Welcome to Cvent's Minneapolis meeting planning guide – a Minneapolis city guide for meeting planners. Minneapolis/St. Paul is a convention-friendly metropolitan area with over 30,000 hotel rooms ranging from economy lodging to luxury accommodations. Downtown Minneapolis has more than 5,000 rooms-3,500 of which are conveniently attached to the Minneapolis Convention Center and other downtown attractions via climate-controlled skyways.
Minneapolis has been impressing conventioneers and vacationers for a long time. With a population of nearly 400,000 people, this warm and gracious Midwest city has one of the best designed public park systems in the country. Known as the "City of Lakes," Minneapolis is famous for its Chain of Lakes, five lakes that are part of the park system. The largest, Lake Calhoun, is a favorite recreational spot for water enthusiasts, energetic walkers, in-line skaters and bikers.
Minneapolis offers a wide variety of world-class cultural and entertainment facilities in addition to numerous family attractions. Visit the Minneapolis Children's Theatre and be inspired by music and the arts: past productions have included names like Disney's High School Musical, A Year With Frog and Toad, and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Observe more than 2,300 animals and nearly 500 species at the Minnesota Zoo. Spend an afternoon shopping in the downtown area at Mall of America-the nation's largest shopping and entertainment complex, or pedestrian-style Nicollet Mall. Visitors can also take in the city while sightseeing on a Mississippi paddle wheeler, a Segway scooter or a traditional tour bus.
Minneapolis is blessed with an impressive variety of ethnic and fine dining restaurants such as Wolfgang Puck's 20.21 Restaurant and Bar with its haute cuisine, signature open kitchen and award-winning design and La Belle Vie, chosen as one of America's Top 50 Restaurants by Gourmet Magazine. Minneapolis offers a flourishing nightlife with a number of hip clubs and bars dispersed throughout the city and the many attractions of the revitalized Riverfront District. The Riverfront District includes hot spots such as Pracna on Main, a cozy restaurant located in one of the city's oldest buildings, and Nye's Polonaise Room, a Minneapolis landmark, famous for its kitschy décor and the best polka music in the city.
In spite of its cold winters, Minneapolis is a year-round tourist destination. From Spring to Fall, visitors enjoy myriad recreational activities outdoors in the city's many lakes, spacious parks and greenways. The fun continues indoors. With a live theatre scene second only to New York City.
New York City, Minneapolis' performance spaces play to packed houses even on winter's coldest days. Thirty-five noteworthy museums attract visitors interested in the arts, sciences and history. The city's unique network of covered skyways connects many downtown buildings, making it possible for pedestrians to travel all over Downtown without experiencing inclement weather. Billed as the "oldest and coldest celebration in the nation," the legendary Winter Carnival in neighboring St. Paul features an ice carving competition and a magnificent, full-scale ice palace that attracts visitors from all over the country.
Visitors find it easy to get around Minneapolis with ample transportation services available including buses, taxis, Light Rail and shuttles. Taxi fares are metered at a rate of $1.90 per mile with the addition of a $2.75 trip fee. Taxi fares from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to Downtown Minneapolis (approximately 16 miles one-way) range from $34-$40.
The largest city in Minnesota, cosmopolitan Minneapolis lies on both banks of the Mississippi River, just north of the river's confluence with the Minnesota River. Its neighbor, St. Paul, is the state capital. Together the cities are known as the "Twin Cities" and form the core of the fifteenth largest metropolitan area in the United States, with a population of 3.5 million and myriad Minneapolis event venues.
The Minneapolis skyline is dominated by three, architecturally distinctive skyscrapers: 57-floor, Art-Deco-style Wells Fargo Center, 56-floor 225 South 6th Building and the 55-floor IDS tower. The IDS tower was featured in the opening sequence of the much-loved Mary Tyler Moore Show, a 1970s sitcom.
Located next to St. Anthony Falls, the only waterfall on the 2,320-mile Mississippi River, Minneapolis harnessed the falls' hydropower and became the "Flour Milling Capital of the World" from 1880-1930 and the birthplace of global giants, General Mills and Pillsbury. Visitors can experience this unique heritage at Mill City Museum, housed in the historic Washburn A Mill.
