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This Week in Event Venues: Halloween Pop-Ups, Hybrid Meeting Solutions, Enhanced Air Filtration, and More

Rounding up the latest news from hotels, convention centers, meeting spaces, restaurants, and other event venues across the United States and Canada.

The Dewberry Charleston in South Carolina is partnering with event designer Rebecca Gardner on a holiday residency, beginning Dec. 3. Using items from her newly launched e-shop Houses & Parties, Gardner will transform the hotel's Fieldshop into a shopping experience offering festive tabletop items, vintage barware, holiday gifts, and more. Gardner will also decorate the property's interior and exterior for the holiday season; the designer plans to honor the historic Kennedy-commissioned building by nodding to the space race, using chandeliers and starbursts to evoke constellations. Inside, decor will evoke Christmas in the 1960s. For events, The Dewberry Charleston has a 1,710-square-foot ballroom that can accommodate as many as 150, a 2,250-square-foot garden that can also accommodate as many as 150, and a private banquet room that holds as many as 125 and offers views of Charleston Harbor. The Citrus Club terrace (pictured) is billed as the highest rooftop in the city.
The Dewberry Charleston in South Carolina is partnering with event designer Rebecca Gardner on a holiday residency, beginning Dec. 3. Using items from her newly launched e-shop Houses & Parties, Gardner will transform the hotel's Fieldshop into a shopping experience offering festive tabletop items, vintage barware, holiday gifts, and more. Gardner will also decorate the property's interior and exterior for the holiday season; the designer plans to honor the historic Kennedy-commissioned building by nodding to the space race, using chandeliers and starbursts to evoke constellations. Inside, decor will evoke Christmas in the 1960s.

For events, The Dewberry Charleston has a 1,710-square-foot ballroom that can accommodate as many as 150, a 2,250-square-foot garden that can also accommodate as many as 150, and a private banquet room that holds as many as 125 and offers views of Charleston Harbor. The Citrus Club terrace (pictured) is billed as the highest rooftop in the city.
Photo: Andrew Cebulka

As hotels and event spaces begin to cautiously reopen after coronavirus-related shutdowns, we're here to round up the biggest news of the week—in one convenient place. Got a tip? Get in touch!  

In Case You Missed It
Our roundups of the buzziest new venues for events throughout the United States and Canada continued! This week, we shined a spotlight on Las Vegas, Dallas/Fort Worth, San Diego, and Toronto

Here are five more things you need to know this week...

1. Halloween pop-ups are the hottest things around.
A number of venues are hosting safe, socially distant Halloween experiences. In Toronto, for example, Liberty Entertainment Group is hosting a Halloween-themed, self-guided walking tour of Casa Loma. From now through Nov. 1, elaborate Halloween sets have been placed throughout the historic castle's five acres. “Guests can now safely experience our spectacular Halloween sets at Casa Loma, and tour at their leisure through the lower gardens and into the tunnels, which have been transformed into the ultimate haunted house,” said Nick Di Donato, president and CEO of Liberty Entertainment Group.

Another Canadian highlight comes from Vancouver venue The Beaumont, a private club that has been completely transformed into a walkthrough Halloween maze. Called "Shattered at The Beaumont: A Wicked Walkthrough Experience," the 10,000-square-foot installation—which runs through Oct. 31—uses illusions and projection mapping to display digital ghosts and monsters through partnerships with Go2 Productions, Innovation Lighting, and a dozen Vancouver-based artists.Shattered at The Beaumont fuses art and technology for an immersive, touch-free experience.Shattered at The Beaumont fuses art and technology for an immersive, touch-free experience.Photo: Courtesy of Go2Productions

In the States, drive-through Halloween events have exploded in popularity this month. Restaurants are also readying to host socially distanced experiences, like E.P. & L.P., a 5,500-square-foot rooftop restaurant in West Hollywood, Calif. In addition to a Halloween-themed event on Oct. 31, the eatery is hosting a reservation-only Day of the Dead brunch Nov. 1—complete with a Yucatan-inspired menu, a themed photo booth, and safety protocols like hand sanitizer, temperature screenings, and mandatory masks. And at Kimpton Hotels restaurants around the country, kids who tell their host or bartender "trick-or-treat" will get a free Halloween goodie.

