Small Market Meetings

JUN 2017

The Newspaper for Smaller Cities, Facilities and Planners.

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www.smallmarketmeetings.com 32 Destination Showcase LOCATION South central Nebraska ACCESS Interstate 80, Kearney Regional Airport MAJOR MEETING SPACES Younes Convention Center, Ramada Conference Center HOTEL ROOMS 1,700, plus 60 more by the end of 2017 OFF-SITE VENUES Buffalo County Fairgrounds, Viaero Event Center, Great Platte River Road Archway, Classic Car Collection, Museum of Nebraska Art, Mac's Creek Vineyard, Thunderhead Brewery, Merryman Performing Arts Center CONTACT INFO Kearney Visitors Bureau 800-652-9435 www.visitkearney.org Meet Kearney, Nebraska By Katherine Tandy Brown All photos courtesy Kearney VB K E A R N E Y , N E B R A S K A T here are several important things to know about Kearney, Nebraska: It's pro- nounced KAR-nee. It's the Sandhill Crane Capital of the World. Agriculture is big here, as are group farm and manufacturing-plant tours. It's home to the University of Nebraska Kearney. And this Midwestern city at the nation's mid- point is superb at hosting meetings and events. The reasons are myriad. "We have a large amount of meeting space in a concentrated area," said Sarah Focke, tourism and convention sales manager for the Kearney Visitors Bureau. "When you pull off the interstate, you're right there and don't have to find your way downtown like in a bigger city. Kearney's easy to get around in, with the amenities of a large community. "There's surprisingly little staff turnaround citywide, so service is consistently stel- lar, with a welcoming, small-town feel. Our food is outstanding. We have daily air service to Denver. And most of our attractions are viable off-site venues." Two high-capacity venues are the Buffalo County Fairgrounds, which hosts trade shows, livestock and sporting events, and concerts in a 46,900-square-foot arena, and the 54,000-square-foot Viaero Event Center, home to the Tri-City Storm hockey team. Twenty luxury Skybox suites accommodate 10 to 25 people each. The Museum of Nebraska Art tells the state's story through paintings and sculpture, and can host up to 30 at a meeting, complete with a museum tour. For six weeks every February through early March, 80 percent of the world's sand- hill crane population descends upon Nebraska's Platte River during the cranes' migra- tion from southern wintering grounds to northern breeding grounds. Twenty minutes from Kearney, visitors can observe this breathtaking stopover from blinds and can Kearney is known worldwide for its migration of sandhill cranes.

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