Minneapolis is known worldwide for its highly educated population and thriving cultural scene that rivals much larger cities. Its vibrant theatre community, with 100 performance groups, is second only to New York City, per capita. It features historic performance spaces, such as the Orpheum Theatre, where audiences enjoy Broadway productions, dance groups and big-name concerts throughout the year such as the smash-hit musical, "Jersey Boys," the hypnotic footwork of "Lord of the Dance" and the side-splitting parody of "Monty Python's Spamalot." Regional theatre was nurtured here, and the Tony Award-winning Guthrie Theatre is one of its superstars.
Minneapolis is home to 37 museums; many of which are noteworthy for their distinguished collections. Minneapolis Institute of Arts is known for its encyclopedic, international collection spanning 5,000 years from ancient Egyptian Art to works by the masters of the Italian Renaissance and the French Impressionists to the contemporary sculptures of Henry Moore.
Walker Art Center focuses on contemporary visual and performing arts exhibits. Its impressive collection includes well-known names like Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and Frida Kahlo. With a recent expansion, Walker Art Center recently doubled its facilities to include more galleries and outdoor space. Adjacent to the museum is the renowned Minneapolis Sculpture Garden which showcases large-scale works by Henry Moore, George Segal, Ellsworth Kelly and other acclaimed sculptors.
Minneapolis is the primary business center between Chicago and Seattle. Five Fortune 500 companies are headquartered here: Target Corporation, U.S. Bancorp, Xcel Energy, Ameriprise Financial and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. Fortune 1000 companies include PepsiAmericas, Valspar Corporation and Donaldson Company.
All average costs based on U.S. Government Per Diem rates as published by the U.S. General Services Administration.
Minneapolis enjoys four distinct seasons with cold, dry winters and comfortably warm summers. Seasonal high temperatures are 22 degrees in January; 57 degrees in April; 83 degrees in July, and 58 degrees in October.
The city experiences a full range of precipitation and related weather events, including snow, sleet, ice, rain and thunderstorms. With a countless number of indoor and outdoor activities available, visitors can enjoy Minneapolis any time of the year.
Minneapolis Convention Center
Conveniently located on the southern edge of downtown Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Convention Center is close to freeways and only twenty minutes from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Minneapolis' famous, climate-controlled skyways connect the center to downtown hotels, restaurants and shops.
Providing state-of-the-art solutions for a wide range of conferences, trade shows and events, this award-winning convention center offers 480,000 square feet of trade show space, 87 column-free meeting rooms, a 28,000-square-foot ballroom and a 4,800-fixed-seat auditorium. The Minneapolis Convention Center also boasts superb production services and flexible technology options.
Industry award winning Kelber Catering is the exclusive caterer and concessionaire for the Minneapolis Convention Center. The local, family-run caterer has serviced the convention business in Minneapolis since 1927. From pastries to entrees, all foods are prepared on-site in a 16,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility. Whether planning a grand reception or an intimate affair, Kelber Catering has the facilities and experience to execute flawless events.
Less than 10 years after the convention center's initial inception, a major expansion began and was completed in 2002. The expansion included the addition of two 100,000 square foot exhibit halls, 39 meeting rooms, a 3,400-seat auditorium and a newly remodeled kitchen. Also, a fourth 75-foot-high structural steel dome was added to the roof of the grand exhibit hall, allowing extra space for tall exhibits and large hanging displays.
Millennium Hotel Minneapolis
Millennium Hotel Minneapolis offers convenient access to dining, entertainment, shopping and business destinations. The hotel is connected to the Minneapolis Convention Center by an enclosed skywalk and is situated near the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. Experience one of 321 guest rooms and suites in addition to 20,000 square feet of meeting space. Six versatile meeting and event rooms range from the 5,280-sq.-ft. Loring Ballroom to the 92'x21' Satellite room.
The Depot Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel
The Depot Minneapolis, A Renaissance Hotel offers the kind of warm hospitality, inviting atmosphere and top-notch services sure to please business and leisure travelers alike with unexpected amenities and 66,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. Eleven versatile meeting and event rooms range from the 16,405-sq.-ft. Depot Pavilion to the 21'x15' Alexander Michell room to easily accommodate the diverse needs of any event.
