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Mice Asia Net : January 2009
victoria best events meLBoUrne And the entire state of victoria is one of the real movers and shakers in the mIce market. The city and state offers wonderful venues and plenty of great things to see and do – all within close proximity of one another. Below are a few of the latest and greatest attractions, upgrades and options: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre: Melbourne will soon be home to Australia’s largest and most versatile combined convention and exhibition precinct right in the heart of the city. The new Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre will open in 2009 and has been awarded a ‘6 Star Green Star’ environmental rating, a world first for a convention centre. The AU$370 million convention centre is part of the AU$1.4 billion development of Melbourne’s new South Wharf precinct. The centre will be one of the most impressive architectural and environmental buildings in Australia featuring a state-of-the-art 5000 seat plenary. There will be 32 meeting rooms of various sizes, a grand ballroom and foyer for 8400 guests. Crown Hotel: Crown Melbourne is building its third hotel in the Crown Entertainment Complex, a AU$300 million, 658-room venue created to cater for global conventions and conferences. A further AU$40 million will be spent on new conference facilities including room for 50 exhibition booths, a number of hi-tech conference meeting rooms and an 800-seat plenary hall.The new hotel is due for completion in May 2010. Crown Towers: The flagship property in the group has announced a AU$65 million upgrade. Novotel Forest Resort, Creswick: This luxury hotel opened in March 2008 with 144 rooms and conference facilities for up to 1000 delegates. The AU$200 million resort offers a championship course and has adopted a sustainable approach to its design and operations. Located 70 minutes drive from Melbourne Airport in the Hepburn Shire, the Novotel Forest Resort has constructed Australia’s first privately owned water treatment plant allowing the resort water to be self sufficient and making it Australia’s first T he state’s capital Melbourne is capturing more international business than ever before, and will continue to do so when its brand-new convention centre comes online this year. drought-proof conference resort. Rialto, Melbourne: This gothic 240-room property is undergoing an AU$50 million refurbishment to become a five-star, 250 room Intercontinental Hotel. The hotel will be extended to 252 rooms and overhauled with new reception facilities and two new restaurants. Grand Hyatt Melbourne: The property is undergoing a AU$40 million renovation which will include a refurbishment of the hotel’s lobbies and entrances. A new events venue will accommodate groups for up to 640 delegates. The renovation is due for completion in January 2009. Hilton on the Park, Melbourne: This hotel is undergoing a AU$40 million makeover with the hotel’s dedicated conference and events floor, including the grand ballroom receiving a renovation. Hilton South Wharf, Melbourne: this brand-new property is the only hotel located onsite at the new Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Opening in early 2009, the hotel will comprise 364 rooms and an executive club and lounge. Central Sky Lounge, Melbourne: This new development offers a mix of studio and one-bedroom apartments. The hotel will be opened in early 2009 and offers a conference and meeting room. Southern Star Observation Wheel: The 120-metre AU$40 million structure offers 360-degree views of Melbourne and Port Phillip Bay. Twenty-one specially constructed air-conditioned glass capsules lift up to 20 people each in an orbit that lasts around 30 minutes. The attraction can cater for a range of functions and events. National Sports Museum: Located in the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), this venue celebrates the contribution that sport has made to Australian culture. The museum brings a new element to the MCG’s traditional role as the home of Australian sport. Melbourne Airport: In January 2008 the airport began the largest upgrade to its international terminal since it was constructed in the late 1960’s. The expansion will add 25,000 square metres of new space to Terminal 2 through a series of projects worth AU$330 million. ABOVE: Fireworks above Melbourne’s busy Southbank precinct miceAsia.net 55