|By Allyson Bird, The Post and Courier,
Charleston, S.C.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Mar. 22, 2010--Following a soft launch that included an unexpected crush of cruise ship passengers, a new Hyatt Place opens near the Charleston Area Convention Center this week.
The 127-room property at 3234 W. Montague Ave. targets corporate and government travelers and offers 1,200 square feet of meeting space. Guest rooms include 42-inch flat-panel televisions, the brand's signature bed and 8-foot sleeper sofas.
Its owner, Florence-based Naman Hotels, opened Staybridge Suites in North Charleston in October and plans to open another Hyatt Place on Ashley Phosphate Road in June, according to area sales director Judy Parsons.
She said the new hotel received a surprise number of bookings from passengers either returning to port a day early onboard the Celebrity Mercury or leaving two days late for the next embarkation. A stomach virus outbreak on three consecutive sailings left hundreds of passengers ill on each and forced changes in the ship's schedule.
Decorated in earth tones, the six-story hotel offers kiosks where guests can check in or order meals 24 hours a day, plus a fitness center, pool and complimentary shuttle service within a five-mile radius.Rooms go for $149. Parsons said the Hyatt Place's first customer was an employee of the Boeing Co.
The original, one-act play "Romancing the Hunley," which debuted nearly a decade ago, returns to Charleston's oldest public building, the Powder Magazine on Cumberland Street.
A work of historical fiction, the play follows a modern-day reporter who travels back to 1864, three days after the Confederate submarine Hunley disappeared in Charleston Harbor. She meets with the physician to the crew for an interview in a style reminiscent of the late broadcast journalist Walter Cronkite's television series "You Are There."
Bill Thomas-Moore and Diane Scher developed the play based on the lectures of Thomas-Moore, a maritime historian and professional model shipwright. It opened to a packed house in the Charleston Museum's auditorium in 2000 and was performed at various venues across the state and beyond until 2005.
The play opens again at 3:30 p.m. Sunday and runs weekly at that date and time through June. Tickets cost $15. For more information, call 722-9350 or visit www.powdermag.org.
Reach Allyson Bird at 937-5594 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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