Wilmington is promoting a new Convention District located riverfront and within the city’s walkable River District, connected by a nearly two-mile scenic Riverwalk.
The Convention District is anchored by the Wilmington Convention Center (WCC), the largest convention center on North Carolina’s coast. A transformation of Wilmington’s riverfront has been underway and evolving since the opening of the WCC in 2010. The riverfront is now home to several new projects that further complement the district’s formation. The Embassy Suites Wilmington Riverfront Hotel, located adjacent to the WCC, is slated to open this fall, and a new Hampton Inn Downtown just opened in April. Several prominent organizations have already committed to hosting their upcoming meetings in Wilmington as a result of the new lodging offerings.
“Our new Convention District is going to make Wilmington a very appealing destination for larger regional and national groups, which is evidenced by the interest and bookings we have already received,” said Kim Hufham, president and CEO of the Wilmington and Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Additionally, the Convention District is located in the middle of our evolving River District, which combines the city’s historic charm and rich past with modern design and new attractions. Our walkable downtown, easy access to more than 200 restaurants, shops and attractions, plus three nearby beaches, all come together to create a meeting location that feels like a vacation.”
The Hampton Inn Downtown officially opened its doors in April. The property offers 92 guest rooms and suites, along with a 1,222 square-foot meeting room for up to 75 people.
The Embassy Suites Wilmington Riverfront Hotel is scheduled to open this fall with 186 two-room guest suites, 162,866 square feet total, 6,600 square feet of meeting space, and a 4,003 square-foot roof top bar offering scenic views of the Cape Fear River.
Additional new properties will include the Aloft Hotel, a 125-room property featuring a rooftop courtyard with a fire pit and bistro, as well as 7,000 square feet of meeting space and another yet-to-be-named downtown hotel. These properties will join the nearly 8,000 hotel rooms and suites currently available in the Wilmington area.
The Hilton Wilmington Riverside is undergoing an $8.5 million renovation scheduled for completion in the spring of 2018. The project includes complete guestroom and guest bath renovations, the addition of a bridal suite, a refresh of the guest corridor, and complete renovations to all public areas of the property. All ballrooms and meeting spaces at the hotel will receive a complete rejuvenation.
The CVB is rolling out a series of marketing assets for planners interested in bringing meetings and events to Wilmington’s new Convention District including a new website, Convention District Guide and SkyNav 3D Tours. The first of its kind in the country for the meeting planning industry, SkyNav will feature web-based aerial and ground 360 interactive tours of the Convention District and its offerings. Users are not required to download anything but can simply click for immediate access to high-quality panoramic views. Virtual reality windows will also enable iOS or Android devices to instantly go into VR mode without an app. Once in VR mode, planners can slide their mobile device into any VR headset to experience the area.
For more information about Wilmington’s new Convention District, visit www.wilmingtonandbeaches.com/groups-and-meetings.