• 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.”

As with most facets of the meetings and events industry, the art of managing an event budget is a true balancing act. And while it’s easy to get wrapped up in the nitty-gritty, Eventbrite revealed a pleasant surprise in its 2018 Pulse Report (which surveyed 1,200 planners), finding that event budgets overall appear to be on the rise. But where exactly are those budget dollars going these days and how can planners best spend to craft memorable moments?

 

According to the Illinois Department of Agriculture, about 1.5 million Illinois workers are employed in the food and fiber system, ranking it as one of the top states in dependency on agriculture. The state’s 72,500 farms utilize 75 percent of Illinois land, including some of the most fertile soil in the world. While nicknamed “The Prairie State,” Illinois is truly a land of plenty and a hub for agritourism—with some of the largest agriculture-focused events (holding the potential for major economic impact) taking place inside its borders.

 

Set 27 stories above Chicago’s iconic theWit hotel, ROOF on theWit is paying tribute to Andy Warhol’s 1980 ad campaign for Absolut Vodka at Chicago’s original rooftop. What better way to celebrate than with a specialty cocktail; the ROOF is offering guests its very own crafted Absolut Warhol. The drink combines Absolut Elyx, Strawberry-Infused Bergamot Liqueur, St. Germain and House Lemon Sour, along with a lemon peel garnish as a nod to Andy’s blonde bangs.