Small Market Meetings

FEB 2017

The Newspaper for Smaller Cities, Facilities and Planners.

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Page 23 of 47 Meeting Ideas 24 test in the Pikes Peak Marathon, which is often called America's Ultimate Challenge due to the rapid elevation of the course, with runners climbing 6,000 feet within the first 10 miles. Spokane, Washington The community of Spokane, Washington, holds a special passion for sports, and that energy feeds into every travel group's experience. The area offers a range of venues, most notably the Spokane Convention Center, a 650,000-square- foot, multipurpose facility that was recently upgraded to include a sky bridge that connects to the Davenport Hotel. It is in a thriving cultural hub along the Spokane River, with restaurants, shops and hotels all within walking distance. "The best thing about Spokane is the walkable community," said Kate Hudson, public relations manager at Visit Spokane. In January, the convention center hosts the Spokane Sizzler Adult Volleyball Tournament. Around 60 coed adult teams compete while enjoying music, contests and a courtside beer garden. Those looking for beach volleyball will find outdoor courts nearby in Spokane Valley. Every year, in spring, the Nordic Ski Association closes out the season with the Spokane Nordic Challenge Loppet, a long-distance cross-country ski event that features 20-, 30- and 50-kilometer races. The event is a good opportunity for people of varying skill levels to come together and com- pete, or just enjoy the ride with a group of friends. Hot food and beverages are provided. Another renowned competition in the city is the Lilac Bloomsday Run, which takes place annually on the first Sunday in May. An average of 50,000 runners, joggers and walkers show up each year, making it one of the largest timed road races in the country. Later in summer, hundreds of groups gather in Spokane for the Hoop Fest, in which 7,000 teams contend in the world's largest three-on-three basketball tournament. Courtesy Visit Colorado Springs The mountains around Colorado Springs are prime territory for outdoor sports evnts.

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