Meetings East, April/May 2009

Happenings

Eastern Pennsylvania

  • Slated for completion in 2011, the expansion of Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania Convention Center (215.418.4700; www.paconvention.com) will add 60 percent more space to the facility, resulting in 1 million square feet of saleable space.

  • Two properties are slated to come online this year in Philadelphia; the 204-room Le Meridien Philadelphia (215.575.6905; www.starwoodhotels.com), opening in late summer or early fall, and Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group’s boutique Palomar (415.955.5492; www.kimptonhotels.com), slated to open in late 2009.

  • The newly renovated 327-room Dolce Valley Forge (610.337.1200; www.dolce-valley-forge-hotel.com) now offers a total of 26,000 square feet of function space; upgraded guest rooms, pool area and facade; and a new restaurant, lobby, lounge, business center and fitness center.

  • In Bucks County, The Sportsplex (215.355.2582; www.sportsplexpanew.com), a sporting facility with over 100,000 square feet of indoor space, now welcomes trade shows, expos, conferences and other gatherings.

  • Situated on the former site of the historic Bethlehem Steel plant in Lehigh Valley, Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem (www.sandsbethworks.com) will debut in May with 3,000 slot machines and a variety of entertainment and dining options. Future development plans include 50,000 square feet of flexible multipurpose space, a 300-room hotel, retail space and additional slots.

Central Pennsylvania

  • Scheduled to open this spring, the Lancaster County Convention Center and Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square (866.503.3786; www.lancasterconven tioncenter.com) will offer over 90,000 square feet of convention, event and trade show space. Built within the facade of a historic department store in Lancaster, the center and adjoining 300-room hotel will feature a 45,000-square-foot exhibit hall, a 9,000-square-foot ballroom and more than 20,000 square feet of flexible prefunction space.

  • The Hotel Hershey (717.533.2171; www.hotelhershey.com) plans to wrap up a $67 million expansion this summer in celebration of its 75th anniversary. The project includes dramatic upgrades to the front entrance; the addition of 10 luxury cottages, one meetings cottage and a restaurant; and the construction of a recreational campus with an aquatic center, hiking trails, volleyball and tennis courts, and a year-round skating rink.

  • Hershey Lodge (717.533.3311; www.hersheylodge.com), featuring 100,000 square feet of meeting space, recently wrapped up enhancements to its guest rooms and Great American Hall.

  • Slated for a 2010 opening, The P Hotel and Spa (800.260.8437; www.thepcondos.com) in State College is a luxury hotel-condo project featuring 103 rooms, a ballroom and flexible meeting space. Open to the public for Day Spa visits and memberships, the property intends be only the second LEED-certified GOLD condominium-hotel property in the U.S.

Western Pennsylvania

  • Pittsburgh’s vibrant 14-block Cultural District is the site of a new hotel opening this fall: the upscale Fairmont Pittsburgh (412.391.1033; www.fairmont.com/pitts burgh), which will feature 185 guest rooms and 12,000 square feet of function space. The property will be part of a “green” certified mixed-use building complex, which includes shopping, restaurants and office space.

  • Pittsburgh will also welcome the new Rivers Casino (www.thepittsburghcasino.com) dining, gaming and entertainment complex this August. Future plans for this sleek riverfront property include a 300-room hotel and event space for 2,500 people.

  • Opening this spring, the August Wilson Center for African American Culture (412.258.2700; www.augustwilsoncenter.org) will become an important addition to downtown Pittsburgh’s growing Cultural District. Named after the world-famous playwright and Pittsburgh native, the 80,000-square-foot facility includes galleries, classrooms, a 486-seat theater and multipurpose spaces.

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