Amenities: Food court, shop- ping, high-speed Internet packages
Hotel rooms connectedor adjacent to the center: 2,100
Hotel rooms in downtown: 3,800
country’s No. 1 zoo, a science center, and a minor-league baseball park. Sports fanatics can also take in an NHLColumbus Blue Jackets game at Nationwide Arena, or visit Huntington Park to watch the Colum- bus Clippers minor- league baseball team. Meeting profes-
WELL-ROUNDED: Columbus is quickly gaining national acclaim as a leading destination for gay travel, shopping, and other travel markets. The city’s entrepreneurial backbone has also produced some of the most innovative culinary and arts scenes found anywhere in the United States.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
sionals and their attendees will appre- ciate the advantages of Experience Colum- bus’ expanded Expe- rientialTourismPro- gram. One of the first of its kind in the country, the programoffers 55-plus tours that take visitors behind the scenes of some of the destination’s most popular attractions and performances, from arts and culture to din- ing, sports, history, and more. Within 550 miles of more than half of the nation’s population, Columbus is affordable to get to and is easily accessible by plane or car.Twomajor interstates intersect near downtown, I-71 and I-70, and Port Columbus Interna-
CONVENTION CENTER HIGHLIGHTS Columbus’ convention center district is conveniently located between the Short North Arts Dis- trict and the downtown Arena District, so attendees have hun- dreds of restaurants and dozens of attractions andentertainment options to experience within walk- ing distance of the center.
tional Airport is less than 10 min- utes fromdowntown. The airport is served by nine airlines and offers more than 157 daily departures to 34 airports. According to the Bureau ofTransportation Statistics, Columbus has some of the lowest airfares in the country.
Currently under construction, the 532-room Hilton Columbus Downtown is scheduled to open in fall 2012.When it does, it will offer 48 suites and22,800 square feet of meeting space, all connected to the Greater Columbus Convention Center.
More than $150 million has been investedin hotel andmeeting- space renovations at properties throughout downtown Columbus
pcmaconvene February 2012 81
in just the last two years alone, and plans for more upgrades are currently under way.
Battelle Grand, the new 74,000- square-foot ballroom inside the Greater Columbus Convention Center, is the largest multipurpose ballroom in Ohio.