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Red Deer, AB Event Planning

Key Highlights

Hotels 20
Total Sleeping Rooms 2,198
Committable Sleeping Rooms* 150
Committable Meeting Rooms* 14
Convention Center Space 250,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Exhibit Space 42,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Ballroom 12,000 Sq. Ft.
Average Hotel Room Rate CAD $153
Average Daily Meal Cost CAD $133
Average Weekly Car Rental CAD $333
*Maximum for a single hotel

Red Deer, AB Meeting Planning Overview

Welcome to Cvent's MICE Guide to Red Deer, a city guide for MICE professionals. Red Deer is much more than just a convenient midway stop between Calgary and Edmonton; this vibrant, bustling city with a small town feel is a major hub for tourism, culture, heritage, and entertainment and business, as well as the home of extensive convention and exhibition facilities. Known for its plentiful sporting facilities and events, Red Deer is also a great choice for meetings, exhibitions, and conventions, offering a bounty of recreation, culture, and great eats for time spent outside of the boardroom.

The third-largest city in Alberta, Red Deer offers a growing, diversified economy focused on manufacturing, retail, agriculture, tourism, and oil and petrochemical sectors. The city's average resident age of less than 35 years makes Red Deer home to one of the youngest populations in Canada, but that doesn't mean this destination lacks in depth and growth; in fact, Red Deer serves as central Alberta's trading and distribution centre, linked on all sides by efficient transportation. Red Deer Regional Airport, situated 12 miles southwest of the city, serves as Alberta's third busiest airport, linking the city to Calgary, Kelowna, Fort McMurray, and Winnipeg. Once in Red Deer, visitors can hop aboard Red Deer transit buses, which serve such major destinations as the airport and Westerner Park, central Alberta's largest convention, tradeshow, agricultural, entertainment, and sports facility.

Spanning 320 acres and 150,000 square feet of meeting space, Westerner Park recently underwent an expansion project and offers a variety of indoor and outdoor event spaces, as well as fully integrated exhibition and convention facilities. Groups can gather in the spacious 7,819-seat ENMAX Centrium to the intimate 1,469-square-foot Lookout Room, with plenty of pavilions, meeting rooms and banquet spaces in between the two. Westerner Park hosts more than 1,500 events and 1.5 million visitors each year, and offers a variety of event services and plentiful parking.

In addition to its sprawling Westerner Park, Red Deer is home to a variety of unique venues perfectly positioned for group events to corporate teambuilding. The 217-acre Heritage Ranch offers groups unique opportunities to bond with horses and each other courtesy of its equine facilitated teambuilding program, while the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame & Museum invites groups to engage in some friendly competition with its Hockey Shootout goal net, or gather in a number of indoor spaces adjacent to its interactive exhibits. Groups can take guided wagon tours of the Red Deer's oldest farm at the Sunnybrook Farm Museum & Interpretive Centre, or enjoy afternoon tea service at Cronquist House, a lovingly restored Victorian style farmhouse that serves as a historic Red Deer symbol. Excitement awaits at the nearby Alberta Downs, a state-of the-art thoroughbred, quarter horse, and harness racing entertainment center with group event spaces; alongside wild animals at the unique 90-acre Discovery Wildlife Park zoo and sanctuary; or aboard a real steam or diesel-powered train courtesy of the entertaining Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions. Groups can also enjoy central Alberta's stunning natural beauty at such recreation sites as the Ellis Bird Farm, Kerry Wood Nature Centre and Bower Ponds.

About Red Deer, AB / Additional Info

Red Deer's beautiful river valley setting makes a spectacular setting for its beloved outdoor recreation options, as well as an ideal home base for exploring all central Alberta has to offer. Red Deer offers surprisingly budget friendly accommodations and options amid its cosmopolitan attractions and activities, and serves as a fantastic option for leisure and convention travel. Just like the more than 100 kilometers of trails that crisscross the city and link its parks, Red Deer is a well-connected destination with a strong sense of community, local fresh fare and plenty of things to do.

Red Deer was first inhabited by Blackfoot, Plains Cree, Stoney and Metis hunters and fishers, attracted to the plentiful wildlife that roamed the area's rich watershed. The establishment of Fort Calgary in 1875 increased traffic along the native trail that ran through the area, and the introduction of Canadian Pacific Railway service to Calgary further increased trail traffic. With its increased exposure, farmers were attracted to the Red Deer River area's fertile lands. One of the area's earliest farmers, Reverend Leonard Gaetz, gave 1,240 acres of his land to the Calgary and Edmonton Railway to develop as a town site, and after the first train from Calgary to Edmonton passed through Red Deer in 1891, it was incorporated as a town in 1901 and a city in 1913. Red Deer experienced rapid growth and quickly became an agricultural service and distribution centre before World War I depressed the area. Growth returned around the time of World War II and when oil and natural gas fields were discovered in the area, and by the late 1950s, Red Deer proclaimed itself the fastest-growing city in Canada. Today, Red Deer is a modern city with superb recreational facilities and an ever-growing economy.

Red Deer's outdoor recreation activities range from golfing at 14 area courses and enjoying fantastic bird watching to walking the extensive Waskasoo Parks system trails. The beautiful Bower Ponds serves as the heart of the Waskasoo Parks system, while Ellis Bird Farm in nearby Lacombe boasts fantastic gardens, trails, and the world's largest outdoor collection of bluebird nest boxes. Red Deer's rich agricultural presence and heritage is celebrated at such sites as Heritage Ranch, Sunnybrook Farm Museum & Interpretive Centre, and Cronquist House.

Red Deer's location in the agriculture-rich central Alberta region makes the city an excellent spot for local fresh fare, which is found in its many farmers markets and eateries. A number of Red Deer restaurants – including It's All Greek To Me, Las Palmeras, and The Rusty Pelican – serve international fare, while Redstone Grill and Wine Bar serves seasonal Canadian cuisine and The Rock Wood Fired Pizza and Spirits specializes in casual dining.

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