The Cvent Spokane meeting planning guide is a comprehensive city guide for Spokane meeting planning professionals. As the business, medical, educational and entertainment hub of the Inland Northwest, Spokane is the perfect blend of small-town hospitality and hip, urban vitality combined with proximity to outrageous outdoor adventure.
Chief among Spokane meeting venues is the 100,160-square-foot Spokane Convention Center, which has the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating. Its green cleaning policy enforces the use of cleaning products that meet Green Seal standard GS-37 and reusable cleaning cloths, while a facility-wide recycling program offers recycling containers throughout the campus and provides planners with decorations and display materials for re-use.
In addition to being an eco-friendly venue, the Spokane Convention Center is versatile. Located on the banks of the Spokane River, the center can accommodate groups from 10 to 6,500 people in its various venues. It features 100,160 square feet of total exhibit space in the Exhibit Hall, as well as 23 meeting rooms totaling just over 35,700 square feet. Over 39,000 square feet of ballroom space is ideal for galas and black-tie affairs, while the 2,700-seat INB Performing Arts Center makes presentations a breeze.
A myriad of attractive venues for cocktail receptions, dinners and more await planners outside of the convention center. A Spokane must-see, the historic 1917 Davenport Hotel, underwent a $38-million renovation, and now features nine meeting rooms and several ballrooms that can accommodate up to 620 guests. Spokane is also home to a burgeoning wine industry with more than 20 wineries and more to on the way. From industrial warehouses to historic estates and turn of the century school houses, Spokane's award-winning wineries and tasting rooms offer spectacular options for offsite events.
In the midst of a major renaissance, Spokane continues to grow and improve its offerings to travelers. The city has invested nearly $3 billion in renovations and improvements to its downtown core. In addition to hotel and convention center renovations, downtown is booming with top notch retailers like Nordstrom, Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma alongside the ever popular Apple Store.
Spokane's economy was built upon the timber, agriculture and mining industries and has recently become a major center for the biotechnology, aerospace, digital media, hospitality and information technology industries. In fact, the city is home to the 100-block-wide Spokane HotZone, the nation's largest free municipal wireless Internet zone. The city serves as headquarters to such corporations as Red Lion Hotels Corporation, Signature Genomics Laboratories, Itron, Triumph Composite Systems and Ambassador Programs, Inc.
Spokane is home to Gonzaga University and Whitworth University. Spokane's Riverpoint Campus offers programs though Eastern Washington University and Washington State University and will soon be home to a four-year medical school.
Spokane is the metropolitan center of the Inland Northwest and, at 58 square miles, is the largest city located between MinneapolisMinneapolis and Seattle. Regarded as an outdoorsy city, Spokane has drawn upon its natural landscape from its start. First settled by Europeans in 1810, Spokane became the first long-term European settlement in Washington and the center of the fur trade between the Rockies and the Cascades. A major gold and silver discovery in the late 1800s, paired with the 1881 completion of the Northern Pacific Railway, brought major settlement to Spokane, which is still one of the most productive mining districts in North America today.
Many of Spokane's attractions, from its 33 golf courses, 76 lakes and five ski resorts all within close proximity, celebrate the city's natural resources and picturesque location along the Spokane River. Liberally sprinkled with lovely picnic areas and rolling green lawns, the popular Riverfront Park is a multi-season recreational haven with an outdoor skating rink in the winter proclaimed by Kristi Yamaguchi as one of the finest outdoor rinks in the nation to miniature golf and amusement rides in summer. The park's breathtaking Spokane Falls Skyride gives passengers a bird's eye view over the nation's second largest urban waterfalls and across the Spokane River from an enclosed six-person cabin as it descends 200 feet.
Perhaps one of the most popular ways to enjoy the outdoors in Spokane is walking, biking or jogging on the 37-mile Spokane River Centennial Trial. This one-of-a-kind trail, which branches out east and west from downtown Spokane, connects to the North Idaho Centennial trail and links Spokane to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. With 67 miles of dedicated trail to enjoy, it's the perfect place to soak up the sun that shines 260 days a year in Spokane.
Those who aren't as one with nature can easily find ways to enjoy Spokane's landscape without working up a sweat. The area is home to numerous wineries, all of which provide a breathtaking setting to enjoy a first-class Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon or delicious Meritage. One of the largest and most respected family-owned wineries, Arbor Crest's historic estate and three-story Cliff House are well-suited to tastings. To really add some excitement to a wine tour of the region, stop by Mountain Dome Winery, which specializes in sparkling wines crafted using the French methode champenoise.
Complementing its fine vintages, Spokane's restaurants tantalize taste buds with Northwest-style dishes prepared from fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Neighborhood gems such as Luna, hip establishments like Moxie and historic eateries such as the Palm Court Grill in the Davenport Hotel serve up some of the freshest seafood and mouth-watering steaks around. With its attractions, drinks and even food all linking back to its cherished landscape, it's no wonder that Spokane, which means "Children of the Sun," simply shines as a tourist destination.
All average costs based on U.S. Government Per Diem rates as published by the U.S. General Services Administration.
Spokane experiences four distinct seasons and sees an average of 260 days of sunshine each year. Summers are warm and dry, while winters tend to be cold and snowy, with an average of 51 inches of snowfall per year. Thanks to the western position of the Cascade Mountains in relation to the city, Spokane experiences less than half the rainfall of Seattle, with an average annual rainfall of just 17 inches per year.
Spokane's warmest month is August, with an average high of 83°F and average low of 55°F. The coldest month is January, with an average high of 33°F and average low of 22°F. Spring is the most pleasant time of year to visit Spokane, as it brings mild temperatures, low precipitation and peak lilac blooms.
