[caption id="attachment_32405" align="alignright" width="360" caption="The Sheraton Sonoma County -- Petaluma has doubled the size of its converence center at Basin Street Properties' Petaluma Marina Business Center"][/caption]

PETALUMA – The Sheraton Sonoma County – Petaluma has doubled the size of its conference center with the long-term lease of 5,000 square feet at Basin Street Properties’ Petaluma Marina Business Center.

The new space, already operational, represents a 50 percent increase from the hotel’s existing 10,000 square-foot conference and will increase capacity significantly. The largest meeting size now is 680 people, compared to 450 people previously. And the largest reception possible now is about 1,150 people, up from 900 previously, the hotel said.

“Not many hotels have invested in new facilities in the last three years,” said Tom Birdsall, regional partner of Basin Street Properties. “When we saw the opportunity to create some wonderful new meeting rooms with the unique setting on the Petaluma Marina, we decided to go for it.”

The 5,000-square-foot expansion can be divided into nine separate meeting rooms. With the new space there are now 13 meeting or event rooms that can be increased to 18 rooms if need be, with some rooms able to be divided into two or three rooms.

“Building in this flexibility was a goal of ours in creating the new rooms,” Mr. Birdsall said. “This really augments what we already have.”

The largest room of the hotel is still its ballroom, the Great Blue Heron, at just over 4,200 square feet. It has a capacity of 500 people for theater-style seating and 800 for receptions.

In the new space, the largest room, the Marina Overlook, is 1,050 square feet, with a capacity of 105 for theater-style seating and 120 for receptions.

The expansion, Mr. Birdsall said, is state of the art, equipped with WiFi and wired Internet access, built-in AV equipment, drop-down screens, digital projectors, among many other amenities.

The hotel has 183 guest rooms and is part of the three-building Petaluma Marina Business Center, totaling about 116,300 square feet. Basin Street acquired the property in 2010 and has completed a number of capital improvements and upgrades.