge, just outside Tahoe City, opened its Executive Lodge last June, bringing the resort's total offerings to 190 guest rooms and 16,000 sf of conference space.
* Phase II of Northstar-at-Tahoe's new Village at Northstar wraps up this fall, bringing the total of one- to four-bedroom condos up to 193, and opening 5,000 sf of meeting space. g The $300-million, 173-room Ritz-Carlton Highlands is on schedule to open in late 2009 at The Highlands at Northstar-at-Tahoe, featuring 11,000 sf of meeting space, a 20,000-sf spa, and several pools.
In South Lake Tahoe, in the past year, Harrah's completed a $3-million lobby remodel and refurbished the 16th-floor Summit suites (even as nine new Summit suites were created on the 17th floor); opened a $5.9-million, high-end Cantonese restaurant; and spent $3.1-million to transform Club Altitude into VEX nightclub.
* At Harveys, projects in the past year include an $11-million renovation of the Balcony suites; a $5.5-million remodel of the guest rooms in the Mountain Tower; a refreshed look in the Cabaret showroom; and a $1.35-million Phase II renovation of the health club/pool. Renovations of the Lake Tower guest rooms are slated for completion next year.
* The MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa opened in May 2006 as a revamp of Caesars Lake Tahoe, with 440 guest rooms, restaurants, and nightlife venues.-HWB
Our subscribers gave Pinnacle Awards to the following:
Harveys Lake Tahoe Casino & Resort
Harrah's Lake Tahoe
Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa & Casino
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