By Ron Engeldinger
The dramatic waterfall roaring through the center of the city emphasizes that Spokane, Washington, is no ordinary city.
Outdoor adventures abound just minutes from the city center, but Spokane also has a sophisticated side. A thriving art and culture tradition and a flourishing culinary scene combine with outdoor activities to draw conferences, meetings and events.
“The whole city is one great experience. The hospitality community works together closely with each other and with the city,” says Robert Enriquez, vice president of sales and marketing for Visit Spokane. He adds, “You step into technicolor when you come to Spokane. It is vibrant and friendly, a special experience.”
MEET AND STAY
With two attached hotels, and adjacent to the Spokane River, the Spokane Convention Center is a full-service conference and meeting space in downtown. The 650,000 square feet of meeting space includes exhibit halls, ballrooms, meeting rooms and boardrooms that can accommodate groups from five to 5,000. In addition to the meeting and event space, the Spokane Center includes a 2,700-seat auditorium, the INB Performing Arts Center.
The Convention Center provides complete audiovisual and catering support. WiFi is available throughout the facility. Covered parking is available for 400 cars, and an additional 1,100 parking spaces are available in the vicinity. Spokane’s scenic Riverfront Park and all the downtown activities are only a short walk from the facility.
Overlooking the river and connected to the Convention Center by a skybridge, the DoubleTree by Hilton Spokane City Center provides 375 guest rooms and 21,000 square feet of meeting space. The Grand Ballroom can accommodate as many as 1,200 theater-style and a variety of additional rooms offer space for breakout sessions or smaller meetings. With the Spokane River Centennial Trail stretching along the property, a scenic morning run or afternoon walk is only minutes away.
Anchored by the ornate, century-old Historic Davenport Hotel, the Davenport Hotel Collection includes four properties in downtown Spokane, each with its own special character. Two of the Davenport properties offer meeting space. With more than 33,000 square feet of meeting space, the centrally-located Historic Davenport Hotel offers a special ambience for groups. Meeting rooms are styled to evoke the spirit of a European Grand Tour. The Hall of Doges Room, inspired by the Doge’s Palace in Venice, Italy, will add an air of sophistication for up to 300 guests. The Elizabethan Room accommodates up to 200 guests in an English Tudor atmosphere. Less than a block away, the 328-room Davenport Tower and the 48-room Hotel Russo offer additional overnight accommodations for meeting attendees.
The Davenport Collection’s newest hotel, the Davenport Grand, offers 716 guest rooms and more than 50 options for meetings and events. “Our wide hallways and flexible meeting rooms will accommodate any type of conference or reception,” say Matt Jensen, corporate director of sales and marketing. “Meeting rooms are suitable for groups from 10 to 2,000. Jensen adds, “With a skybridge connection to the Convention Center, the Davenport Grand makes the perfect home base for groups utilizing the Center.”
Set along the banks of the Spokane River, across from Riverfront Park, the newly remodeled Hotel RL by Red Lion Spokane at the Park offers 30,000 square feet of meeting space, accommodating up to 1,200 conference attendees. “We are preparing for the next generation of traveler,” says Ruth Fitzgerald, director of sales. “Our open-concept lobby includes lots of communal space. We like to think of the hotel as an urban resort,” she adds. “We have many small spaces for breakout sessions and small gatherings,” explains Fitzgerald. One of the city’s best views is from the Skyline Ballroom. Located on the 12th floor, the room accommodates 300 guests and the large windows offer sweeping views of the Spokane River and downtown Spokane.
The Montvale Hotel offers modern comfort in a completely restored 1899 brick building. With common areas that have the feel of a living room and comfortable furnishings, this boutique hotel offers a quiet refuge in the midst of the vibrant arts and entertainment area of downtown. The Montvale Event Center is located two doors down the street from the hotel. The Event Center is housed in a historic 1909 building and can accommodate up to 200 guests. The stained-glass windows and mahogany accents provide a touch of elegance for any meeting, presentation or special event.
Located in the city of Spokane Valley, an easy 15-minute drive from downtown Spokane, the Mirabeau Park Hotel and Convention Center is a convenient full-service hotel and conference center. With 235 guest rooms and more than 17,000 square feet of conference space, the venue can accommodate anything from a small executive retreat to a large conference. “We have four flexible hospitality rooms that are perfect for corporate meetings of 30 or so,” says Chris Nelson, director of sales. “Our location is perfect. We are close to downtown, yet far enough away to offer a relaxing escape from the city,” he adds. The hotel provides free parking for more than 500 cars and offers shuttle service to Spokane International Airport.
