Innovation Means Preservation in Savannah

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Savannah’s historic district (photo credit: geoffsphotos)

Meeting innovation in Savannah means more than just the latest event tech, but leverages the city’s history and culture for authentic and immersive experiences.

“Savannah is an incredible destination to represent because those that have been here, want to come back and those that haven’t are very interested in finding out what all the buzz is about,” says Jeff Hewitt, SVP of sales at Visit Savannah. “Meetings come with a view, breakout sessions can take place under a canopy of ancient oaks draped in Spanish moss, and after hours can include paranormal ghost tours and some of the finest culinary offerings you can imagine. There is a reason people have gone out of their way to get here for nearly 300 years.”

Group experiences in Savannah could include a haunted history pub crawl with beverages in hand, or a reception and dinner in a Civil War fortress with cannons firing and bonfires blazing.

Set to open next summer is the new 420-room JW Marriott located in the JW Savannah Plant Riverside District. It will include six meeting rooms and 17,464 sf of event space. The 170-room Alida Hotel (a Tribute property) is also set to open next to the JW this fall, and an Aloft property will open early next year.

“Innovation in Savannah means something a bit different than it does in most places,” says Hewitt. “Here, innovation looks a lot like preservation. The new JW Marriott, for example, is using an electric power generation plant from the early 1900s as its main anchor building. New hotels are built to look like they’re a hundred years old. It’s all done to preserve the essence of the experience.”

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