Small Market Meetings

JAN 2017

The Newspaper for Smaller Cities, Facilities and Planners.

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O f f - S i t e i n M a c o n A c t i v i t y O p t i o n s Destination Showcase 18 been pure down-home soul food, with breakfast served daily until 4 p.m., since 1959. Off-Site in Macon For off-site venues, downtown Macon is rife with offerings. One of the buildings that garnered Macon the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Dozen Distinctive Destinations is the seven- story, circa-1885 Hay House, all red brick with white trim topped by an impressive 80-foot-high cupola. "The Hay House was an architectural and technological marvel for the 1880s," said Jessica Thompson, rental and events manager. "It's a wonderful example of Italian Renaissance Revival, one of only a hand- ful in the South and definitely one of the best in the country. And it was far ahead of its time technologically." Built into the home is a ventilation system that allows air to circulate through the house, a central heating system, indoor plumbing, hot and cold running water, and a speaker tube system for communication. Featured on CSPAN's "Cities Tour," the house can host receptions for up to 200 guests, with smaller spaces, such as its Music Room, for up to 50. An entirely different house played a prominent role in nurturing one of Macon's musical giants. Once home to the Grammy-winning Allman Brothers Band, the founders of Southern rock, the Big House Museum now features the world's largest collection of the band's memorabilia: instruments, clothes and compositions. "Allman Brothers fans must visit here," said Valerie Bradley, director of communications for the MCVB. "The band lived in this house for a time and wrote a lot of their songs here. Many of the docents were old roadies at the height of the Allman Brothers' career. Some are still in contact with band members. You'll hear some great insider stories." Outdoor and indoor space can be rented. Groups can tour and hold functions in one of Macon's historic sites, the Hay House. Gathering space at the nation's largest state sports hall, the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, includes a 205-seat theater and the elegantly fur- nished, 1,500-square-foot Georgia Room. The facility houses 14,000 square feet of exhibits, interactive game areas and a peek into the lives of 400-plus inductees. Groups meeting at this expansive museum can take a guided tour, test their basketball skills at an interactive station and participate in a team-building scavenger hunt. "Our 16-minute film, 'Dare to Be Great,' is about the athletes induct- ed into the Hall of Fame and is inspiring for all ages," said Gwen Arrington, director of administration. "It's narrated by the Columbus, Georgia, Little League team that won the World Series and emphasizes the importance of setting goals." Activity Options A Macon get-your-body-moving team-building option, Pin Strikes, is much more than bowling. To 28 lanes, the facility adds bumper cars, laser tag, billiards, a rock-climbing wall, a video arcade with redemp- tion games, and a bar and grill. Another history-rich venue, the Tubman Museum, was named for Harriett Tubman, the "Black Moses" who led hundreds of slaves to freedom. The once-dilapidated warehouse has grown to 49,000 square feet to become the largest museum of African-American art, history and culture in the Southeast. Home to Little Richard's piano, the facil- ity can seat several hundred in a 4,025-square-foot rotunda and 30 in each of two classrooms. Fresh off its 100th birthday celebration in September, the Macon Terminal Station, built in 1916, has been beautifully renovated to accommodate up to 600 in its 14,000-square-foot lobby with original marble and gilt molding. Five historic theaters also bring renovated shades of the past to the

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