Hosting events from the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America rally to the National Trust for Historic Preservation convention, Spokane, Washington, is a city destined to be discovered. Planners extol everything from its easy airport access to its walkable downtown to its centralized layout.
Noteworthy: The LEED Silver-Certified Spokane Convention Center is under construction to add a second connected convention hotel, slated to open late this year.
Home to the second-largest urban waterfall in the United States (Spokane Falls), Spokane also has River Park Square, a high-end mall home to largest movie theater in the state of Washington. The shopping center is across the street from 100-acre Riverfront Park, developed in 1974 and now surrounded by hotels, restaurants and retail. “It’s an incredible sight,” says Kevin Twohig, CEO of Spokane Public Facilities District, which operates Spokane Convention Center.
Gabriela Contreras, director of meeting planning for Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, held an opening reception for ELCA’s meeting of 1,200 attendeeds in the Lilac Bowl Amphitheatre at Riverfront Park behind the convention center.
“The city really is a hidden gem,” she says. “Unless you’ve experienced it, you’d never know how wonderful it is. Our scheduled city tours were so popular that we had to add on more. In fact, I’d go back there on a personal vacation.”
Stating that Spokane will “literally do whatever it takes” to bring groups to the city, Twohig touts the assistance of everyone from Visit Spokane representatives to the regional sports commission to the convention center’s internal sales staff. Contreras notes, “If you’re looking for a city to work in partnership with you and that’s committed to making your event a success, go to Spokane.”
Spokane Quick Facts
Area guest rooms: 5,300 | Nearest airport: Spokane International | Convention center: Spokane Convention Center | Meeting rooms: 29 | Total meeting space: 154,000 square feet