The city of Spokane Falls is also home to the CenterPlace Regional Event Center. With 500 free parking spaces in a park-like setting, the modern building features large windows overlooking scenic Mirabeau Point Park. A large Great Room, an auditorium and dozens of meeting and breakout room options offer the flexibility to accommodate any type of meeting or event. The center features state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment and onsite catering in a convenient location only minutes from hotels, restaurants and shopping.
The Northern Quest Resort & Casino is an AAA Four Diamond resort offering 22,000 square feet of meeting space that can accommodate groups from 10 to 1,200. “We are owned by the Kalispel Tribe, and we are proud of our Kalispel hospitality. Everything we do is built around the guest experience,” says Melissa Borland, director of sales & catering. Dine in one of the 14 restaurants, rejuvenate in the La Rive Spa, visit the large gaming floor or enjoy entertainment featuring acclaimed headliners; there is a wealth of post-meeting activity available. For a fun team building experience, the staff will organize special slot machine or poker lessons and tournaments for your group.
The SteamPlant offers a unique setting for a special meeting, reception or banquet. The facility was once a steam generating plant and has been completely refurbished. Twin 225-foot smokestacks loom overhead, and the original pipes, gauges and catwalks of the original structure remain intact, giving the venue an industrial ambiance. With the original steam pipes lining the walls, the Board Room, located inside the plant’s original boiler, accommodates up to 24 for a memorable private meeting or meal. Additional rooms offer a variety of meeting spaces, and the entire facility can be rented for a gathering of up 200 guests.
OUT AND ABOUT
Groups looking for an active pursuit will find countless options in the Spokane region. Spokane has 32 golf courses and five ski areas within an hour and a half of the city. Whitewater raft trips embark only a few blocks from downtown, and the 37-mile Spokane Centennial trail runs through the heart of the city. Row Adventures can provide fully-outfitted cycling, rafting, kayaking or walking adventures for any group.
The Cork District, featuring 16 wine tasting rooms within walking distance of each other in the downtown core, provides the opportunity to sample some of the region’s award-winning wines. Whether it is a wine stroll, a pub crawl, a sampling session along the ale trail or a tour of elegant historic mansions, the staff at Visit Spokane, the region’s Convention and Visitors Bureau, can make it happen. “We can customize tours or activities to match any group’s interests,” explains Amy Cabe, Visit Spokane’s director of convention services.
Downtown Spokane is level and easily walkable. With spectacular Riverfront Park and a wealth of shops, restaurants, galleries and museums, Spokane will keep groups entertained for hours. The Northwest Museum of Arts + Culture (MAC) provides a look into the history and culture of the region and offers regular special exhibits.
“Spokane has undergone a renaissance since the 1990s. We have a wonderful culinary scene, world-class art and entertainment possibilities and great shopping,” says Cabe, “Spokane should be on the radar for any meeting or event planner.”
- Spokane has nearly 7,000 guest rooms
- Downtown Spokane is 8 miles from Spokane International Airport
Spokane Convention Center
- 650,000 square feet of meeting and event space
- 4,436 seated capacity in largest room
INB Performing Arts Center
- 2,700 seated capacity
DoubleTree by Hilton Spokane City Center
- 375 guest rooms
- 21,000 square feet of meeting space
- 17 flexible meeting spaces
- 1,200 seated capacity in largest room
Historic Davenport Hotel
- 284 guest rooms
- 33,000 square feet of meeting space
- 23 meeting rooms and pre-function areas of varying sizes
- 620 seated capacity of largest meeting room
Davenport Grand Hotel
- 716 guest rooms
- 63,000 square feet of meeting space
- 30 meeting rooms and pre-function areas of varying sizes
- 1,956 seated capacity of largest meeting room
Hotel RL by Red Lion Spokane at the Park
- 401 guest rooms
- 30,000 square feet of meeting space
- 19 meeting rooms
- 1,200 seated capacity in largest meeting room
Montvale Hotel and Event Center
- 36 guest rooms
- 11,000 square feet of meeting space
- 2 meeting rooms
- 200 seated capacity in largest meeting room
Northern Quest Resort & Casino
- 250 guest rooms
- 22,000 square feet of meeting space
- 16 meeting rooms
- 1,300 seated capacity in largest room
Mirabeau Park Hotel and Convention Center
- 17,500 square feet of meeting space
- 12 meeting rooms
- 900 seated capacity in largest meeting room
CenterPlace Regional Event Center
- 54,000 square feet of meeting space
- 7 flexible event spaces
- 500 seated capacity in largest meeting room
- Unique modern facility in a former industrial plant
- 5 meeting and event spaces
- 50 seated capacity in largest room