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VIRGINIA MEETINGS VIRGINIA BEACH Classic Resort City Offers Rich, Yet Sustainable, Meeting Experience S


ITUATED IN THE MIDST OF A BUSTLING metropolitan city on the edge of a dramatic coastline, Virginia Beach is the perfect des-


tination for a rich, yet sustainable, meeting experi- ence. This locale provides a perfect backdrop for meetings,conventions,and trade showsfor groups aiming to meet environmentally friendly goals. TheVirginia Beach Convention Center is the first


of its kind in the nation to achieve LEED Gold certi- fication for Existing Buildings. The facility captures the true essence of this coastal destination with its innovative design, and features more than 500,000 square feet of space, including a 150,000- square-foot, column-free exhibit hall and a 31,000- square-foot, state-of-the-art ballroom. Staffed by a seasoned team of service-oriented professionals, the facility provides competitive rates and 2,230 free parking spaces, and is located just blocks fromone of the mid-Atlantic’s most beautiful beaches. Beyond access to aworld-class convention cen-


ter, this resort city offersmeeting planners a variety of off-site venues that also are sustainable. Virginia Beach is the first destination in theCommonwealth to be certified by Virginia Green, the Common- wealth’s campaign to promote environmentally friendly practices within the hospitality industry. To date, 120 Virginia Beach hospitality businesses are certifiedVirginia Green,including restaurants,accom- modations, events, and attractions; in fact, 35 per- cent of all hotel rooms in the city are certified “green.” Unique meeting spaces that are also pre- mier attractions — including the Sandler Center for the PerformingArts, the Contemporary Art Cen- ter of Virginia, and the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center—are also certified byVirginia Green. The Virginia Beach CVB continues to elevate


industry standards for environmentally sound prac- tices through a growing portfolio of sustainability- based offerings and amenities available to meeting planners and organizations.Virginia Beach also pro- vides added value to meeting planners and organ- izations through enhanced corporate social responsibility offerings. Those interested in giving back during their stay can take advantage of the CVB’s social-responsibility program,which involves a partnership with the United Way of Hampton Roads.This programgives organizations a variety of ways to volunteer in order to meet their specific goals and objectives. JT’s Grommet Island Beach Park and Playground for EveryBODY presents another opportunity for


100 pcma convene May 2011


organizations to reach their social-responsibility goals. The first of its kind in the country, this new oceanfront attraction is 100-percent handicapped- accessible and offers beach-goers with disabilities the chance to enjoy the sand, sun, and surf with ease. Located next to the famed Virginia Beach Boardwalk, the park features soft play structures, special wheelchairs for the sand, handicapped- accessible play areas, Braille panels, sensory walls, shadedseating,andmore.GrommetIsland canserve as another “give-back”option, with fundraising pro- ceeds going toward the purchase ofnewequipment and playground expansion. 


At a Glance Convention facilities: First in the nation to achieve LEED Gold certification for Existing Build- ings, the Virginia Beach Convention Center fea- tures 500,000 gross square feet of space. Rooms citywide: 12,000 Committable rooms within two miles of the convention center: 3,500 Attractions: Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, Contemporary Art Center of Virginia, San- dler Center for the Performing Arts, charter boat fishing, dolphin-watching cruises, 11 Virginia Beach golf courses, historic lighthouses, three- mile-long Virginia Beach boardwalk, First Landing State Park, Naval Air Station Oceana, Town Center For more information: Virginia Beach Conven- tion & Visitors Bureau, Al Hutchinson, Vice Presi- dent, Convention Sales & Marketing; (757) 385-4700 or (800) 700-7702; ahutchin@vbgov.com;www.vbmeetings.com


 CATCHING THE


WAVE: First in the nation to achieve LEEDGold certifi- cation for Existing


Buildings, the Virginia Beach Convention


Center captures the essence of


the coastal desti- nation in its design.


ALL AFLOAT: In the Virginia


Beach Convention Center, a soaring, nautical glass cur- tain wall appears to float in pools of water inside and outside the building.


www.pcma.org


PHOTOS COURTESY VIRGINIA BEACH CVB


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