Amtrak's Midway Station in St. Paul services the Twin Cities area with passenger service via 33 routes to U.S. destinations coast to coast, as well as to Montreal and Vancouver, British Columbia.
The state's first light rail line, Metro Transit's Hiawatha Light Rail provides service between the airport and fifteen other destinations, including downtown Minneapolis, a 25-minute ride north, and the Mall of America, an 11-minute ride south. Trains run every 7-8 minutes during peak hours and every 10-15 minutes at other times of the day.
Light rail fares are $2.00 during rush hours (Monday through Friday, 6:00 am to 9:00 am and 3:00 pm to 6:30 pm) and $1.50 at all other times. Tickets are sold at vending kiosks at the rail station.
The Humphrey Terminal Light Rail Transit station is located on the north end of the Orange parking ramp. From the terminal building take the skyway on Level 2 to the parking ramp. Follow the overhead signs through the parking ramps. Take the escalators or an elevator down one level to the station platform. The Lindbergh Terminal Light Rail Transit station is located below the Transit Center, between the Blue and Red parking ramps.
Light Rail service is free between Humphrey and Lindbergh terminals.
Opened in 2009, this commuter rail line provides service between downtown and Big Lake, Minnesota. It will operate on existing railroad tracks and will carry a projected 5,000 daily commuters.
Metro Transit (MTC) buses provide local, express and commuter transportation throughout the Minneapolis-St Paul metropolitan area with 203 different routes. MTC Bus #7 runs from the airport to Downtown Minneapolis, approximately every 20 minutes during the day. Bus #54D runs to Downtown St. Paul every 30 minutes.
*Rush hours: Monday-Friday 6:00-9:00 am & 3:00-6:30 pm.
Downtown Zone Fare
Pay just 50 cents to travel to downtown stores, hotels, restaurants and businesses in Metro Transit's designated Downtown Zone. Tell the driver you will be riding only within the Downtown Zone to avoid paying the normal fare.
City bus service and Jefferson Lines scheduled bus service are both accessible at the Transit Center at Lindbergh Terminal on Level 1 of the Blue and Red parking ramps.
From Lindbergh Terminal, passengers can get to the Transit Center via the free tram on the Tram Level or via the Skyway Connector between concourses C and G.
From Humphrey Terminal, passengers must take light rail transit to the Lindbergh Terminal to access city buses. There is no charge for rail service between the airport terminals.
Check with your hotel first. Many downtown hotels offer free airport shuttle service for guests.
SuperShuttle provides door-to-door ground transportation to more than eight-million passengers per year in 19 major US cities.
For more information: 612-827-7777 x 304
Lindbergh (Main) Terminal - Follow the signs stating "Hotel Shuttles and Scheduled Vans" to the Ground Transportation Atrium. The SuperShuttle service desk (open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) is located in the center of the Atrium.
Hubert Humphrey Terminal - Proceed across the street to the transportation center. Use the phone at the SuperShuttle kiosk and you will be connected to the service desk. An agent will promptly arrange for your transportation.
Car rental companies have phones and touch screen information kiosks in the baggage claim area at both terminals.
Lindberg Terminal: Rental car counters are located in the Hub building located between the Blue and Red parking ramps, on Levels 1, 2 & 3. Passengers can take the underground tram to go between the Lindbergh Terminal and the Hub building.
Humphrey Terminal: Rental car counters are located in the Ground Transport Center on the ground level of the parking ramp directly across from the terminal building.
All on-site rental car companies have counters at both terminals: Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, and National.
There are a number of reliable taxi services that provide transportation between downtown hotels and the airport.
Travelers wishing to take a taxi or van to various cities in Minnesota and Wisconsin can gain access to those services through Lindbergh Terminal's Ground Transportation Atrium or the Humphrey Terminal's Ground Transport Center.
Lindbergh Terminal: Taxi service at the Lindbergh Terminal is accessible via the Tram Level. Signs direct passengers one level up to the cab starter booth, where airport staff will assist passengers obtaining a taxi.
Humphrey Terminal: Taxi service is available at the Humphrey Ground Transportation Center, located in the Humphrey Parking ramp on Level 1.
All cab fares are metered at a rate of $1.90 per mile and include a $2.75 trip fee that is added to the final metered fare.
Photo Credit : Meet Minneapolis
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