By Sabe Fink
Looking for top meeting sites in the South? Then you need to meet College Park and Cobb County, Georgia.
College Park: Crossroads Of The New South
“Hosting a meeting, convention or event in College Park provides unique advantages to respective attendees,” said Meet College Park President Cookie Smoak. “With the world-class Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport connected to an elite convention center that is surrounded by thousands of rooms at leading brand hotels, the city of College Park provides a comprehensive travel package that allows attendees to arrive, meet, stay and depart with efficiency and convenience.”
The Georgia International Convention Center (GICC) is Georgia’s newest and second largest convention center, and features 400,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, including a 40,000-square-foot ballroom, the Atlanta area’s largest. The GICC is one of only handful of convention centers in the world that are directly connected to major airports. It has hosted everything from trade shows, corporate events and meetings to movie shoots, concerts and sporting events and more. Its professional staff is able to handle virtually any request.
“Not only does College Park boast some of the most renowned meeting and convention facilities in the southeast, but also a unique combination of fantastic attractions and amenities that contribute to an overall pleasant stay,” Smoak said. “College Park is home to an impressive roster of established dining destinations, historic landmarks and walking trails that will have unfamiliar guests leaving with true sense of Southern hospitality.”
The city of College Park offers more than 5,000 hotel rooms, with another 3,000 or so in the area surrounding the airport and the GICC, and is just minutes from downtown Atlanta. The Atlanta Airport Marriott Gateway, located close to the GICC, provides meeting attendees with a resort atmosphere that includes 14 acres of green space. It also offers a courtesy shuttle and five dining options including the signature Bentley’s Steakhouse. The Hampton Inn Atlanta Airport, Fairfield Inn & Suites Atlanta Airport South, Hilton Garden Inn Atlanta Airport/Millennium Center and SpringHill Suites Atlanta Airport Gateway are among the dozens of lodging options convenient to GICC and College Park.
College Park also boasts some fine dining. The Pecan stands out for its signature shrimp and grits, Lowcountry specials and its intimate Southern ambiance. The Manchester Arms Pub, located in a historic home, provides a gathering place with a British pub vibe and cuisine with a slight Southern edge.
Meet College Park’s Smoak is enthusiastic about the community’s many and varied attractions. “Home to a diverse roster of renowned headquarters, the city of College Park has something to offer any visitor. Frequent fliers can explore the future of flight at the Delta Flight Museum while auto enthusiasts can go zero to sixty at the Porsche Experience Center. Culinary fanatics are invited to enter the birthplace of the ‘original chicken sandwich’ and experience the Chick-fil-A Backstage Tour and history buffs can scope out more than 850 sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places,” she said. “For out-of-towners with more time, College Park is just minutes from Atlanta’s outstanding attractions, including the World of Coca-Cola, The Georgia Aquarium and the professional sports arenas that house the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Braves.”
To learn more contact Meet College Park, Georgia (404) 334-7503 www.Meetcpga.com
Cobb County: Hitting Home Runs In Every Way
The arts in virtually every form, world-class shopping and dining, a host of lodging options, and indoor and outdoor recreation opportunities converge to make Cobb County’s Cumberland area the new epicenter of Atlanta happenings. “We are fortunate that the Cumberland area is a central hub of entertainment and activity for our county, driven by innovative and exciting new growth opportunities,” said Holly Quinlan, CEO of Cobb Travel & Tourism. The icing on the cake will be the completion of the Atlanta Braves’ new home, SunTrust Park, in time for Opening Day 2017. This destination will integrate a Major League Baseball ballpark with a multi-use development to create a year-’round shopping and entertainment district.
Meeting attendees don’t have to wait until 2017 to enjoy Cumberland’s varied offerings, however. Cobb Galleria Centre, a premier meeting and convention facility, boasts four exhibit halls of 36,000 square feet each, a 25,000-square-foot ballroom and more than 30 meeting rooms. There are more than 3,000 guest rooms within a quarter mile of the venue, with four hotels – the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel and Convention Center, the Embassy Suites Atlanta-Galleria, the Sheraton Suites Galleria-Atlanta, and the Courtyard Atlanta Cumberland Center – within walking distance. SunTrust Park will be home to an Omni Hotel, under development by the Atlanta Braves and Omni Hotels & Resorts. The Omni will feature 16 floors, 250 rooms and suites, more than 12,500 square feet of meeting space, and an elevated rooftop pool deck and bar overlooking the plaza and ballpark.
The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, located adjacent to the Galleria Centre, is home to the Atlanta Ballet and the Atlanta Opera, and hosts Broadway productions, corporate meetings, concerts, comedy shows and other special events. The Atlanta Braves and Live Nation are developing a new 53,000-seat entertainment venue within the SunTrust Park project. This venue will bear the name of an Atlanta icon: The Roxy Theatre, which will seat 4,000.
Fine dining abounds in the Cumberland area. From esteemed classics such as the Old Vinings Inn with refined Southern cuisine to nearby Canoe located on the bank of the Chattahoochee River to Medici, the Waverly’s signature restaurant and hundreds more conveniently located in the Cobb Galleria area, diners will have no problem finding somewhere special for a great meal.
There is a plethora of shopping available surrounding the Cobb Galleria area. Main Event and Dave & Buster’s provide meeting attendees and their families with additional entertainment options. For outdoor activities, the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area and the Silver Comet Trail offer opportunities to hike, run, bike or take a leisurely stroll in a beautiful setting.
Cobb Travel & Tourism’s Quinlan works with meeting planners to ensure memorable experiences. “Cobb Travel and Tourism markets Cobb County as a destination. We do this by working with hotels, restaurants, venues and attractions,” she said. “As our community continues to be recognized as a preferred destination among planners of conventions, trade shows and special events, we are proud to act as the go-to resource and insider’s guide to Cobb.”