Wish You Were Here
Magazine Online    The Authority On African-American Conventions, Incentives, & Leisure Travel

DAYTONA BEACH, FL

Largest meeting venue: Ocean Center-205,536 sq. ft. of meeting and exhibit space

Number of area guestrooms: 12,000+

"The Daytona Beach area has always been known as a 'value destination' for travelers at all budget levels," says Lori Campbell Baker, director of Communications for Daytona Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. "Being predominantly a drive market, the area is highly accessible via Interstates 4 and 95, as well as US1 and A1A."

Once they arrive in Daytona, visitors will find a number of notable African-American heritage attractions, including the Mary McLeon Bethune Home & Gravesite at Bethune-Cookman University, the Harvey W. Lee Jr. Memorial Gallery-Mary McLeod Bethune Fine Arts Center, the Jackie Robinson Ballpark and Statue and the African American Museum of the Arts in neighboring DeLand.

The Angell & Phelps Chocolate Factory offers free tours and samples, and tours of the cultural center and museum at The Casements - the former winter home of John D. Rockefeller in nearby Ormond Beach - are also free of charge.

Of course, the area's most famous attractions are its beaches and the Daytona International Speedway - where the Daytona 500 Experience IMAX Theater brings most as close as they'll ever get to the driver's seat on the raceway.

For meeting groups, the Ocean Center's new "Hot Dates" promotion offers a 10% discount on all facility rentals through the end of 2009. Another marketing campaign touting Daytona's travel bargains directs viewers to a Web site, www.daytonasummersale.com, for information.

Convention services include volunteer greeters; coupon books for local restaurants, shops and attractions; and on-site registration assistance. Some services are provided at no charge, depending on the total number of room nights booked.

Getting around is convenient and affordable on VOTRAN, Volusia County's public transit system. From mid January to Labor Day, visitors can ride the VOTRAN trolley along Atlantic Avenue.

For more information call (386) 255-0415.

GREENSBORO, NC

Largest meeting venue: Sheraton Greensboro Hotel & Kouri Convention Center - 250,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, a business center, 1,106 guestrooms

Number of areas guestrooms: 16,000+

"Greensboro has been recognized by many meeting planners and visitors as a very cost sensitive city," says Gail Murphy, director of marketing/communications for the Greensboro Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. "The wide variety of hotels and meeting sites is the reason most often cited by planners. There is a great choice in price ranges and amenities, from full-service properties to rooms-only properties." Murphy adds that many local hotels and attractions have been offering summer specials such as rate discounts and add-ons. In addition, she says the city's central North Carolina location and easy accessibility from throughout the East Coast makes it an affordable choice for travelers. "Getting here by car or air is very economical because of the location," she says.

Greensboro offers an impressive list of cultural and historical attractions, including several with links to the area's Black heritage.

The Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum at Historic Palmer Park Institute is the site of a renowned preparatory school for African-Americans that Brown founded in 1902. A haven for escaped slaves was located at what is now part of the campus of Guilford College, while one of the exhibits at nearby Mendenhall Plantation, a Quaker estate, is a false-bottom wagon once used to transport runaway slaves. At the Greensboro Historical Museum, visitors can view an exhibit on the Woolworth lunch counter sit-ins.

Art enthusiasts can tour the African-American Atelier, one of four art galleries housed in the Greensboro Cultural Center at Festival Park.

Three more notable points of interest are Guilford Courthouse National Military Park; Tannenbaum Historic Park, a former 18th century farmstead; and Castle McCulloch, a restored 19th century gold refinery in nearby Jamestown.

The CVB can help event planners with site inspections, bid proposals, media contacts, family programs and tours. It offers a computerized housing bureau for groups using multiple hotels and four hours of free registration assistance for four hours for groups booking at least 50 room nights.

For more information call (800) 344-2282.


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