Spokane Convention Center
Perched on the banks of the Spokane River and offering picture-perfect views of the 100-acre Riverfront Park, the newly renovated Spokane Convention Center is one of the Pacific Northwest's most prestigious event facilities. Located in the heart of downtown Spokane, the convention center complex is within easy walking distance to restaurants, shops, entertainment and 2,500 hotel rooms in the downtown area; an additional 6,700 hotel rooms are within a 20-minute radius of the complex. The Spokane Convention Center even offers direct access to the Centennial Trail, a paved, 67-mile-long trail that links Spokane to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
The modern, light-filled Spokane Convention Center completed a full renovation in May 2007. The project updated and expanded its meeting spaces and unveiled the new 100,160-square-foot, elliptically-shaped Group Health Exhibit Hall, which features floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the beautiful Spokane River.
Offering more than 164,000 total square feet of meeting space, the center houses 24 state-of-the-art breakout rooms ranging from 500 to 5,000 square feet; a theater with 270 seats; a 25,310-square-foot ballroom; and a 13,730-square-foot junior ballroom. The center also offers a variety of outdoor function spaces, including the grassy plaza in front of the lobby entrance, an arbor area and a roof deck for up to 500 people. Also within the convention center complex is the 2,700-seat INB Performing Arts Center and 375-room full-service Doubletree Hotel.
Amenities at the Spokane Convention Center are as plentiful as its meeting space. It offers 400 on-site parking spaces with an additional 1,100 spaces within a two-block-radius, in-house catering services and cutting-edge audio-visual capabilities that include campus-wide Wi-Fi, a fiber optic network, 25 interior LCD displays and two exterior marquees.
What's more, the Spokane Convention Center is the 3rd convention center in the United States to be awarded a U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Efficient Design (LEED) rating. Its many environmental-friendly features include an abundance of natural light, a full recycling program, indigenous landscaping, 100% green power functioning and easy access to public transportation.
The Spokane Convention Center complex has hosted such high-profile events as the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Prestigious groups who have used the convention center include the Northwest Council for Computer Education, Northwest Public Power Association, Health Physics Society, Neighborhoods USA and the Soil and Water Conservation Society.
Spokane County Fair and Expo Center
Located just five miles east of downtown Spokane, the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center recently underwent an $18-million expansion project. The center sits on a sprawling 97 acres, offering 14 buildings, 144,600 square feet of exhibit space, three meeting rooms totaling 3,000 square feet, a 278,000-square-foot lawn area and four arenas, including a covered grandstand with 5,100 seats.
The expo center's five exposition buildings total 93,000 square feet and feature five continuous bays used for a single event or five separate events, a spacious lobby and on-site concessionaire. The center's four agricultural buildings total 51,108 square feet, while the three multi-purpose buildings total 42,500 square feet. Parking is plentiful at the expo center, as guests may use 1,000 paved parking spots and 2,000 graded parking spots.
Spokane International Airport (GEG)
Approximate taxi fare: $20 USD
Located just nine miles west of downtown Spokane, Spokane International Airport is the second largest airport in the state of Washington. Providing an average of 180 daily flights to destinations throughout the United States and Canada, the airport serves an average of 3.5 million passengers a year. The clean, light-filled single terminal facility offers three concourses and 32 gates. Plans to expand Concourse C and construct a third runway in the coming years are underway.
Passengers may access many retail shops, kiosks and restaurants throughout the terminal, which also has free wireless Internet access. Spokane International Airport offers 5,000 garage and outdoor parking spaces with rates ranging from $7.50 per day to $63 per week. The airport is located within walking distance and via complimentary shuttle to the 167-room Spokane Airport Ramada, which features a full business center and even an indoor water park.
Airline carriers serving Spokane International Airport
Spokane Amtrak StationThe Spokane Amtrak station is located within the Spokane Intermodal Center at West 1st Avenue. The station serves the Empire Builder route which provides daily service between Chicago and the Pacific Northwest and stops in both Seattle and Portland.
Spokane Transit Authority (STA) Bus LineSpokane's clean and efficient public bus system is provided by the Spokane Transit Authority (STA). STA operates 152 buses within a 143-square-mile service area, which spans Airway Heights, Cheney, Medical Lake, Millwood, Liberty Lake, Spokane and the Spokane Valley. Its 40 bus routes provide weekday, weekend and evening service.
STA provides direct access to the Spokane International Airport via Route 64 Airport, which runs hourly Monday through Friday from about 6 AM to 6 PM, and via Route 61 Highway 2, which runs hourly Monday through Friday from 6:30 to 9:30 PM, Saturday from 6:30 AM to 9:30 PM and Sunday from 8 AM to 7:30 PM.
Travelers can access the Spokane Convention Center via Route 1 Plaza/Arena Shuttle, which runs Monday through Friday from 6:30 AM to 7:30 PM, or via Route 25 Division, which runs Monday through Friday from 6:30 AM to 11:30 PM, Saturday from 6:30 AM to 10 PM and Sunday from 9 AM to 8 PM.
Bus fare is $1 per one-way ride for adults. Passengers under age 6 ride free. An adult monthly pass costs $33. A day pass is available for $2.50.
Rental CarsAlamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty are all represented at the Spokane International Airport. Rental car agency counters are located in the ground floor transportation center.
TaxisVisitors to Spokane can access several taxi companies outside of the Spokane International Airport baggage claim area. Visitors should expect to pay about $15 to $20 in taxi fare from the airport to downtown Spokane. Taxis can also be hailed on the street throughout the downtown region or found at hotel taxi stands.
Photo Credit : Spokane Regional CVB / Alan Bisson
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Short-Term Meetings with Long-Term Benefits
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