The Nashville Tennessee Design Review Board approved the final plan for a boutique hotel building for East Nashville with a groundbreaking for the project planned for September 2022. Developer ZMX Inc. is building the six-story Eastline Hotel, at 949 Main St. The 75-foot-tall building will offer 75 hotel rooms and two ground-floor retail spaces fronting Main Street. Catalyst Design Group is handling engineering and land-planning. Centric Architecture is designing Eastline, with Elam Freeman of Ojas Partners overseeing the marketing and leasing of the two retail spaces. Eastline will offer a rooftop patio, a communal indoor space, a co-working area and below-grade parking.
 
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A plan to rebuild the Best Western Inn in Corte Madera California has been approved by the Planning Commission. The commission recently voted unanimously to send the project plans to the Town Council for a final decision. The commission’s recommendation comes with a few minor requests on the design, such as more toned down colors and patterns. Reneson Hotels, which owns the site at 56 Madera Blvd., first is proposing the project. The 110-room hotel and restaurant are on a 5.53-acre lot between Tamal Vista Boulevard and Highway 101. The new hotel would be a 149-room Residence Inn with a mix of three- and four-story sections, standing 47-feet at the highest point. There would be no onsite restaurant. The project would comply with the tier 1 requirements of the California green building standards code. The site would have 169 parking stalls, including six accessible spaces and 14 with electric vehicle charging capabilities. The environmental report considered impacts to aesthetics, air quality, biological resources, geology and soils, determining that all impacts could be mitigated to less-than-significant. Garrett Grialou, is president of Reneson Hotels.  
 
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Project team Olive Real Estate Group, Hotel Equities, Colarelli Construction and Hotel Operations Services announced the official ground breaking of the new Residence Inn by Marriott hotel at the Colorado Springs Colorado Airport Terminal. Located in Peak Innovation Business Park, the hotel is the first of a two-phase plan to build a Residence Inn and Courtyard by Marriott, which will be connected by a common lobby with shared amenities. The hotel will be managed by Hotel Equities, who will provide development services throughout the hotel’s construction, and is expected to open in late 2023
 
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Review of the Ketchum Utah Marriott Tribute Hotel, proposed by PEG Companies will go to the City Council for deliberation for the third time after the Ketchum Planning and Zoning Commission approved its design-review application. The hotel is planned for a property on Main Street at the south entrance to town. It is planned to be 72 feet at its highest point and 48 feet above River Street, and includes three below-grade floors comprising storage space, parking and some guest rooms and employee housing. There are 92 planned rooms over the hotel’s 128,000-plus square feet. The first floor, will have a bar and restaurant. Plans also include a rooftop bar on the third floor. Outside the hotel, along Main Street, is a sectioned-off fire pit with seating for public use. Justin Hepler of AJC Architects designed the project.  
 
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April 11 to 14 saw Cvent, the largest provider of technology for planning and executing meetings and events, host more than 2,000 planner customers at Caesars Forum in Las Vegas for its annual Cvent Connect event. Another 10,000 customers and other meeting-industry members participated virtually. This was the second time Cvent Connect was held in a hybrid format, and just eight months after the first iteration. During a wrap-up series of interviews for the online audience on the last day, various members of the planning staff spoke to virtual-program emcee Courtney Stanley about their work.

David Heizer, team lead, professional services for Cvent, noted that “we learned a lot from last year’s event and since that time, too. For that first hybrid, we didn’t have a playbook, but this time we could take things from last year’s playbook and build on them.”

Specifically, “you have a lot of momentum out of the gate when it’s the second show with the same team. Just knowing the event’s audience and flow, being familiar with how everyone works, having the documentation—all of that was a big help for us coming back after just eight months.” Another big help: A full debriefing of the entire team after the 2021 event. “That’s what you want to do in order to optimize the things that worked, and keep everything getting better.”

To properly serve the virtual audience, Heizer advised planners to “test early and test often. Somebody told me that plan A is always a decoy, and that tends to be true. For most of our streaming stages, we had anywhere from three to seven backup plans so that if a given scenario happened, we knew exactly how to pivot.”

Cvent’s production partner for the event was Encore, and Rob Stout, the firm’s vice president of production operations, said that a hybrid event “boils down to this: It’s one event but two experiences. The people who are in person have the advantage of taking in the whole environment, while those watching on a screen are getting more of a broadcast dynamic, and you have to plan for that difference. There’s a little more staff talent that’s needed—the broadcast requires more of a technical toolkit to really make the experience for remote attendees engaging, like a sporting event. I think that kind of investment is key, and it’s worth it in order to get a high degree of remote-attendee engagement. It’s not the same show for each audience.”

Kayla Sommers, CMP, senior meetings and events planner for Cvent and production lead for Connect, said that the team worked especially hard on making the opening entertainment segment a great hybrid experience. “The focus was not just on the people watching the performance on the stage in front of them; we really tried to choose something that would come across through the camera to all those desktops incredibly well.”

