These are exciting times for organizers seeking to bring their events to Seattle. Not only will the largest expansion in the history of the city’s convention center be completed in less than a year, but new music venues and hotels, increasing travel options, and an expanded waterfront add to the possibilities for groups. Here’s a look at what is new and upcoming in Washington’s largest city.
Seattle Convention Center
The Seattle Convention Center, formerly known as the Washington State Convention Center, plans to open its new building, Summit, in January 2023. The $1.9-billion addition, with its more than 570,000 square feet of flexible event space, allows Seattle to host more and bigger events. Summit elevates the center’s commitment to sustainability by achieving LEED Gold certification while creating a more intentional connection to the surrounding neighborhood with a glass atrium, a rooftop garden terrace, and a cascading stair climb that inspired the building’s name and will look down at Seattle’s iconic Pike Place Market and the water.
Visit Seattle Leadership
Tammy Blount-Canavan, FCDME, took the reins as president and CEO of Seattle’s destination marketing organization in May, becoming Visit Seattle’s first female CEO. Blount-Canavan has said she hopes to build on Visit Seattle’s strong foundation as an innovative organization, and to elevate Seattle as the nation’s best city to visit, live, and do business.
Seattle’s central waterfront is getting a $756-million facelift between now and 2025. Visitors can expect a new park promenade along the water, rebuilt Pier 58 and Pier 62, and an elevated connection from Pike Place Market to the waterfront. The improved connections between downtown and Elliott Bay will make it easier for convention attendees to explore the different aspects of the city between meetings.
Thrilling Music Venues
Two multi-purpose venues opened — or reopened — in 2021, providing more options for live music and other events in Seattle. Climate Pledge Arena reopened after a $1.15-billion transformation of the former KeyArena into a state-of-the-art, 740,000-square-foot sports and entertainment complex — the largest in the Pacific Northwest. Home of the NHL’s Seattle Kraken and the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, the arena also plays host to concerts and other specialty events. And as the world’s first net-zero-carbon arena, it lives up to its name with its dedication to operating as environmentally sustainable as possible.
In Seattle, there’s a hotel for everyone as the city continues to attract the best in boutique hospitality — welcoming new and diverse lodging options for every type of traveler and budget. Astra Hotel Seattle, located in the South Lake Union area — the city’s tech and bioscience epicenter— offers versatile, tech-enabled meeting spaces. Also in South Lake Union, Level hotel’s apartment-style suites create a home away from home for guests. Staying at CitizenM Seattle Pioneer Square hotel creates “affordable luxury” perfect for the solo traveler looking for a no-nonsense home base to explore.
Expanded Travel Options
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport currently welcomes 31 airlines that serve 91 non-stop domestic and 28 international destinations including Canada, Mexico, and seasonal operations. The newly expanded International Arrivals Facility nearly doubled international-capable gates from 12 to 20 and increased passenger capacity, making Seattle an attractive destination for international meetings and conventions. Once on the ground, visitors will benefit from a planned increase of more than a dozen new light rail stations across the city allowing ease of access to downtown and all of Seattle’s diverse neighborhoods to explore.