Set smack in the center of the U.S. – exactly 1,733 miles from both Boston and San Francisco – Kearney is popular with regional meetings. Kearney event venues offer meeting space, food and beverage and are conveniently near hotels. In addition, almost 90% of the city's hotels are located within walking distance of each other, a variety of restaurants, and the Younes Conference Center downtown.
Kearney Regional Airport is two miles from downtown and is served by Great Lakes Airlines, providing non-stop flights to Denver International Airport. Most hotels offer complimentary airport shuttle service.
Chief among convention venues in Kearney, Younes Conference Center is located in the heart of downtown. Within its 40,000 square feet of meeting space are 21 breakout rooms; exhibit space for up to 100 booths; and banquet space for 1,000 people. The conference center has an 87-room Hampton Inn and a 105-room Fairfield Inn and Suites attached; other hotel venues in Kearney that are adjacent to the conference center are the 87-room Wingate and the 162-room Holiday Inn, along with nearly 1,000 more guest rooms within four blocks. The two hotels with the largest meeting space are the Holiday Inn & Conference Center, with 23,000 square feet of meeting space, and the 206-room Ramada Inn, with 20,000 square feet of function space.
Not far away is Viaero Event Center, a hockey/entertainment arena with permanent seating for 4,020 and 1,400 floor seats, a 17,000s-square-foot arena floor, 37,000 square feet of concourse space with flexible layouts, and an upper level meeting room that can handle 100 people. In addition, Buffalo County Fairgrounds offers 190,000 square feet of multi-use space in three buildings. Some Kearney attractions that also make good special event venues include the Great Platte River Road Archway, an interactive museum that actually stretches over I80; groups of up to 200 can host a barbecue, using an on-site caterer. Elsewhere, the Museum of Nebraska Art, which preserves works that reflect Nebraska's culture and environment, can handle events of up to 500 people indoors and up to 100 people in an outdoor sculpture garden. And the circa 1927 vaudeville World Theatre, which was restored in 2011, can be used for movies, musical entertainment or theatrical performances in special events for up to 200 people.
Dining venues in Kearney offers a solid mix for group functions. Locally owned eateries that are particularly group friendly include Alley Rose, known for its extensive wine list, and Al Fresco Italian restaurant. Thunderhead Brewery serves handcrafted beer with its homemade pizzas and calzones. And both Whiskey Creek, with its wood fire grill, and Skeeter Barnes barbecue restaurant are within walking distance of the downtown hotels.