Founded in 1838, Cedar Rapids is Iowa's second-largest city (capital Des Moines is the largest), but it might just be right in claiming it is the main artistic center of the state—Paramount Theater, Theater Cedar Rapids and Cedar Rapids Museum of Art being three of the cultural offerings (some doubling as Cedar Rapidsevent venues ).
Eastern Iowa Airport (CID) is pretty much in Cedar Rapids, nine miles south of the city center. Only Allegiant, American Eagle, Delta and United Airlines serve the airport, but they do as far southeast as Orlando and Tampa and as far west as Las Vegas and Phoenix.
Ramping up the number of Cedar Rapids convention spaces will be the future Cedar Rapids Convention Complex. When it opens in spring 2013, the complex will contain 72,300 square feet of exhibit space, a 13,000-square-foot ballroom and 21,500 square feet of meeting space. Connected to it will be the Crowne Plaza Five Seasons (after the city's nickname, City of Five Seasons), which will have 19,500 square feet of its own meeting space; there is no final room count as yet.
Hotels include the 220-room Cedar Rapids Marriott, which has 12 meeting rooms and function space for up to 300 persons; the 157-room Clarion Hotel & Convention Center, which also has 12 meeting rooms, as well as space for up to 1,250 attendees; the 106-room Best Western Plus Longbranch Hotel & Convention Center, which has 11 meeting rooms and total space for up to 500 persons, and the 86-room Best Western Cooper's Mill Hotel & Restaurant, which has two meeting rooms and room to host events for 65 persons. The 71-room Hotel at Kirkwood Center is an excellent boutique choice with 17 meeting rooms and reception space for 924 persons.
Unique event facilities here point toward the city's artistic edge. Choices include the African American Museum of Iowa, which has two spots for events, one of which is Celebration Hall, for up to 240 persons; Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, which has 5,600 works of art and gallery space for up to 300 persons and an auditorium for 150, and Carl & Mary Koehler History Center, which has a lobby for 100 persons and a conference room for 80. The Shores Event Center, which is in the 100-year-old Shores Mueller Building in the city center, shows a mixture of old and modern interiors and finished up a renovation in 2011, while Prairiewoods, a conference center owned by the Franciscan Sisterhood and surrounded by woodland, is five miles north of Cedar Rapids in the town of Hiawatha and has room for 100 persons.
Hungry attendees will be satisfied at Cedar Rapids restaurants such as the '50s-retro Ced-Rel Supper Club, which has a banquet room; Dublin City Irish Pub, which a pub menu and space for up to 300 persons in such spaces as Slattery's Snug; Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano, which has a private events room and a wine room; Chrome Horse Saloon, with a motorbike theme, weekend music and space for private groups of 80 persons, and Daniel Arthur's, which specializes in surf'n'turf and has a penthouse for private parties.