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Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort Completes Expansion, Other Openings in the South

Stay up to date on the latest venue openings and property renovations, including these found in the South.


This fall, Marriott Fort Lauderdale Airport opened its doors in the heart of the new Dania Pointe development, which is home to numerous restaurants, shops and entertainment, and minutes from Fort Lauderdale International Airport. The 196-room property is also just a few miles away from Fort Lauderdale Beach and famous Las Olas Boulevard. 

Marriott Fort Lauderdale

The hotel will offer the brand’s signature “greatroom lobby,” a stylish hub that serves as a social gathering place day and night. Guests can dine at the hotel’s signature restaurant, Radiant 166, which features a menu of “elevated classics to all-American fare.” Other amenities include an elevated pool with cabanas and sweeping views of the city, a 24-hour gym and flexible indoor and outdoor event spaces. 

Also, through a first-of-its-kind partnership with Marriott Hotels and TED, guests will have access to specially curated in-room content. 

Opening on Miami Beach this fall, The Gabriel South Beach, Curio Collection by Hilton will be a new lifestyle hotel on Ocean Drive and serve as sister property to The Gabriel Miami, Curio Collection by Hilton located in downtown Miami. The new hotel will offer 132 guest rooms and suites, two pools and two restaurants, Meet Dalia and Meet Mia.  

The Gabriel

One of the property’s pools, located on the roof overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, features a show-stopping glass bottom that reflects dancing images on the interior walls of the atrium. The rooftop space will also be open for private evening events for up to 100 attendees. 

Located at 640 Ocean Drive, The Gabriel South Beach comprises four individual buildings, including the historic Park Central Hotel, Heathcote Apartments and the Imperial Hotel, boasting classic Art Deco design and architecture synonymous with Miami Beach. 


Memphis recently unveiled a $200 million renovation of its Renasant Convention Center, featuring one of the largest ballrooms in the Mid-South. The renovation is a complete transformation of the footprint of the building, allowing it to meet the demands of planners and groups for hotel-quality meeting space. 

RCC Lower Level
Credit: Creation Studios

Highlights include riverfront views from new outdoor terraces, glass-enclosed concourses and floor-to-ceiling windows; a 118,000-square-foot column-free exhibit hall; 46 flexible meeting and breakout rooms; and increased bandwidth. The newly transformed convention center is also GBAC STAR certified. 

[Related: 3 East Tennessee Properties for Small Corporate Retreats]


Located in Bryan, Texas, The Stella Hotel will join the portfolio of Marriott International’s Autograph Collection Hotels by late 2021. The 176-room property anchors Lake Walk, the area’s emerging hub of technology and innovation. Becoming a full-service Marriott property will allow The Stella to diversify its sales and marketing effort targeting group and leisure travelers loyal to the Marriott brand. It will become one of nine Autograph Collection Hotels in Texas. 

The Stella Hotel

The property offers nearly 20,000 square feet of meeting and event space with six different venues. Guests, including corporate travelers, will be able to earn and utilize Marriott Bonvoy points at The Stella Hotel starting in early 2022.   

Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort Completes Expansion 

In October, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in Cherokee, North Carolina, completed a $330 million expansion project with the opening of a new hotel tower, The Cherokee, and an 83,000-square-foot convention center. The 19-story The Cherokee is the resort’s fourth hotel tower and features 725 rooms and seven suites. 

The two-story, open-air lobby features a 30-foot registration desk made of onyx stone that sits in front of a custom walnut-slatted wood design, lit to create an abstract representation of the Great Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina. The lobby also offers a 50-seat lobby bar and lounge. 

Harrah's Cherokee Casino

The new tower also offers a terrace pool on the second floor with expansive views of the Smoky Mountains. Two exclusive 800-square-foot hospitality suites offer private entrances to the pool. 

The brand-new convention center will more than triple the current rentable convention space at Harrah’s Cherokee. The three-level expansion offers a variety of meeting spaces for both small and large groups. This includes a 32,000-square-foot ballroom, a prefunction ballroom and 26 meeting spaces. 

Along with the expansion, the resort has recently welcomed new gaming amenities and F&B offerings, such as a World Series of Poker (WSOP) Poker Room and a Wicked Weed Brewpub. 

Read Next: Chicago Hotel Brings Street Art Inside Every Guest Room 

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About the author
Sarah Kloepple | Content Developer, Destinations and Features

Sarah Kloepple joined Stamats as a staff writer in August 2018. Previously, she's written and edited for numerous publications in St. Louis.