Stories about travel, amazing cities to visit and to admire. Enjoy!
Recognized as the ‘Birdiest City in America,’ Corpus Christi’s personality is one to behold. Corpus Christi is not just a place where birds flock; it is a beautiful, and affordable coastal city and one of the nation’s biggest shipping ports. The Coastal Bend of Corpus Christi provides 11,000 hotel rooms with September through January considered as the best and most advantageous times of the year for meeting groups to consider booking events. Home of the longest undeveloped barrier island in the world, Corpus Christi has public access to over 120 miles of virtually untouched beachfront via Padre Island National Seashore. Since Corpus Christi is such a great, affordable setting for meetings, the coastal city is a great setting to combine a vacation during meetings.
“Year-round, Corpus Christi is one of the most affordable destinations on the coast and in the winter months, we offer an even better value for those seeking a tropical reprieve. Centrally located on the Texas Coast, Corpus Christi has waves, wings and wildlife,” said Regina Garcia-Posada, Communications Manager for Corpus Christi Convention & Visitors Bureau.
“When considering where to host a meeting, meeting planners find when they compare our group rates, food and beverage and audio visual packages, Corpus Christi offers a value that surpasses the rest,” said Garcia-Posada. “Our hotels are diverse, from Four-Diamond Hotels with superior meeting facilities to newly built Select Service brands, to Resorts of the Gulf; all with affordability in mind, and most important, friendly service. What makes Corpus Christi such an interesting and unique nature loving atmosphere for hosting group meetings is the accommodations. The 5,050 seat Whataburger Field accommodates group events for 10-2,000 people during in-season and off-season. Another interesting setting is the Old Market Pavilion, a prime mid-size facility with a covered pavilion that can easily host up to 2,000 guests and full-service event planning is available. Texas State Aquarium offers a one-hour tour of the shoreline of Corpus Christi on the 100 foot luxury yacht, TSA Explorer. A Texas State Aquarium guide will be aboard to answer questions and share expertise about historical sites and wildlife.”
Another interesting venue is the USS Lexington Museum on the Bay, offering the interactive exhibit, Virtual Battle Stations which will engage the audience, sending shivers down their spines in “Air to Air Combat,” “Carrier Landing” and Ship’s Gunnery,” video interactions. Historically, some of the most astonishing events in history took place on the USS Lexington, including World War II action from Tarawa to Tokyo, giving her the name of the Blue Ghost. “The Hangar Deck has more than 40,000 square feet of convenient, accessible space where groups up to 2,600 may meet and celebrate any event,” said Debbie Crites, Marketing Director of the Museum. “Hangar Bay II has air conditioning and heat for events year-round. The USS Lexington’s MEGA Theater, has comfortable stadium seating and state-of-the-art audio/visual technology, perfect for presentations, product launches or award ceremonies. Total capacity for this stadium is 193.” The USS Lexington is an ideal one-of-a-kind, unforgettable setting that makes planning a cocktail reception, banquet, stage show, or team building event a breeze in an outstanding museum on the bay of Corpus Christi.
The Solomon P. Ortiz International Center is uniquely located on the Port of Corpus Christi Ship Channel and can accommodate groups of 10 to 2,000. Offering soundproof, flexible meeting spaces for group accommodations complete with a banquet hall and an outdoor square, the Congressman Solomon P. Ortiz International Center offers meeting rooms ranging from 580 to 16,555 square feet. Regardless of the event, the Ortiz Center is a perfect setting to accomplish the goals and the mission of any specialty event.
Located in the Downtown Marina District on the Corpus Christi Bay, the Omni Corpus Christi Hotel has rooms with “spectacular views of the Bay, with views of the USS Lexington to the north, and the Marina and yacht basin to the south,” said Paulette Kluge, Director of Sales and Marketing. The hotel has 821 rooms, including seven specialty suites, 13 Bay view suites and 15 junior suites. All rooms include coffeemakers, iron and ironing boards, hairdryers, complimentary airport transportation, terrycloth robes, express check out via TV and same day dry cleaning available for all guests. The Omni has 24 meeting rooms with the largest meeting capacity suitable for 1,115 and 38,000 square feet of on-site meeting space. “All meeting space is on one floor and can be easily accessed via escalator. Described as the “Best Hotel in Corpus Christi,” by the Corpus Christi Caller Times Best of the Best Award, the Omni has a staff of dedicated hospitality professionals on staff, committed to the best service. “Omni Hotels and Resorts just earned the JD Powers highest ranking among 15 upscale hotel brands,” said Kluge. “Recent staff additions include Daniel Cornelius, Director of Food and Beverage. Known as the place to celebrate special events, the AAA Four-Diamond Republic of Texas Bar and Grill, located on the 20th floor of the Bayfront Tower at the Omni, serves an excellent variety of prime steaks, wild game and fresh seafood. Considered one of Corpus Christi’s top destinations for dining, the Republic of Texas Bar and Grill is the only restaurant in South Texas to receive this honor.”
