This Week in Event Venues News

We go around the country to see what the latest is for venues as they re-open for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic.

This Week in Event Venues News

Venues around the country are already preparing for the new normal, including Convene, which offers co-working and meeting spaces in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and London. Last week, Convene launched new proprietary technology for virtual meetings—which includes a team of virtual meeting producers to guide clients through the process—plus enhanced products for hybrid meetings.

See what is helping elsewhere below.

East

Long Island’s Nassau Coliseum, which hosted roughly 200 events per year including sporting events and concerts, is closing indefinitely. Onexim Sports and Entertainment, which operates the arena under a lease from Nassau County, is reportedly seeking investors to take over operations.

In Boston, the historic Fairmont Copley Plaza hotel plans to reopen August 7. 

West

The InterContinental San Francisco has introduced “Meet With Confidence,” a new program designed for safe in-person and virtual events. The 556-room hotel has partnered with PSAV to offer audiovisual and virtual meeting capabilities for hybrid events, including the use of integrated audience engagement program Chime Live. Room plans have been redesigned to support six feet of physical distancing; in terms of food and beverage, there will be a single server for every 15 attendees. The hotel is also offering virtual tours of its 43,000 square feet of event space. 

In Las Vegas, resorts and casinos continue to open in phases. MGM Resorts will open The Luxor on June 25, followed by The ARIA, Mandalay Bay and Four Seasons Las Vegas on July 1. The Bellagio, MGM Grand, New York-New York, and Excalibur opened earlier in June. All MGM properties will incorporate a new seven-point safety plan, which includes employee screening, physical distancing policies, standalone hand-washing stations, digital menus, and more. 

In other Vegas news, the upcoming Resorts World Las Vegas has submitted plans for an underground public transportation system that will connect the resort and the Las Vegas Convention Center. Passengers will be transported in all-electric Tesla vehicles in under just two minutes. Pending approval by the Board of County Commissioners, construction is expected to begin later this year.

And in Los Angeles, Proper Hospitality will debut its new brand, Hotel June, on June 22. The new property aims to incorporate Proper’s design-forward style at a more affordable price point. The 250-room property's design features natural woods, native fabrics, handmade tiles, and local art; Steve Living of Happy to Serve You Hospitality Group oversees the food and beverage, which includes a two-level outdoor restaurant. 

Central

The Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park opened in El Paso on June 17. The newly restored boutique property has 130 rooms and suites, an on-site Mexican restaurant, a rooftop bar and lounge, and a fitness center. There’s also 7,967 square feet of event space. 

The Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association has proposed a plan to allow guests to gather at 50% capacity in hotel meeting rooms, ballrooms, and public spaces. Currently, Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s plan will permit 50 people to gather in phase four, but IHLA president and CEO Michael Jacobson is fighting for increased capacity. "The hotel and tourism industry are a critical component of the economy for Chicago and the state of Illinois, and our plan provides an important bridge to the future," Jacobson told NBC Chicago.
In Denver, the 128-year-old Brown Palace Hotel & Spa reopened recently. “The return to operation of The Brown Palace is something we’ve all looked forward to for the past two months,” said general manager Nick Moschetti in a press release. “After uninterrupted operation for the past 128 years, this pause has allowed us to reflect on our place in Denver’s past, present, and future. We have worked hard to ensure we are at our best, serving our guests to the level they’ve come to expect, with safety front of mind.”

Southeast

Southern Management Group’s hotel division has launched EverStrong, a new comprehensive cleaning and sanitation program. The plan—which will be implemented at mid-Atlantic properties The Hotel at the University of Maryland, Cambria Hotel College Park, The Hotel at Arundel Preserve, and Bear Creek Mountain Resort & Spa—is built on four pillars: physical distancing, cleanliness, active monitoring, and rapid response. 

In other Mid-Atlantic hotel news, the 80-room Quirk Hotel opened earlier this month in Charlottesville, Va. Situated adjacent to two historic farm homes dating back to the 19th century, the art-focused property incorporates a variety of relics from Charlottesville’s past, and includes an in-house art gallery. There’s also 11,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space, including a rooftop, an outdoor screening pavilion, and a bi-level yard. 

In Nashville, BentallGreenOak, Flank Management LP, and Geolo Capital have joined in a three-way venture to acquire the Hutton Hotel. The 250-room hotel has more than 20,000 square feet of event space, as well as a 5,000-sq.-ft. social club and entertainment venue, three dining concepts and a Tesla Model S house car for guest transportation. 

In Florida, The Greater Miami CVB has launched Miami Shines, a recovery campaign to support hotel- and tourism-industry openings across South Florida. The program includes promotional incentives across restaurants, hotels, museums, spas, and attractions. “Our number one priority at the GMCVB is to responsibly drive demand to our partners in Greater Miami’s tourism industry,” said William D. Talbert III, president and CEO of the GMCVB. “The Miami Shines program helps create and keep jobs and helps the local economy recover now that beaches, hotels, and the hospitality industry are open once again.”

Canada

Palais Des Congrès de Montréal is preparing to reopen by hosting hybrid events with partners Encore and GES. All rooms at the convention center will be reconfigured to comply with Canada’s two-meter distancing measures, and a team of technicians and producers can add a variety of virtual components. “Despite the undeniable impact COVID-19 has had on the Palais’ operations, the current situation is serving as a springboard for going forward with new digital opportunities that will enable us to further make our mark globally,” said Robert Mercure, the venue’s CEO, in a statement. “The convention industry is simply evolving, and the Palais and its new hybrid event solutions are at the forefront of this transformation.”

See the original version of this story, published by BizBash, here.