Galveston Island Offers New Attractions, Upgraded Meeting Spaces in 2016
GALVESTON ISLAND, Texas (December 15, 2015) – Galveston’s historic charm and affordability as a beach destination won’t be the only things drawing the attention of meeting planners in 2016. That’s because the island has plenty of new offerings to buzz about, from one-of-a-kind attractions to multi-million-dollar hotel renovations.
Here’s a rundown of all that’s new and upcoming in Galveston for 2016:
Galveston’s New ‘Babe’s Beach’
Galveston recently unveiled 15 blocks of brand new beaches. The new beach area, named Babe’s Beach after former Texas Rep. A.R. “Babe” Schwartz, is located on a stretch of the Seawall west of 61st Street. It provides more space for visitors to relax in the sun, play a game of volleyball or simply wander the coast. In addition, many of the island’s other beach parks – including Stewart Beach, East Beach and Seawolf Park – have been updated with new playgrounds, vendors and amenities. www.galvestonbeachinfo.com
Schlitterbahn to Open World’s Tallest Watercoaster
Thrill seekers are in luck! Galveston will become home to the world’s tallest water coaster in 2016. Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark will open the new ride, MASSIV, this summer. Unlike a waterslide, a water coaster is designed to send riders on both downhill and uphill experiences while on the ride. Schlitterbahn will release more details about this exciting new attraction this spring. www.schlitterbahn.com/galveston
Moody Gardens Aquarium To Receive $39 Million Upgrade
One of Galveston’s most popular reception venues is undergoing a massive makeover. The Moody Gardens Aquarium Pyramid is in the process of a $39 million, multi-phased renovation. The aquarium will remain open for much of the restoration project but will be closed from Aug. 15 through Nov. 14, 2016 and then again in early 2017 before the scheduled grand reopening in May 2017. Upon completion, there will be a variety of new exhibits and surprises, including the addition of jellyfish and tropical penguins. Last year, the Moody Gardens Hotel completed a $25 million renovation that has given the waterside property a modern design with upgrades throughout the entire hotel, including its 428 guest rooms. For more information on Moody Gardens, visit www.moodygardens.org.
Galveston Island Convention Center Offers Upgraded Wi-Fi Service
The Galveston Island Convention Center at The San Luis Resort went through a technology facelift in 2015, upgrading its free Wi-Fi service from a 100 Mbps circuit to 500 Mbps. The upgrade created a significant increase in bandwidth to provide simultaneous Internet access to up to 2,500 devices. The upgrade caters to savvy conference attendees, who carry multiple web-based devices. Complimentary Wi-Fi service is offered throughout the entire GICC property. www.galvestonislandconventioncenter.com
New Bryan Museum Offers Unique Meetings Space
A new museum showcasing the world’s largest private collection of Southwestern historical artifacts opened in Galveston in 2015, showcasing 70,000 rare items spanning more than 400 years. The Bryan Museum features a variety of rare pieces from the pre-Columbian period to the present. Located at the former landmark Galveston Orphans Home at 1315 21st Street, The Bryan Museum offers customized guided tours for groups as well as distinctive indoor and outdoor meeting spaces. www.thebryanmuseum.com
New “Villas” at The San Luis Resort Offer Luxury Option
Visitors to Galveston have a new option for experiencing the island in modern luxury. The Villas at The San Luis Resort opened in July 2015 and includes five private 800-square-feet villas nestled in a quiet corner of the iconic San Luis Resort. The Villas offer a discreet residential setting complete with private in-room check-in. Every villa suite is accessible only through an exclusive entrance and features a king-sized bedroom, three TVs, a deluxe five-fixture bathroom outfitted with a large shower and soaking tub, a private veranda with a hot tub, separate pool area and personal butler service. Unique to The Villas, guests have the option to upgrade their travel arrangements and arrive via luxury helicopter, limo or Bentley. www.sanluisresort.com/thevillas
Galveston to Become Homeport for Carnival’s Newest Ship in 2016
In 2016, Galveston will become home to the newest ship in the Carnival Cruise Lines fleet when Carnival Breeze is repositioned to the Port of Galveston on May 8. The ship will offer year-round cruises, departing every Sunday on three different seven-day itineraries. In March 2016, the Carnival Liberty will also be repositioned to Galveston, joining the Carnival Freedom that began sailing from Galveston in February 2015.
New Hotels Opening in Galveston in 2016
Galveston will welcome three new limited services hotels to the island in 2016. The first will be a Best Western opening in the spring at Seawall Boulevard and 87th Street, offering 96 beachfront suites. A Best Value Inn will also open in the spring and will be located across from the new Sea Scout Base – a 10-acre recreational facility that offers unique meeting space and guest room options. In the summer of 2016, a Homewood Suites will open on Galveston’s east end near Ferry Road, offering 86 suites.
Cool Tours Offers New Customizable Airport Shuttle Service for Groups
Galveston’s Cool Tours is offering a new airport shuttle service for groups having meetings or conventions on the island. The service, launched in 2015, provides groups with a website customized for their meeting/convention where attendees can book and purchase shuttle transportation at a discounted rate. The service is available for transportation from Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport and George Bush Intercontinental Airport. https://cooltoursgalveston.com
For more information about meetings in Galveston, visit www.meetgalveston.com
ABOUT GALVESTON ISLAND
Galveston Island is a historic beach town located on the Gulf of Mexico just 50 miles from Houston. The island is best known as a vacation destination, offering 32 miles of beaches, a variety of family attractions, Texas’ premier cruise port and one of the largest and well-preserved concentrations of Victorian architecture in the country. The Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau is a non-profit government agency and the official destination marketing organization for Galveston Island. For more information, visit www.galveston.com or call 1-888-GAL-ISLE.
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