Easy to get to, complimentary parking at the hotel and an easy-in hotel, Radisson Beach Hotel is affordable, and comfortable. Located with the ocean as the back door, Downtown Corpus Christi is only one mile from the Radisson Beach. “Every guest room has a balcony and a microwave and mini-fridge. The Radisson is a full-service hotel offering a restaurant and a large bar overlooking the ocean, a gift shop, exercise room and business center. We have 139 guest rooms, seven meeting rooms with 3,300 square feet of meeting capacity. Overlooking the ocean, we have a ballroom and a smaller room on the main hotel lobby floor. Both of these rooms received new wall surfaces and carpeting in 2009. The ballroom can be divided into three equal rooms,” said Carla Ligon, Director of Sales and Marketing. “There is another large room on the second floor which overlooks the ocean. This room may be divided into two sections. Special events and meetings do occur in Corpus Christi. Every year the city has Buc Days and Bayfest, Beach to Bay Marathon, the Texas International Boat Show and many Coastal Bend Festivals. Our local cuisine is delicious and reasonably priced. Radisson Beach Hotel is located on Corpus Christi Beach next to the USS Lexington Aircraft Carrier Museum and three blocks from Texas State Aquarium. We aren’t here to break the bank; we are here to provide hospitality with excellence. Radisson is a full-service hotel, but we are not full of ourselves. We recognize returning guests and we call them by name. We rely on the fact that our beaches and the ocean are our attractions and we build on that with great beds, including the Sleep Number Bed, great service, good food and appreciation for tourists that spend their time with us. Our employees are trained with the attitude of ‘It’s Everybody’s Job,’ and that is our motto.”
UNAFFECTED BY OIL SPILL
Corpus Christi’s beaches have remained open to the public and are unaffected by the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill. City officials and the Convention & Visitors Bureau Communications team closely monitored the oil spill and have kept tourists and visitors well informed. “Corpus Christi shares more than 65 miles of gulf and bay beaches out of the 624 miles of Texas coastline,” said Garcia-Posada. “We have great weather, value destinations with unique meeting spaces overlooking the Corpus Christi Bay. Dine with the sharks at the Texas State Aquarium. Become part of history in the newly air conditioned meeting spaces aboard the U.S.S. Lexington on the Bay, or watch the ships steam into port from the Solomon P. Ortiz Center and the American Bank Center. This outdoor odyssey offers recreational activities with over 100 miles of windswept dunes along the southeastern Texas shoreline. Corpus Christi is not only a place to relax and unwind; it’s also a nature lover’s dream with over 150 nature sites within the coastal area. Now the largest coastal city in the State of Texas, Corpus Christi provides plenty to do for an active group, or a vacationing family. Moments and memories made here are sure to be tucked away in a special memory book for all to enjoy.”
“Our CVB has done a great job of getting the word out that our beaches have not been affected by the oil disaster in the Gulf,” said Ligon. “The Holiday Inn Beach Hotel at North Padre Island is the only full service hotel on the island offering 149 guest rooms. For meetings, there is a main ballroom that can be divided into three rooms, located on the main floor of the hotel. The Holiday Inn Beach Hotel is still within the city limits of Corpus Christi, located on the east side, towards Port Aransas and Mustang Island. The property is a 3-diamond AAA hotel. North Padre Island is most beautiful with miles of natural beaches. This area has wildlife and conservation at its best. Holiday Inn Beach Hotel is a beautiful, affordable location for business retreats and corporate meetings, and family reunions. The Hotel offers live outdoor entertainment during the summer, plus the benefit of beach access and a seawall perfect for leisurely strolls. The hotel has a gift shop, exercise room, a business center and meeting rooms of up to 2,100 square feet. We don’t charge extra for the little things. Parking, local phone calls and our high-speed Internet access is complimentary. Our goal is to build relationships. The atmosphere is full of beach, sand, sun and fun. The memories are free and yours to keep.”
Sales Tax: 8.25%
Hotel Tax: 15% (breaks down to State – 6%; City – 9%)
Transportation: Downtown transportation includes the B-Trolley, the public bus system that will take passengers around the town for a very affordable low fare. Shuttles are designed to look like trolleys serving the Downtown and Port Aransas year-round. Passengers may travel around the downtown attractions and accommodations while enjoying a scenic tour. Look for the “B” signs for Trolley routes arriving every 10 – 20 minutes. Taxis, limos, and charter busses are also available.
IF YOU GO:
Buc Days, http://www.bucdays.com/
Corpus Christi Convention & Visitors Bureau, http://www.visitcorpuschristitx.org/
Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority, http://ccrta.org/
Fares for Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority, http://ccrta.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/221.pdf
Holiday Inn Beach Hotel, http://www.holidayinn.com/corpuschristi
Omni Corpus Christi Hotel, http://www.omnihotels.com/
Padre Island National Seashore, http://www.nps.gov/pais/index.htm
Radisson Beach Hotel, http://www.radisson.com/corpuschristitx
Texas State Aquarium, http://www.texasstateaquarium.org/
The Congressman Solomon P. Ortiz International Center, http://www.ortizcenter.com/
USS Lexington Museum on the Bay, http://www.usslexington.com/
Whataburger Field, http://whataburgerfield.com/