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Cedar Rapids, IA Event Planning

Key Highlights

Hotels 30
Total Sleeping Rooms 2,632
Committable Sleeping Rooms* 267
Committable Meeting Rooms* 27
Convention Center Space 80,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Exhibit Space 30,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Ballroom 28,754 Sq. Ft.
Average Hotel Room Rate USD $86
Average Daily Meal Cost USD $51
Average Weekly Car Rental USD $389
*Maximum for a single hotel

Cedar Rapids, IA Meeting Planning Overview

Welcome to Cvent's Meetings and Event Planning Guide to Cedar Rapids, a city guide for meetings professionals. Boasting a unique blend of hometown Midwest charm, world-class performing arts and culture and scenic green spaces, Cedar Rapids serves as a fantastic meeting and event destination. The second-largest city in Iowa, Cedar Rapids is a vibrant city bursting with dynamic attractions, shopping, nightlife and dining, as well as first-rate accommodations and a variety of meeting spaces and unique venues.

Situated along the Cedar River 70 miles from the Mississippi River in eastern Iowa, Cedar Rapids features not only a national central location, but also a central location between six of the Midwest's major metropolitan areas, including Chicago, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Omaha and St. Louis. Cedar Rapids serves as the home of Eastern Iowa Airport, which operates more than 60 daily arrivals and departures to and from 12 destinations, including Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Detroit, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Orlando, Phoenix-Mesa, Tampa/St. Petersburg and Punta Gorda/Ft. Myers. Airport passengers enjoy direct access to the Cedar Rapids Transit bus system via Route 11. Operating along 14 routes, the Cedar Rapids Transit bus system offers free rides within the downtown area, as well as direct access to such major destinations as the U.S. Cellular Center.

Opened in May 2013, Cedar Rapids' U.S. Cellular Center complex, situated in the heart of downtown, serves as the second-largest convention and events complex in Iowa. Considered the centerpiece of a rejuvenated downtown, the center overlooks the Cedar River and is equipped to accommodate meetings, conventions, trade shows and banquets. Its adjacent 267-room DoubleTree by Hilton adds 25,000 square feet of ballroom and meeting space. All together, the complex offers 80,000 total square feet of meeting and event space, and features the 9,000-seat U.S. Cellular Arena and 500-space parking facility.

Beyond its U.S. Cellular Center, Cedar Rapids is home to a variety of unique venues ranging from museums to theaters that serve as fantastic group gathering and event spots. Considered the nation's leading museum in Czech and Slovak culture and history, the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library features indoor and outdoor event space, ranging from its 240-person art nouveau-inspired WFLA Heritage Hall to the Naxera Terrace, which overlooks the Cedar River. Renowned for its Grant Wood collection and nearby studio where Wood painted American Gothic, the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art showcases more than 7,000 works of art spanning 2,000 years, as well as features a number of private event spaces, including the 300-person Main Floor Carnegie Building with a lit arched ceiling and cherry pillars, and 150-person Auditorium overlooking Greene Square Park. The city's African American Museum of Iowa traces the state's African American heritage from its origins in Western Africa and offers two indoor event spaces accommodating 240 and 35 guests. Theater spaces doubling as unique venues include the 1,690-seat Paramount Theatre, which was built in the 1920s and restored to its original grandeur, and the 550-seat Theatre Cedar Rapids, which is known as the area's largest community theater.

About Cedar Rapids, IA / Additional Info

A Midwestern gem situated on both banks of the Cedar River, Cedar Rapids wows visitors with its varied architecture, rich cultural venues, exciting nightlife and strong arts scene. Cedar Rapids has grown from a tiny village of a few hundred in the 1840s to a major Midwest industrial center and city dedicated to innovation. Today, Cedar Rapids serves as the largest corn-producing city in the world, as well as the second largest producer of wind energy in the United States. The city is home to almost 300 different manufacturing plants and two dozen Fortune 500 companies, including Rockwell Collins, General Mills and Quaker Oats. Cedar Rapids also features a rich cultural heritage, made evident by its Czech Village and New Bohemia historic districts, which are both recognized as Arts and Cultural Areas.

Many of Cedar Rapids attractions and popular sites celebrate the city's rich heritage. The Carl and Mary Koehler History Center connects the past, present and future of Linn County through a variety of interactive and changing exhibits, while Ushers Ferry Historic Village takes visitors back to a small Iowa town at the turn of the 20th century, thanks to the 20 historic buildings spread throughout the 10-acre site.

When it comes to Cedar Rapids' green spaces and natural beauty, visitors and residents alike delight in the Indian Creek Nature Center. The state's first and only private nonprofit nature center, the 200-acre Indian Creek Nature Center features four miles of trails, programming for all ages and an interpretive center in a repurposed 1932 dairy barn. Located in the heart of downtown Cedar Rapids, Brucemore serves as a house museum and community cultural center, as well as a shining example of historic preservation and community engagement. Situated on 26 park-like acres, Brucemore features formal and specialty gardens, as well as tours of its 19th-century, 21-room Queen Anne mansion and year-round arts and cultural programming. Opened in 2012 in the New Bohemia neighborhood, NewBo City Market spans one full block of vendors selling homegrown food and art from a renovated warehouse space surrounded by outdoor spaces for seasonal farmers market and entertainment.

Speaking of homegrown food, Cedar Rapids' restaurant scene features a number of eateries that pride themselves in utilizing fresh local ingredients in their offerings. Housed in the downtown historic Ely Building, Zins pairs fine wine with fine food crafted with fresh Iowa ingredients, while White Star Ale House highlights locally grown, fresh, seasonal and organic food and beverages in its creative contemporary American menu. Bata's in the New Bohemia neighborhood serves a full gamut of international cuisine, while Cibo Fusion serves an artful blend of Mediterranean and American flavors. Last but not least, downtown Cedar Rapids' Cobble Hill – inspired by Brooklyn streetside restaurants – offers a frequently changing menu that showcases local products, all served in an open, soaring space.

 
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