Connected to Seattle via the world’s longest floating bridge, Bellevue, Washington, lives up to the origins of its name, which means “beautiful view.” Nestled between Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish, the city has a 320-acre wetland preserve and a 53-acre botanical garden. It’s been named one of the safest cities in the United States by Forbes magazine, and companies such as Eddie Bauer, Microsoft, T-Mobile, Verizon and Expedia all have offices within its boundaries. Underscoring Bellevue’s business vitality are recent investments in the city’s hotel infrastructure, highlighted by the 732-room Hyatt Regency’s $185 million expansion in 2009.
Noteworthy: For teambuilding, try the three- to six-hour Bellevue Challenge Course, a ropes course with 18 different crossings, including a tight rope, a cargo net and swinging logs.
Barry Jones, director of strategic meeting management for FamilyLife, was impressed with what the Hyatt offered for a recent event. “Because our event is for couples, we really wanted a facility that had a certain ‘wow’ factor,” he says. “The Hyatt was an inspired choice in that it had the capacity we wanted, but also because it was still a draw for local attendees. We promote it as a getaway weekend, which many people in the Seattle area consider Bellevue to be. About 65 to 70 percent of our attendees booked a room at the venue. And we found, as we have at previous events we’ve held in other cities, that the Hyatt consistently has a great bunch of people to work with.”
Within walking distance from Hyatt and Bellevue’s other downtown hotels is the modern Meydenbauer Convention Center, the staff of which prides themselves in their personal service. “The Meydenbauer is exceptionally flexible, and our staff is trained to provide services that will deliver the majority of your meeting needs,” says Jane Kantor, director of sales for MCC.
Bellevue Quick Facts
Area guest rooms: 4,400 | Nearest airport: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport | Convention center: Meydenbauer Convention Center | Meeting rooms: 15 | Total meeting space: 54,000 square feet