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La Crosse,WI Event Planning

Key Highlights

Hotels 12
Total Sleeping Rooms 1,181
Committable Sleeping Rooms* 169
Committable Meeting Rooms* 19
Largest Exhibit Space 100,000 Sq. Ft.
Average Hotel Room Rate USD $83
Average Daily Meal Cost USD $46
Average Weekly Car Rental USD $488
*Maximum for a single hotel

La Crosse,WI Meeting Planning Overview

La Crosse, Wisconsin, is large enough to have a sophisticated mix and small enough for groups to feel its warm welcome. The city's two greatest assets are its picturesque location on the banks of the Upper Mississippi, amid bluffs and narrow valleys ("coulees"); and its historic downtown, which is one of the largest historic districts in Wisconsin. With more than 100 preserved buildings dating back as far as the 1860s, residents are justifiably proud of this recently revitalized downtown core and its array of fashionable boutiques, diverse restaurants and convenient services. La Crosse event venues reflect this pride-of-place.

La Crosse is the seat of La Crosse County and the urban heart of a region that includes the southeastern corner of Minnesota (just across the Mississippi). The region is compact and easy to navigate: the ride from La Crosse Municipal Airport (LSE) north of the city, on French Island, takes 10 minutes. American and Delta both fly out of LSE.

The first stop for any visitor downtown has to be Riverside Park, home to the International Friendship Garden, two boarding sites for river cruises and a landscaped river walk affording up-close views of the Mississippi. Directly south of the park and also on the river, the modern La Crosse Center offers 100,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space and a 7,500-seat arena. On the main level of the convention center, two grand halls combine to create 36,000 square feet of exhibit space, and the second floor boasts a premier 6,000 square-foot ballroom that overlooks the river.

There are nearly 500 hotel rooms downtown and more than 2,000 citywide. Hotels in La Crosse include the 179-room Radisson La Crosse, which is attached to the La Crosse Center and boasts 10,000 square feet of its own meeting space; and the Best Western Riverfront Plus, which has 5,000 square feet of meeting space.

Despite its modern amenities and services, La Crosse retains a friendly, traditional feel that at times recalls its development as a fur-trading outpost, then a sawmill town and a brewing center. There are 25 pubs within walking distance of the La Crosse Center, and many of the city's well-known street festivals echo the culture: Oktoberfest, RiverFest, Irishfest, and the Hmong New Year Parade, celebrating La Crosse's substantial Southeast Asian community.

About La Crosse,WI / Additional Info

La Crosse has made a substantial push in recent years to reenergize its downtown, and it shows. From streetscaping to improving signage, restoring historic buildings to supporting local businesses, the community has refashioned a distinctive and appealing Main Street USA feel. Among its many accolades in recent years are rankings among the best places to do business, safest metro area, least stressful cities, and best revitalized Wisconsin downtown.

This is an outdoor-focused city, with sports and activities going on throughout the year: golf, boating, biking and swimming in the summer and skating, hockey, snowmobiling and skiing in the winter. (Men's Fitness has ranked the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse as one of the fittest colleges in the country.) Those from outside the Midwest might be surprised to learn that its unglaciated terrain offers the steepest vertical in the Midwest and the longest run in the state, at Mt. La Crosse.

The city's connection to beer goes back to the 1850s, when Gottleib Heileman set up shop as a brewer. (His best-known brand, Old Style, is still brewed through another operation.) At one time, La Crosse brewed more beer than any other city in the state—not bad when one considers Milwaukee's output. Today what was once Heileman's brewing operation is City Brewing Company (the brewery's original 1858 name), and there's still plenty of beer to go around in the city, including microbrews.

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