In December 2018, I paid a farewell visit to Greater Boston CVB President and CEO Pat Moscaritolo ahead of his retirement this Valentine’s Day after 28 years in the role. He is a native East Bostonian and joined the bureau in 1991. That was after serving as director of Logan International Airport and preceding influential roles in economic development. Hometown passion inspired his distinguished career.
“I most loved working with so many remarkable people through the years,” Moscaritolo said. “In terms of accomplishments, we had 12,800 hotel rooms in 1991. Today, it’s 23,680, with 3,000-plus new rooms scheduled for the next three years. Logan’s state-of-the-art transformation will further enhance direct access from around the globe.
"Supporting meetings of all sizes, Boston is well positioned for the future," he added.
Like a Rolling Stone, Massachusetts Meetings Move Forward
Moscaritolo, who personally allied with Richard Branson in securing Virgin Atlantic service to Boston from London, also shared another British rock royalty connection.
“Mick Jagger was a fellow student when I studied at the London School of Economics in the early 1960s,” he said. “He spoke about plans to join a band.
"I told him to call me if he ever needed a place to crash in Boston," Moscaritolo added.
That never happened, but you could say the two contemporaries changed the game in their respective gigs.
After three decades as the face of the Boston brand, Moscaritolo leaves the stage for incoming CEO Martha Sheridan, who previously led the CVB in nearby Providence, Rhode Island. Jagger, meanwhile, hits town this June 2019 when the Rolling Stones play event-capable Gillette Stadium, home of the dynastic, six-time Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.
From Greater Boston to the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, local institutions—both human and made of concrete and steel—are the bedrock for memorable Bay State meetings.
Boston Leads the Way for Eastern Massachusetts Events
Moscaritolo names securing legislative approval in 1997 for the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) as a pinnacle achievement.
“That catalyzed private sector investment in Boston’s Seaport district and our Innovation District,” said Moscaritolo, who recognizes the “tireless efforts” of David Gibbons, then chairman of the board of the Massachusetts Lodging Association, in the effort.
Today, Gibbons is CEO of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, which owns and operates the 2.1 million-square-foot BCEC and adjacent outdoor Lawn on D event space, along with the Hynes Convention Center and MassMutual Center in Springfield.
MassMutual Center in Springfield, Credit: Chris Marion Photography
Highlights of the high-tech BCEC include the following:
- 516,000 square feet of column-free, contiguous exhibit space.
- 82 meeting rooms.
- 40,000-square-foot column-free ballroom.
- Expansive network bandwidth with free Wi-Fi throughout.
- Skybridge connection to the Westin Boston Waterfront.
- Eight minutes from Boston Logan International Airport.
With studies underway for expanding the BCEC, the 1,055-room LEED Silver Omni Boston Seaport Hotel, under construction across the street, is scheduled for an early 2021 opening. The connected twin-tower property will reportedly feature 100,000 square feet of flexible space, including Boston’s largest hotel ballroom at 25,000 square feet.
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The Hynes forms part of “3-2-1 Connect," connecting three hotels, two shopping centers and one convention center in the heart of Back Bay. Hynes’ highlights include the following:
- 176,480 square feet of exhibit space.
- 38 meeting rooms.
- 24,544-square-foot ballroom.
- Auditorium seating for 4,000-plus delegates.
- Linkage to 3,100-plus Marriott Convention & Resort Network rooms at the Sheraton Boston. Hotel, Boston Marriott Copley Place and Westin Copley Place Boston.
Landmark group hotels include Boston Park Plaza, Fairmont Copley and Parker House.
Barring any licensing hurdles from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, Wynn Resort’s $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor is slated for June 2019.
Encore Boston Harbor
The 671-room luxury resort will offer state-of-the-art space that includes a 37,000 square-foot waterfront grand ballroom, 10 breakout rooms and a promenade. Other features include a six-acre harbor walk and water taxi service to Logan Airport.
Fanning out from Boston, traditional group coordinates include neighboring Cambridge and its diverse hotels and cultural and academic venues; Gloucester, America’s oldest fishing port; and in the Merrimack Valley, the Industrial Revolution showcase of Lowell National Historical Park.
Central Massachusetts: DCU Center
Opened in September 1982 as the Spectrum, DCU Center is the premier group facility in Worcester, New England’s second-largest city.
Inaugurated by Frank Sinatra, the 14,802-capacity venue, renamed the DCU (Digital Federal Credit Union) in 2004, has also rocked hard with headliners such as Boston’s own bad boys, Aerosmith.
In 1997, the facility added an attached $39.5 million convention center. Offering sweeping downtown views, the city-owned, SMG-managed venue accommodates 15 to 15,000 delegates.
Key DCU Center attributes include the following:
- 100,310 square feet of total exhibit space.
- 11 meeting rooms.
- Central Massachusetts’ largest ballroom, at 12,144 square feet.
- High speed internet service with dedicated T-1 lines.
- State-of-the-art kitchen,
Western Massachusetts: MGM Springfield
Opened in 1972, the Springfield Civic Center’s hosting history ranges from Elvis to NBA basketball. In 2005, following a $70 million update, the facility became the MassMutual Center. Today, the MCCA-owned venue is managed by the new $960 million MGM Springfield, which opened in August 2018.
Tied to the cultural and economic revitalization of downtown Springfield, the three-block development integrates heritage architecture such as the facade of the circa-1846 Union Hotel and landmark Springfield Armory with new construction. Attracting some 2 million visitors in its first five months, this intended economic catalyst is off to a promising start.
MGM Springfield Lobby Bar
Incorporating a 250-room boutique hotel and decor inspired by Dr. Seuss and other local luminaries, MGM Springfield features 125,000 square feet of gaming space and amenities such as the outdoor MGM Plaza dining and entertainment district.
Across the street, the MassMutual Center offers the following:
- 100,000 square feet of total space.
- 40,000-square-foot exhibit hall.
- Five meeting rooms.
- 15,000-square-foot ballroom.
- 8,000-seat arena.
Leveraging its A-list partnerships, MGM brings Cher to the center in April 2019.
Other signature Springfield venues include the National Basketball Hall of Fame, currently midway through a two-phase, $30 million renovation, and the five world-class Springfield Museums.
Classic options in mountainous Berkshire County include Tanglewood, historic summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, which is preparing to unveil a new $40 million four-building performance and rehearsal complex in June 2019.
Other landmarks include the Cranwell Resort; Norman Rockwell Museum; and Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, or MASS MoCA.
Massachusetts CVB Contact Information
Cambridge Office for Tourism
Cape Cod COC
Discover Central Massachusetts
Greater Boston CVB
Greater Merrimack Valley CVB
Greater Springfield CVB
Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism
North of Boston CVB