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by Kaitlin Holden and Michael C. Lowe | October 01, 2011
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Kansas City
Kansas City's largest convention hotel, the 984-room Kansas City Marriott Downtown, completed another phase of its multimillion-dollar renovation, which included improvements to the front drive and hotel entrance. The next phase will create a new lobby space with three distinct sections where guests can efficiently arrive and depart, meet, work, socialize, and partake in various dining and entertainment options. The hotel offers 91,570 square feet of meeting space.

The 731-room Hyatt Regency Crown Center will be renamed the Sheraton Crown Center beginning in 2012. Both the Sheraton and its sister property, the 729-room Westin Crown Center, will be managed by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. Over the next three years, upgrades at the Sheraton will include a new lobby, while the Westin will see upgrades to the entrance and lobby areas, the 17,487-square-foot Century Ballroom and public restrooms.

The 217-room Hotel Phillips will undergo a restoration of its art deco interior during summer 2012. The work will be done on a floor-by-floor basis and will not affect guests. This downtown property offers 5,600 square feet of divisible meeting space.

Meeting Hotels
Major properties in Kansas City include the 984-room Kansas City Marriott Downtown, 731-room Hyatt Regency Crown Center, 729-room Westin Crown Center, 392-room Harrah's North Kansas City Casino & Hotel, 388-room Crowne Plaza Kansas City-Downtown, 382-room Marriott Kansas City Airport, 369-room Holiday Inn CoCo Key Water Resort, 347-room Hilton Kansas City Airport and 346-room InterContinental Kansas City at the Plaza. For more hotels, search mcvenues.com.

Convention Center
Kansas City Convention Center; exhibit space, 388,800 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 48; (800) 821-7060

Airport Transit
Kansas City International Airport, 18 miles from downtown. Transfer by taxi, approximately $37; by SuperShuttle, $18 each way

Taxes
State tax, 4.225%; county tax, 1.125%; city tax, 2.375%; convention and tourism tax, 7.5%; downtown district tax, .5%; total tax on hotels, 15.725%

Group Venues
The Boulevard Brewing Co. offers a complete selection of Kansas City's locally brewed  beers, served cold and fresh for up to 350 guests. For gatherings, the Muehlebach Suite accommodates 225 people and features breathtaking views of downtown; the Brewhouse Bar's event space for 75 showcases the state-of-the-art stainless-steel brewhouse; and for a more intimate setting, the Tasting Room can hold up to 35 guests. (816) 474-7095

Kansas City's Arabia Steamboat MuseumThe Arabia Steamboat Museum features unique collections depicting frontier life. Built in 1853, the steamboat Arabia was a side-wheeler steamer that sunk to the bottom of the Missouri River around 1856 with all 200 tons of cargo. Rediscovered after 132 years, large sections of the ship and its contents have been restored and put on display at the museum, including a full-size reproduction of the main deck, brightly colored and decorated buttons, glass bottles of still-edible sweet pickles and other items from daily life in 1856. The museum's total event space accommodates up to 800 guests, including a multipurpose space on the Museum Level for 125 guests and a large atrium that overlooks the City Market on weekends. (816) 471-1856

CVB Services
Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association, (800) 767-7700