• Sarasota County to See More Hotel Rooms

     
    POSTED August 20, 2017
     

Sarasota County will see the addition of 1,112 new hotel rooms over the next two years. These new accommodations will largely fall within walking distance of downtown Sarasota and the dining, arts and scenery that it offers.

The newly opened Westin Sarasota adds 26,000 square feet of meeting space, as well as a rooftop pool and bar area to Sarasota. The new Zota on Longboat Key has 187 guest rooms and 5,000 square feet of meeting space. The Art Ovation Hotel, part of the Autograph Collection by Marriott, will open in November 2017 with 162 guest rooms and several onsite restaurants, and the Embassy Suites by Hilton will open with 180 suites on 19 floors in early 2018. Pinecraft, an Amish and Mennonite community within the city of Sarasota, will see the opening of its first hotel in late 2017. The hotel will feature nearly 100 guest rooms and 4,000 square feet of meeting space. Finally, The Sarasota Modern: A Tribune Porfolio Hotel will open with 89 rooms in the Rosemary District in 2018. These new hotels are in addition to the Aloft Sarasota in downtown Sarasota, with 139 guest rooms and 550 square feet of meeting space.

“We have not had this many new hotels open in such a short span of time in more than a decade,” says Virginia Haley, president of Visit Sarasota. “With expanded sporting events, cultural offerings and meetings, there is a demand for more hotel rooms. I am optimistic that our expanded sales efforts during the past several years will keep these hotels full year-round. VSC has initiated a robust plan to aggressively market these new and existing rooms in inventory.”

 

The return of familiarization trips is one key sign that things are beginning to return to normal in our industry. In mid-June the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) hosted more than 40 meeting and convention planners for a three-day familiarity tour. Their stay included a visit to the Franklin Institute and world premiere exhibit Harry Potter: The Exhibition, evening reception on the Rocky Steps, and a watch party as Philadelphia was announced as a host city for the FIFA World Cup 2026.

 

If you’ve hosted meetings at the Javits Center or other venues in Manhattan, you know that there’s more than enough to do in the borough to easily keep attendees busy for days.

 

Pittsburgh may be known as The Steel City, but it has plenty of greenery, too, and opportunities for groups attending meetings here to get out in nature. The Pittsburgh CVB, which has the tagline “Only in Pittsburgh,” has proudly shared the news that the Great Allegany Passage was named a winner in the 2022 USA Today “10Best Readers’ Choice” travel award contest for “best recreational trail.”