The latest crop of new builds, restorations and renovations widens meeting options across the country.
> The 342-room JW Marriott Minneapolis Mall of America added a new level of luxury and nearly 20,000 square feet of meeting space to the Twin Cities area in Minnesota when it opened in late 2015. Planners will have to work to keep attendees from skipping sessions to head to Mall of America across the street.
> Continuing the renaissance of Clearwater Beach, Florida, Opal Sands Resort opened its doors in February. The 230-room property is a sister property to Sandpearl Resort and has 25,000 square feet of meeting space. A major selling point for groups is a view of the Gulf of Mexico from every guest room.
> Groups headed to San Diego have a new outdoor venue that can accommodate up to 5,000 people with the opening of Horton Plaza Park in May. The public space near the Gaslamp Quarter has several spaces for private use, including the 9,300-sq.-ft. amphitheater, and is also available for entire buyouts.
> Not to be outdone, Las Vegas also revealed a new outdoor destination this spring. The Park, owned by MGM Resorts International, is an alfresco dining and entertainment district on the Strip that also serves as a gateway to the new 20,000-seat T-Mobile Arena.