Small Market Meetings

JAN 2017

The Newspaper for Smaller Cities, Facilities and Planners.

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G r a n d E v e n t C e n t e r G r a n d v i e w H e i g h t s / C o l u m b u s , O h i o January 2017 23 ferences, meetings and conventions." The expansion will add 100,000 square feet, including a 40,000-square-foot ballroom and 16 flexible meeting rooms beneath it, and both levels overlook a new 8,000-square-foot riverfront plaza. The south side of the con- vention center "is all glass; it's a wave wall to emulate the river," Jones said. The project also added 28,000 square feet of prefunction space and a commercial kitchen. The project doubled the existing 100,000 square feet, which consists of an exhibit hall, a multipurpose arena, an auditorium, a mix of smaller meeting rooms and a 1,100-seat theater that is also being renovated. State-of-the-art technology includes video walls, web conferencing and the ability to connect to Mayo Clinic's IT infrastructure. But a different type of connection often wows planners, Jones said: the city's system of sky- ways and "subways" (underground walkways) that connect the civic center to 2,000 guest rooms, more than 100 restaurants and plenti- ful parking. The center is flanked by the Rochester Art Center and Rochester Civic Theatre Company, "so there's culture and art on either side," he said. Grand Event Center Grandview Heights/Columbus, Ohio The Grand Event Center opened in September in Grandview Heights, Ohio, and the adjacent Courtyard by Marriott followed in late October. Those who aren't familiar with the area may not realize that Grandview Heights is an "artsy, small-business-based suburb of Columbus" that's only a mile from the bigger city's downtown. Although the Greater Columbus Convention Center is a seven-minute drive east and is undergoing its own expansion and renova- tion that will wrap up this summer, the new Grand Event Center nailed the need for "mid- size space with complimentary parking in what is essentially the downtown market," said Bryan Wright, the center's senior director of catering. "It's convenient for them to be downtown without the inconveniences of downtown, like paying for parking," he said. The center's main space is a 3,900-square- foot divisible ballroom with 19-foot-high ceilings and modern light fixtures that resem- ble an art installation. Large windows look out onto Goodell Boulevard and the adjacent courtyard that connects to the 135-room Courtyard by Marriott. 126 S. Illinois Avenue Carbondale, Il 62901 618-529-4451 STAY, DINE, PLAY, EXPLORE

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