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80 WBM june 2016 FUTURE PLANS Harmony Hospitality Inc. is on schedule to open the Wilmington Convention Center Embassy Suites hotel on the site adjacent to the center in 2017. The eight-story, 186-room facil-ity is expected to be an integral piece to the growth of the convention industry in Wilmington. Wilmington Convention Center general manager Susan Eaton estimates the city’s convention business will double with the addition of the new hotel. With the added 6,000 feet of meeting space, the hotel will complement the existing convention center space. Currently, the convention center experiences about 188 use days, which is an industry term for the number of days that customers use the facility. Eaton hopes to see a 10-15 percent increase in use days once the hotel is open. While the new hotel will comple-ment the convention center, it will not mirror it. “We did think about designing the hotel as brother/sister buildings, but we didn’t want to match it,” says Ernie Olds, vice president of Becker Morgan Group, the architectural firm for the Embassy Suites. The new hotel will certainly add a level of convenience for convention visitors. “Now that the hotel is coming,” says Laura Miller, vice president and principal at LS3P. “All those folks will be able to stay right there and walk to their meet-ings, explore downtown, and see every-thing else that Wilmington has to offer.” Like convention center visitors, hotel guests will be able to enjoy ample views of the water. “Since we are on the river, we put as much glass as possible onto the north and west sides for views,” Olds says. “The first two levels are for public spaces, public amenities, banquet rooms on the ground floor, and a riverfront restaurant on the second level.”


2016-6
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