A conference center that opens in October will add to the many reasons meeting planners are drawn to Cartersville, a Blue Ridge Mountain foothill town 45 minutes north of metro Atlanta.
“We already have amenities like a world-class resort and two Smithsonian-affiliated museums, and we are so excited about the new opportunities that the 45,000-square-foot Clarence Brown Conference Center will bring us,” said Ellen Archer, executive director of the Cartersville-Bartow County CVB.
“We are expecting to increase our meeting business fourfold, as we will now be able to accommodate a wider range of meeting-planner budgets. We can also expand beyond our current association and social markets into government groups and corporate entities like northwest Georgia’s strong carpet industry.”
Located on Highway 20 one mile off Interstate 75, the conference center is designed for social and business use and will accommodate 2,000 people; it includes a 12,800-square-foot ballroom for 1,400 as well as a 3,000-square-foot ballroom, nine classrooms and a 300-seat lecture hall. It will house the offices of the Cartersville-Bartow CVB and be operated by the CVB staff.
“It will be unmatched between Chattanooga and Atlanta, as our focus for the center was on technology, aesthetics and sustainability,” Archer said. “It will have at least a silver-level LEED [Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design] certification.”
Also unmatched are Cartersville’s two world-class museums, Tellus: Northwest Georgia Science Museum and the Booth Western Art Museum, which features the largest permanent exhibition of Western art in America.
Tellus includes a digital planetarium, four galleries and 6,000 feet of banquet space. A recently opened 40,000-square-foot wing at the Booth museum doubles its exhibition space and includes a 250-seat banquet hall and 3,200-square-foot ballroom.
“The annual meeting of the 17-state Appalachian Regional Commission will hold a dinner for 250 people at Tellus and tour of the Booth Museum this fall,” said Archer. “The ARC isn’t meeting here due to the completion date of the convention center, but they wanted to include our wonderful museums in their convention itinerary.”
One of Cartersville’s full-service hotels, the 133-room Holiday Inn Cartersville, is adjacent to Tellus and has a small ballroom; the city’s newest hotel is the downtown Hilton Garden Inn, which opened last year with 109 rooms and a 3,500-square-foot ballroom.
“Our rural area has been described as having a surprising level of sophistication, and one reason is beautiful Barnsley Gardens, a 1,400-acre English-village-style resort set on a 19th century estate,” Archer said. “The resort, located in Adairsville, has 87 rooms in guest cottages, as well as a 5,000-square-foot pavilion for executive retreats, board meetings and receptions. It also offers many recreational options perfect for team building.
“Bartow County also has four historic special-event homes — Grand Oaks, Stonewall Manor, Rose Lawn and the Governor’s House — which are all value priced as compared to the perimeter of Atlanta,” said Archer. “They each hold about 250 people and cater to executive groups who often bring in party tents for dances and evening functions.”
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