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Industry Briefs
With Revival of World’s Most Famous Beach, Meeting Planners Seize the Daytona

Upcoming Conferences in Daytona Beach Demonstrate Positive Trend in Destination Meetings

Meeting, Convention and Sports Group Travel Planners for national and international organizations are now joining millions of leisure travelers who “Seize the Daytona,” with Shriners International, the American Baptist Association, the Humane Society of the United States and Junior Olympics National Gymnastics Championships announcing plans to hold their events at The World’s Most Famous Beach.

Situated on 23 miles of Florida’s East Coast, the Daytona Beach area benefits from major trends in meetings—affordability and vacation fun for attendees and their families. With recently announced properties like Hard Rock Hotel and Café, and the appeal of the area’s Ocean Center meeting venue opposite the sand and waves of the Atlantic, Daytona Beach offers a unique experience that meeting planners for global organizations are finding hard to pass up.

When Shriners International announced last year its selection of Daytona Beach as the host for its 2017 convention, it became the smallest city to ever host the annual gathering. Now Daytona Beach is breaking another record as the first city in more than 60 years to host the five-day event two years in a row (2017 and 2018), bringing more than 15,000 people per year.

“Daytona Beach is a great destination our Shriners and their families are sure to enjoy,” said Gary Bergenske, Imperial Oriental Guide of Shriners International. “That coupled with the great partnership with the CVB, city and county will make it a wonderful event they will all remember.”

Already planned for this summer is a multitude of faith-based conferences that take advantage of Daytona Beach’s prime asset as a meetings destination: a state-of-the-art convention center across from the Atlantic Ocean. The youth-focused summer convention, Student Life @ The Beach, is booked for the Ocean Center in 2013 and 2014, and both the men’s ministry event Promise Keepers and women’s ministry conference Living Proof Live include Daytona Beach as one of only a handful of tour stops across the country. As well, the Humane Society is bringing its annual Animal Care Expo, a world-class educational conference and full-scale international trade show, to Daytona Beach in May 2014 and then again in summer 2017.

Taking advantage of the area’s variety of meeting sites, the American Baptist Association will hold its Annual Messenger Meeting in June 2017 at the Hilton Daytona Beach with the general session at the Peabody Auditorium, Daytona Beach’s historic performance venue.

Plenty of Meeting Space & Options, With More to Come
A major trend for meeting planners is choosing destinations that are fun for families, not just attendees. Daytona Beach keeps the whole family busy with water sports like surfing, paddle boarding and kayaking, amusement rides on the boardwalk, fishing from the pier, museums, local history and varied dining options, all within minutes of the Ocean Center’s 200,000 sq. ft. of convention and conference space.

Recently expanded and upgraded to feature flexible indoor and outdoor meeting space, the Ocean Center is a world-class venue that serves as the area’s convention, entertainment and sports complex. Convention goers will experience the highest level of service not only during their meeting, but also throughout their stay at any of the area’s 15,000 guest rooms in numerous hotels that also offer conference space such as:
  • Daytona Beach Resort and Conference Center – Meeting services feature board and conference rooms, 17,000 flexible sq. ft. of indoor conference space and a grand ballroom for any occasion.
  • El Caribe Resort & Conference Center – Meeting facilities include more than eight meeting rooms and 100 ocean front guest rooms with private balconies, including numerous additional meeting rooms.
  • Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort – Hilton’s largest meeting facility on the east coast of Florida, offering more than 60,000 sq. ft. of flexible indoor and scenic outdoor meeting space overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Plaza Ocean Club – Enjoy the spectacular views, exceptional catering and audio-visual support. With more than 7,500 sq. ft. of flexible meeting and banquet space, we can easily accommodate your group event of two to 250.
  • The Plaza Resort and Spa – Daytona Beach’s most historic oceanfront resort is also the area’s first oceanfront “Certified Green Lodging hotel” with well-appointed guest rooms and 32,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space.
  • The Shores Resort & Spa – With more than 20,000 sq. ft. of meeting rooms, conference facilities, and outdoor and rooftop space, The Shores is also offering groups the new Ultimate BOARD Package, which includes the unique team-building experience of a two-hour stand-up paddleboard lesson and tour.
  • Wyndham Ocean Walk Resort – Located across the street from the Ocean Center convention complex with a 5,000-sq. ft. grand ballroom and an additional 1,000 square feet of flexible meeting space.

As well, with new hotels planned for Daytona Beach, travelers and their families can look forward to exploring additional properties with enhanced amenities. Hard Rock International recently announced it will open an oceanfront hotel in 2016; another large hotel development looks to break ground this summer; and, renovations of hotels by new owners are making for a more comfortable stay at the beach.

Together its assortment of accommodations, convention space, family activities and other assets make Daytona Beach a growing meetings destination. Proven partnerships between hotels, the Ocean Center, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, the local airport and others are helping the city move forward with a revitalization of business and tourism. More improvements in store include a beachside rollercoaster at the Boardwalk, a multi-million dollar renovation to the Daytona International Speedway, varying new hotel projects and new commercial development.

“Daytona Beach has long been known for sand and surf,” said Jeff Hentz, Daytona Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau president/CEO. “In working together, the city gains ground as a premier destination for work and play, family fun and sole relaxation. We have worked hard to provide a quality meeting experience for all budgets and Daytona’s recent economic boost provides even more opportunity for meeting planners.”

Daytona Beach Lures Sporting Events and Competitions:

Along with meetings and conventions, Daytona Beach is also becoming a popular location for sports events and competitions. The area will host the 2015 USA Gymnastics Men’s Junior Olympic National Championships, which will fill more than 2,000 rooms and bring 1,400 participants and families to the area. It also lured the 2014 and 2015 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Men’s Golf Championship. The Ladies Professional Golf Association International, a premier Daytona Beach golf club that will host the NAIA championships both years, is a major draw for players at every skill level and promises a challenge in all seasons of the year.

About the Daytona Beach Area:
Daytona Beach and its surrounding area is located along a beautiful 23-mile stretch of Florida’s East Coast. Named one of TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Beach Destinations in the U.S. in 2012, the world-famous Daytona Beach invites visitors to swim, surf and fish in warmer waters while basking under sunnier skies. The destination is home to the Daytona International Speedway, which hosts the Daytona 500, the Rolex 24 and many other events, and is also the home base of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) and the Florida section of the United States Tennis Association. With more than 15,000 beds, Daytona Beach features lodging for all lifestyles and budgets, and has earned the reputation of the Festival Capital of Florida with some of the largest events and festivals held each year. The casual and fun atmosphere of Daytona Beach is perfect for families making long-lasting memories while seizing the day … or better yet, seizing the Daytona. Learn more at and 2018), bringing more than 15,000 people per year.