Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

September 26 2016

Q3 Around The Region

Cheri D. Jones, CMP, 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 Chapter members, CVB websites, Meetings Today and Meeting Focus.

Arkansas – The Natural State

Rogers – Plan a meeting, convention, retreat or group getaway this fall and get away with great savings. Rogers’s hotels are offering incentives including free meeting space with booked guest rooms, comp rooms, comp goody bags, bonus points, free reservation assistance and lots more. To book your group nights in Rogers, contact Erin Jernigan, Convention Sales Manager and she will help you book your rooms and answer any questions.


Kansas - Sunflower State

Overland Park - Visit Overland Park (formerly the Overland Park Convention & Visitors Bureau) just hosted S.P.O.R.T.S. The Relationship Conference. Sports rights holders toured Overland Park’s many sports facilities including the Scheels Overland Park Soccer Complex, Drive5 Sports Center and Mid-America Sports Complex. The event kicked off with a tailgate at the Overland Park Convention Center courtyard.


Tailgate photos provided by: SportsEvents Magazine

Wichita – To learn more about what is going on in the Wichita area, please click this link.

Trivago rates Wichita third on its list of best value cities in the U.S. in 2016 based on the annual average price of a standard double room and the city’s average hotel rating. Wichita has properties to meet any budget and event needs, including these new properties under development:

  • Hampton Inn at Eisenhower Airport, opened September 2016; 125 rooms; one meeting room of 550 square feet
  • Aloft Wichita Northeast, opening February 2017; 127 rooms; three large meeting rooms totaling 3,600 square feet
  • La Quinta Del Sol (northeast) next to Wichita Sports Forum, opening spring 2017; 118 rooms
  • Crowne Plaza (Goddard) next to natatorium and sports fields, opening spring 2017; 144 rooms
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Wichita East, opening August 2017; 110 rooms
  • Element by Westin on the Wichita State innovation campus, opening early 2018; 123 rooms


Iowa – The Hawkeye State

Des Moines - Construction is underway on the new, 330-room convention center hotel in Downtown Des Moines. The Hilton Des Moines Downtown is now accepting groups for 2018 and beyond. The hotel will be connected to the Iowa Events Center and the four-mile downtown skywalk system.


Missouri – The Show Me State

Branson – Please come visit Branson and check out some of the newest adventures:

  • Fritz’s Adventure

This dynamic family attraction brings the excitement and challenges of outdoor adventure into a multi-dimensional indoor environment. Explore three stories and 80,000 square feet where you can experience elements of the world around you that, anywhere else, would be prohibited or discouraged. All ages are encouraged to experience the family adventure together. Opening this fall!

  • The Branson Ferris Wheel                                                                                      

Your group can enjoy Branson’s newest attraction, the Branson Ferris Wheel. This is the famous and nostalgic ferris wheel formerly at Navy Pier in Chicago! Group passes are available for the wheel, go-kart tracks, bumper boats/cars, laser tag or mini golf. Pizza World and Andy’s Frozen Custard are onsite to complete your catering needs.

  • Pub Crawls at the Branson Landing

New in 2016,  Branson can connect you to the restaurants and bars on the Branson Landing to organize a fun pub crawl or progressive dinner. This lakeside entertainment complex features options including Irish pubs, Mexican cantinas, sports bars, moonshine tasting rooms, fish and seafood houses, piano bars and steakhouses. These progressive events can be structured many different ways – using wristbands or attendee badges and can be billed to the group or individuals can pay a discounted rate for drink and food specials.  Many of these establishments can feature live music. 

  • Bigfoot on the Strip

This new adventure attraction will offer two rides that are extreme rides for serious thrill seekers, while the third is a calmer ride offering more of an Ozarks viewing experience for the faint-at-heart. The centerpiece of the project is a 200-foot free-fall tower. Groups rates available. 

Kansas City – Visit KC adds Francis Darko to the convention sales team as sales manager. A graduate of the University of Central Missouri with a degree in hotel and restaurant administration, Darko’s current responsibilities cover the short term meetings market, consisting of 200 or less room nights on peak for the East Coast and Southeast regions. He joined Visit KC on July 6 and can be reached at fdarko@visitkc.com.


Visit KC film office Celebrated the launch of local filming for two productions: David Dastmalchian’s All Creatures Here Belowand the Shelley-Long led Different Flowers. Both productions collectively will generate an economic impact of nearly $1 million.

In August, the new 153 room Courtyard and 108 Suite Residence Inn Kansas City Downtown opened it’s doors.   Located at 1535 Baltimore.  

St. Louis - Downtown St. Louis is slated to have one of the largest shark tanks in the Midwest.

The St. Louis convention package just keeps getting better with the project transforming the grounds surrounding the iconic Gateway Arch and the opening of the National Blues Museum. Now coming in 2018 is the St. Louis Aquarium, which will anchor the latest developments at historic St. Louis Union Station. The 75,000-square-foot aquarium will feature one-of-a-kind exhibits and tanks with one million gallons of water housing thousands of aquatic species. Not only will this be a must-see destination, but it will include an 8,500-square-foot private event space featuring a shark tank as a backdrop for social events and corporate parties. Visit www.explorestlouis.com to learn more about all that St. Louis has to offer your next meeting or convention.


Nebraska – The Cornhusker State

Omaha – Yet another airline ​has added non-stop service to Omaha. United Airlines ​recently began daily nonstop service to San Francisco International Airport (SFO). In addition to United Airlines, American, Southwest, Alaska and Allegiant Airlines have all announced new nonstop service to Omaha.

  • American Airlines began daily nonstop service to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) June, 2, 2016.
  • Southwest Airlines began new daily service to Reagan National Airport in Washington D.C, in March of this year, and began nonstop service to Dallas Love Field in August, 2015.
  • Alaska Airlines began daily nonstop service to Portland, Oregon in February.
  • Allegiant Airlines launched new year-round nonstop service to Orlando, Florida’s Sanford International Airport in November of 2015.

Omaha hosts a number of large international and domestic events, including Warren Buffett’s Annual Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders Meeting, which attracts an international audience; the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials was held in June of this year; and the FEI World Cup, an international horse jumping and dressage competition, that will be in Omaha in 2017.

Click here for a map of all nonstop air service offered in Omaha.


Oklahoma – The Sooner State

Oklahoma City - As fall approaches many new exhibits are set to open in Oklahoma City. The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum brings Power and Prestige: Headdresses of the American Plains through May 2017.

Opening soon, the first illuminated, handwritten Bible of monumental size to be commissioned by a Benedictine monastery in the modern era will be on view at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art this October with “Sacred Words: The Saint John’s Bible and the Art of Illumination.”

On display now at Science Museum Oklahoma, view “Da Vinci-the Genius” and see the most comprehensive exploration of Leonardo da Vinci’s work ever created. Or, get outside and experience OKC’s newest attraction – Riversport Raids. Located in the Boathouse District, It’s the only urban whitewater & kayaking facility in the world giving guests an excursion with views of the city and a guaranteed time to get wet. Open on weekends through winter. For more of what’s happening in OKC, visit www.VisitOKC.com.

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