Next year marks the 100 year anniversary of the Panama Canal's official opening on August 14, 1914. The Panama Canal is receiving a US$5-billion facelift to enlarge ports, widen shipping lanes and build new locks. It's an ideal time to plan corporate events in Panama, as there will be special events throughout the year, culminating in the anniversary celebrations on August 14, 2014.
American Society of Civil Engineers' is hosting its annual flagship Civil Engineering Conference in Panama City. Holland America will mark the anniversary with 28 sailings passing through the Panama Canal.
The anniversary countdown started on August 14, 2013, with special events at the Miraflores Locks.
In preparation for the anniversary, extensive development is underway. The "Cinta Costera" (coastal belt) project has been creating a coastal strip with green space, pedestrian walkways and a 3-kilometer, elevated roadway (to relieve congestion in the Casco Viejo area of Panama City). Phase III will be completed by April, 2014.
Renovations are also taking place in historical Casco Viejo where residents and visitors can browse through galleries, cafes, parks, and boutiques.
New venues include the recently opened Aloft Hotel and the soon to be opened Hilton, both in Panama City. Panama Convention Center, near the Biodiversity Museum, will be completed next year.
Diablo Arts, a nonprofit organization, is transforming the hangars, boat sheds and old residences in the former Canal Zone that have been saved from demolition to create venues for cultural and artistic endeavors. Murals tracing the development of the Panama Canal are taking shape. Diablo Arts is planning artistic initiatives and cultural events to mark the anniversary.
Consult the Panama Meeting Planning Guide for resources to plan your trip to Panama.
Photo Credit: Panama Canal Museum