For other planners to do this, Sommers suggested that they “ask more questions of your suppliers than you ever have before. If you don’t know what exists out there, you don’t know what you could potentially do for your event. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.”

CventConnectStanleyGiusti.pngPaulina Giusti (in photo, wearing black), senior meetings and events manager for Cvent who oversaw the planning team with Sommers, added that “now’s the time” to stretch what you do with your events, perhaps even “take some risks. We’re all making our way back into in-person events, and I think this is the opportunity to give something a go that you’ve never done before. We did a lot of that with this year’s programming, including creating a lot more networking opportunities. And we’re ready to take some more chances with some other programs we’ve got coming up,” including Cvent Connect Europe taking place October 4 to 6.

In his keynote on day one, Cvent founder and CEO Reggie Aggarwal emphasized that hybrid events will continue long after the Covid pandemic ends. As for the efforts that corporate, association, and third-party planners made to get up to speed technologically during the pandemic, “I want to thank all of you for your grit and your determination for adapting and embracing digitization so that our industry can move forward,” he said. “Just remember, technology is here to stay. It’s accelerating and it is now pervasive across the entire event lifecycle, and you’ve got to embrace it as a core competency.”

www.cvent.com


The Nags Head North Carolina Planning Board on June 21 will hear a preliminary proposal for a new hotel to be called the Inn at Whalebone. The four-story, 11,215-square-foot hotel would have 90 units and be located on the west side of U.S. 158 at 6632 W. Pheasant Avenue. The property is just south of Nags Head Golf Links and the Village at Nags Head, and just north of the Soundside Event site where an event center is being proposed. House Engineering, P.C. submitted the application. The property is currently owned by Stanford and Susan White and valued at $1.116 million.
 
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Developer Okan Group broke ground in downtown Miami Florida on Okan Tower, which would be the tallest building in Florida and include a Hilton Hotel. Located at 555 N. Miami Ave., the condo, hotel and office tower would rise 70 stories, or 902 feet tall. The $400 million project would also feature the highest pool in the United States. Behar Font & Partners designed Okan Tower. It will have a 316-room Hilton Miami Bayfront Hotel, 236 short-term rental condos managed by Hilton, 163 sky residences condos, another 14 two-story lofts, and 64,000 square feet of office space. The typical floor will have 10.5-foot ceilings, so the units will feel large. The amenities would include three pool decks, two for residents and one for hotel guests. The infinity-edge pool on the 70th floor would be for residents only. Other amenities would include a fitness center, a spa with stream rooms and saunas, a theater, a wine cellar, and a children’s play rooms. Fortune International Group is the residential broker. The general contractors are Civic Construction and Ant Yapi Construction. The project will be completed in 2026. 
 
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Woodbine Development Corp. is advancing plans for a major renovation of its Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa in San Antonio, Texas which is expected to cost $50 million or more once completed. The 500 guestroom, full-service resort opened in 1993 and was expanded in 2013. It spans 300 acres, with nearly 235,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space and golf facilities. The renovation will include a complete redo of the resort’s guest rooms, corridors, meeting spaces and the lobby area. There will also be a significant investment in food and beverage areas and other amenities around the pool area and across the resort, including its spa. Dupree Scovell is managing partner of Woodbine Development Corp. King Scovell is the Chief Development Officer.  
 
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The Kolter Group and the Ally Capital Group are planning to demolish the Fit2Run and Exchange Hotel in St. Petersburg, Florida and redevelop the sites into a new hotel and residential tower. Under the entities KT St Pete Runner LLC and Ally MW LLC, the groups filed plans for a mixed-use project encompassing a 35-story apartment complex and an adjacent 13-story hotel. Ally Capital Group, headed by Andrew Wright of Franklin Street, also filed a demolition request with the city to demolish the Exchange Hotel. Last year, Kolter Group purchased the two Fit2Run properties, one at 256 2nd St. N. in a $5.1 million deal, and 232 2nd St. N. for $2.4 million. The site plan shows the hotel would be built at the Fit2Run site and that the neighboring site, which houses the Exchange Hotel and would be redeveloped into a 361-unit residential tower with a seven-story parking structure. A description of the project states the apartment complex would have amenities such as a pool on the eighth floor, and the adjacent hotel would have 184 rooms and a 124-space parking garage.
 
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The Clearwater Florida City Council selected one of three development groups to transform the downtown bluffs, into a mixed use development including two towers and a hotel. Council will now begin negotiating a development agreement with The Bluffs, a team comprised of the Gotham Organization and The DeNunzio Group. For the 1.4-acre Harborview site, The Bluffs proposes a 13-story, 150-room hotel with 15,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, a conference center, a rooftop bar and pool, a below-ground garage, two 27-story towers with a combined total of 600 rental units for the 2.6-acre City Hall site, with 25,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space and below-ground parking. Gotham’s CEO is David Picket.  
 
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