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Kalamazoo, MI Event Planning

Key Highlights

Hotels 27
Total Sleeping Rooms 2,443
Committable Sleeping Rooms* 322
Committable Meeting Rooms* 22
Convention Center Space 40,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Exhibit Space 10,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Ballroom 13,992 Sq. Ft.
Average Hotel Room Rate USD $89
Average Daily Meal Cost USD $51
Average Weekly Car Rental USD $314
*Maximum for a single hotel

Kalamazoo, MI Meeting Planning Overview

Welcome to Cvent's Meeting and Event Planning Guide to Kalamazoo – a city guide for meeting professionals. From its exciting downtown with countless leisure activities to its convenient location midway between Chicago and Detroit, Kalamazoo is a fantastic meeting destination that is bursting with energy, innovation and charm. Home to Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo College, Davenport University, Cornerstone University and Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Kalamazoo is undoubtedly a center of higher learning and hub for life science with big-city benefits and a small-town feel. What's more, it sits less than an hour from Lake Michigan and within easy reach of 20 area golf courses and other outdoor recreation activities. When it comes to getting down to business, Kalamazoo can accommodate groups of up to 3,000 people in its thousands of square feet of meeting and event space, which range from ballrooms and restaurants to hands-on art centers and historic sites.

Conveniently set at the crossroads of I-94 and U.S. 131, Kalamazoo sits less than two hours from Chicago, a short distance from nearby ski resorts and about a 15-minute drive from the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport. Complete with a new terminal that opened in 2011, the airport flies hundreds of passengers each day to major hubs with worldwide connections, as well as provides nonstop service to Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis and Atlanta. Passengers can easily hop aboard regional Metro Transit bus service from the airport, as well as navigate downtown Kalamazoo aboard Metro Transit buses. Kalamazoo's historic downtown transportation center houses Amtrak and Greyhound service, making it easy for delegates to get to and from Kalamazoo, as well as explore the surrounding region.

Downtown Kalamazoo is also home to the AAA 4 Diamond Radisson Plaza Hotel & Suites Kalamazoo, which features 44,000 square feet of meeting and event space and accommodates gatherings of up to 1,000 people. The 340-room downtown Kalamazoo hotel anchors the Kalamazoo Mall, the first outdoor pedestrian shopping mall in the U.S., and sits near Bronson Park, which features outdoor concerts and seasonal events. Event spaces include two 10,000-square-foot ballrooms, a 70-person seminar theater, 22 separate meeting rooms, two executive boardrooms and two hospitality suites; while meeting amenities include a dedicated conference services team, and on-site audio-visual, technology and catering services. In between meetings, delegates can enjoy the hotel's four restaurants, two shops, a spa salon, business center and 11,000-square-foot Kalamazoo Athletic Club. Several private dining spaces are also available.

In addition to its sprawling Radisson Plaza & Suites Kalamazoo, this Michigan business and leisure destination is home to a range of unique venues perfectly outfitted for group gatherings and teambuilding. A sampling of these venues includes the nearby Air Zoo, an aviation and space museum cum amusement park, complete with a 3D/4D theater, full-motion flight simulators, indoor rides, more than 50 rare aircraft and event space for up to 1,500 people. The nearby Gilmore Car Museum, ranked among the top five automobile museums in the country, welcomes groups to hold events in its restored barns, 1940s diner, multi-media theater and other unique spaces, while the grand W.K. Kellogg Manor House, the former residence of philanthropist and cereal magnate W.K. Kellogg, has been restored to its original 1920s grandeur and now functions as a dedicated event space. Team building opportunities abound at the hands-on West Michigan Glass Art Center, which welcomes groups to create pendants, beads, tiles and suncatchers, as well as the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, which houses its very own art school complete with group-friendly 2D and 3D classes in photography, pastels, ceramics, precious metal clay and more.

About Kalamazoo, MI / Additional Info

Paying homage to the past, celebrating the present and looking towards the future, Kalamazoo offers a unique blend of 12 historic districts with diverse architectural styles and a vibrant, progressive downtown known for its shops, galleries, live entertainment and locally owned restaurants utilizing fresh, local products. Kalamazoo also boasts exciting athletics, thanks to its variety of collegiate level sports and professional hockey teams. Thirsty visitors surely appreciate the area's 20 wineries, 16 breweries and four distilleries that demonstrate Kalamazoo's current rise into a beer culture destination.

Deriving its name from an Indian word meaning "bubbling or boiling water," Kalamazoo once enjoyed a reputation as the celery capital of the world, then the bedding plant capital of the U.S.; today it is home to one of the largest bedding plant growers' co-op in the nation. The area thrived in agricultural production, an industry that grew with the arrival of the railroad in 1846, and then found a stronghold in the paper industry; by the time of World War I, Kalamazoo was the largest paper producing area in the country. Western Michigan University was established in 1903. In 1959, the Kalamazoo Mall was unveiled, the nation's first outdoor pedestrian mall.

Today, the Kalamazoo Mall is still active and the city's shopping industry bursting with unique shops, galleries and more. The city's Art Deco downtown is lined with arts and culture venues ready to be enjoyed, thanks to the city's investment of more than $80 million into local arts and culture in the last 10 years. What's more, Kalamazoo offers a number of trails and parks, both downtown and outside of the downtown area. In fact, visitors can bike, hike, snowmobile or cross country ski along the Kal-Haven Trail, which runs 33.5 miles from Kalamazoo to South Haven, a Lake Michigan shoreline city. The surrounding county is also home to more than 80 lakes with public access, featuring fishing, swimming, waterskiing, sailing and boating activities.

When it's time to unwind from Kalamazoo's outdoor recreation options, visitors and residents alike frequent the area's variety of eateries that showcase local products. Zazios at the Radisson Plaza Hotel & Suites creates a modern Italian experience for guests, as it features a dining room, lounge and patio, as well as a chef's table, which hosts stadium style seating for guests to watch and interact with expert chefs as they create five-course meals. Bravo! Restaurant and Cafe specializes in Italian-inspired fine dining, complete with small plates, pizza, pasta and entrees, while Mangia Mangia draws its culinary inspiration from family recipes hailing from the Naples and Calabrian regions of southern Italy. Martell's boasts a patio overlooking Willow Lake and specializes in local and regional fare, while Martini's utilizes Italian flavors and techniques in its seasonal creations.

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