Chatham-Kent is a city of 105,000 in southwestern Ontario; it's near both Windsor and, on the U.S. side of the border, Detroit. Chatham-Kent, comprising the districts of Blenheim, Chatham, Dresden, Ridgetown, Tilbury, and Wallaceburg, was built as a naval dockyard by the British - its name taken directly from what was once the center of the British navy in Kent, England. A fair sampling of Chatham-Kent MICE venues are historical in origin.
Visitors to Chatham-Kent have a choice: Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW), 75 miles to the west, is the closest international airport; while London International Airport (YXU), which is 80 miles northeast of Chatham-Kent, has service to Chicago, Newark, and several other Canadian cities. Those deciding it is easier to get to the Detroit (don't forget your passport) will need to call an experienced ground transportation company. Planes from Detroit go everywhere in the U.S., with Delta being the major airline there. Nearer to Windsor is Windsor Airport (YQG), its main carriers, Air Jazz (part of Air Canada) and Porter, serving Toronto.
Chief of area MICE venues, Chatham-Kent John D. Bradley Convention Centre has space for up to 1,800 attendees in spaces that include seven meeting rooms, a 25,000-square-foot exposition center, and a 7,500-square-foot ballroom.
Chatham-Kent MICE hotels are gathered among the select-service offerings, with the only two able to host groups and meetings being the 117-room Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Chatham South, which has two meeting rooms, Kent and Dover (again both nods to the English county of Kent) for 12 persons each, and 34-room boutique-style Retro Suites Hotel, which has two meeting rooms and a 2,600-square-foot function room for up to 140 persons. Windsor, 50 miles to the west, has larger hotels.
Unique MICE venues in Chatham-Kent run to the Cultural Centre in downtown, which contains the Chatham-Kent Museum that has for events the Thames Art Gallery with two gallery spaces; and the Kiwanis Theatre with 679 seats. Other venues elsewhere in Chatham-Kent's wider catchment area include the Von Ayres Cultural Centre in Wallaceburg, which contains an historical society, a sports hall of fame and the Wallaceburg Little Theatre, and two golf clubs with event spaces, Deer Run, which has 27 holes of public golf beside Lake Erie and a new clubhouse with function space for 250 persons, and Tilbury, which is inland and has 18 holes of golf, a function room and a restaurant.
Restaurants in downtown Chatham-Kent worth taking a group to include Blazin BBQ Ribhouse, with a banquet room for 88 persons; Chilled Cork in the Retro Suites Hotel, which specializes in beef and has a private dining room; stylish Chef's Table for fine dining Mediterranean fare; T-Bones Grill House for steaks, and Rossini's for Italian fare with two dining rooms, a private room for 10 persons and a patio for 50.