Chicago's Palmer House Hilton, meanwhile, is going virtual: The hotel is teaming up with Dennis Watkins's The Magic Parlour to host a virtual Halloween show benefiting local nonprofit Camp Kids Are Kids Chicago. The online gathering on Oct. 31 will feature magic displays, a kids' costume contest, and more. 

2. Meeting venues continue to think hybrid.
The 790-room Loews Miami Beach is one of the properties offering the new 'StreamLine by Loews' virtual gathering solution.The 790-room Loews Miami Beach is one of the properties offering the new "StreamLine by Loews" virtual gathering solution.Photo: Courtesy of Loews Miami BeachHotels and other venues around the country continue to focus on virtual and hybrid meetings. Loews Hotels, for instance, last week launched "StreamLine by Loews" to give meeting organizers the tools to move events online in a professional way. The program offers discounted rates on rooms, meeting space rentals, and food and beverage brand-wide, as well as "The Virtual Presentation Stage," a partnership with PSAV at select properties that offers turn-key studio spaces with built-in technology for high-quality, global broadcasts.

“Our offerings are nimble in order to proactively cater to our customer’s ever-changing needs," said Alex Tisch, president of Loews Hotels & Co. "‘StreamLine by Loews’ is a deliberate virtual meetings experience aimed to exceed the expectations of groups looking to assemble in any way they desire.”

Meanwhile, Explore St. Louis, the city's convention and visitor's bureau, has introduced new hybrid technology to the America's Center convention complex. Called "StreamStage," the package includes a production manager, theater space, livestreaming capabilities, HD cameras, studio backdrops with lighting and projection capabilities, and more, available to rent for a half-day or full-day. StreamStage is one part of an ongoing $175 million upgrade to America's Center that includes touch-free doorways, enhanced ventilation, and other safety-focused measures.

3. This new technology can help enforce safe practices at large venues.
GoGuide
, a comprehensive new tech solution that facilitates virtual queuing, social distancing, and contact tracing at venues of all types, is currently in customer trials. Developed by Thornton Tomasetti in partnership with PMY, Intel, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, GoGuide uses Bluetooth tech and RFID tags to keep guests safe in a variety of ways—like by sending out designated arrival times and entry locations to prevent crowds, or by using vision recognition tech to identify patrons who are not wearing masks properly so they can be sent a notification.

“GoGuide can be deployed quickly to help get visitors and fans safely back into these venues and cheering their teams and performers, attending cultural exhibitions, or even sharing dormitory space,” explained Thornton Tomasetti associate principal Bill Edwards. “With this solution, a venue can provide every visitor with the information they need to stay safe and secure while enjoying an event.”

The upcoming UBS Arena is located next to the Belmont Park race track in Elmont, N.Y.The upcoming UBS Arena is located next to the Belmont Park race track in Elmont, N.Y.Rendering: Courtesy of UBS Arena4. A massive new stadium is investing in air filtration.
The $1 billion, 19,000-seat UBS Arena is currently under construction on Long Island, N.Y. The future home of NHL team the New York Islanders is slated to open for the 2021-2022 season, and will feature VIP suites and clubs, two outdoor terraces, and eight bars. But the venue is also highlighting a more timely feature: an enhanced air filtration system. A partnership with ME Engineering and architecture firm Pompolous, the advanced system aims to reduce the risks posed by airborne viruses; it works by circulating air and killing viruses with high-intensity UV lighting, thereby cleaning the air before it's pumped back into breathing spaces.

"The long-term solution is going to be medicine, treatment, and vaccine—but it’s also going to be cleaner, smarter air. So in an indoor space, what we’re thinking is, how do we create cleaner, fresher air?” explained Oak View Group chief executive Tim Leiweke in a statement. 

5. World Series parties look a bit different this year.
Speaking of sports, the drive-in trend has carried over to game day, with Dodger Stadium hosting World Series viewing parties in the venue's parking lot. Sixty-foot screens have been set up at the downtown Los Angeles venue, and audio is being broadcast through a designated FM station. In accordance with local regulations, fans must stay in their vehicles and bring their own food and beverage. 

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