Small Market Meetings

FEB 2017

The Newspaper for Smaller Cities, Facilities and Planners.

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Page 27 of 47 Destination Showcase 28 also houses a 1928 carved wooden Spillman carousel, which sits in a pavilion over the Grand River. It can be rented for events. "It has a little bit of everything and is the largest of our three muse- ums," said Steele. "It can best accommodate meetings because it has three different levels, and we can host more than 1,000 people there." H o t e l C o n v e n i e n c e Hotel Convenience There are several hotels in the downtown core that can host hun- dreds of guests each and provide meeting spaces as well. These hotel properties are owned and managed by only one company, which can make planning a downtown meeting and accommodations seamless. The three hotels are the Amway Grand Plaza, part of the Hilton Collection, with 682 guest rooms and 47,000 square feet of meeting space; the J.W. Marriott Grand Rapids, with 337 guest rooms and 15,000 square feet of meeting space; and the Courtyard Grand Rapids Downtown by Marriott, which offers 214 guest rooms and 10,000 square feet of meeting space. "You have three choices, but you only have to work with one sales- person who represents all three," said Steele. For example, if your large group needs multiple hotels, you don't have to deal with a multitude of salespeople. "There are sales reps at each of the three properties, but The ballroom at CityFlatsHotel features unique finishes and oversized windows. each one of them can sell meeting space or guest rooms at any of the three properties. Now that is convenience." The three hotels have a combined 1,100 guest rooms. All three have climate-controlled skywalks that feed into the DeVos Place convention center and Van Andel Arena. The arena seats 12,000 and hosts sports events, bigger concerts and other large traveling shows. There are also some out-of-the-ordinary hotels downtown. One of them is CityFlatsHotel, a boutique property that is extremely environ- mentally friendly. It is a LEED Gold-certified building and offers such luxuries as bamboo linens, cork flooring, locally crafted furniture and oversized windows. There are 48 guest rooms at CityFlatsHotel and comfortable meeting spaces, a nice ballroom, and an outstanding res- taurant and lounge. Homewood Suites by Hilton is an extended-stay, all-suites hotel located in a restored 1898 building, but it is very modern inside. The hotel has 110 guest rooms and has the only rooftop bar in Grand Rapids. D e s t i n a t i o n A p p e a l Destination Appeal There are 150 shops, restaurants, nightclubs, boutiques and coffee shops within walking distance of the downtown area. Steele said Grand Rapids is becoming known as Beer City.

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