Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

March 25 2015

Q1 Around the Region

Cheri D. Jones, CMP, Meeting Manager, Vista Productions, Inc.

If you have events happening in your city, please email them to Cheri Jones, CMP at cjones@vistaprod.com.  We would love to highlight exciting things happening in your town.

The information below is gathered from members, CVB websites and Meeting Focus.

Arkansas – The Natural State


Little Rock - For 76 years, Little Rock’s Robinson Center was home to the Arkansas Symphony, Ballet Arkansas, Broadway plays and concerts—welcoming guests for every kind of entertainment. The Robinson Center closed in July, 2014 and is on track for its $70M complete renovation (only the historic exterior will remain) and grand reopening in November, 2016! 

The connecting Double Tree Hotel was recently sold and will also be newly renovated at the time of the Robinson’s grand opening.  Convention groups are booking now!

Iowa – The Hawkeye State

Sioux City - We started the year in high speed loaded with concerts and great entertainment performances in our Tyson Arena and at the Abby stage at the Hard Rock Hotel. The convention center held the record breaking attendees annual Bridal Show and Outdoor show. The Sioux City Symphony is bringing former Broadway singer Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins) and Geoff Packard to their February concert.

Des Moines - In a rare joint meeting, Des Moines City Council and Polk County Supervisors recently convened to discuss and approve details for a $101 million convention hotel project attached to the Iowa Events Center.

Both groups of elected officials gave unanimous approval for a financial-assistance package and a final application seeking funding from the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

Pending a series of required approvals from the state and local authorities, the 10-story hotel with 330 rooms would be owned and managed by a nonprofit, governed by a board including Des Moines city and Polk County representatives.

Missouri – The Show Me State

St. Louis - St. Louis’ convention corridor continues to grow as three hotel renovation projects near completion right next door to America’s Center. First, the Ramada Plaza is undergoing a multi-million dollar transformation and will be rebranded as the Holiday Inn St. Louis Downtown Convention Center. The renovation will completely refurbish all 293 rooms, meeting rooms and the lobby. Additionally, the hotel’s restaurant is being rebranded as the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame Bar & Grill and will include memorabilia from the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame. The full renovation is set to be completed by the summer 2015.

Similarly, a new Marriott property is scheduled to open later in 2015 after an extensive renovation. Formerly the historic Lennox Hotel, it is directly connected to America’s Center, featuring 165 rooms offering convention attendees a memorable and convenient option. 

Finally, the Renaissance St. Louis Grand is set to become a Marriott in 2015 and will continue its tradition as one of the region’s premier hotels, situated in the heart of the city center amongst upscale Washington Avenue restaurants, nightlife and attractions. To learn more about what St. Louis has to offer, visit http://explorestlouis.com/meetings-conventions/.

Oklahoma – The Sooner State

Oklahoma City - Experience the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum in this 20th Anniversary year.  The Memorial Museum just reopened with $10 million in new enhancements including 35 new interactive exhibits, the unveiling of hundreds of new artifacts and oral histories along with the new Memorial Overlook- a 40-foot glass wall in the final chapter of the museum- offering an amazing view of Oklahoma City’s ever-changing and thriving skyline. 

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