by Agatha Gilmore | May 01, 2012
Coming in spring 2013: Caesars will unveil the new $400 million, 350,000-square-foot Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati, with 2,300 slot machines and three restaurants.

The city is investing in an 18-acre mixed-use development project on the banks of the Ohio River called the Banks Entertainment District. Featured will be a slew of new dining options, from locally owned restaurants to national chains, as well as retail space and more.

The Sharonville Convention Center, 15 miles north of downtown Cincinnati, has undergone an extensive expansion and renovation. The building now offers 65,000 square feet of flexible convention space, including a 15,000-square-foot ballroom that can accommodate up to 1,000 people. The center is LEED Silver certified.

The 160-room 21c Museum Hotel will open before the end of the year next to the Lois and Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art and across the street from the Aronoff Center for the Arts. The hotel itself is housed in the restored Metropole Building -- listed on the National Register of Historic Places -- and features an extensive art gallery that is free and open to the public.

Meeting Hotels
Major properties with meeting space include the 848-room Mil­lennium Hotel Cincinnati, 561-room Hilton Cin­cin­nati Nether­land Plaza, 486-room Hyatt Regency Cincinnati, 456-room Westin Hotel Cincinnati and 152-room Garfield Suites Hotel.

Convention Center
Duke Energy Convention Center; total meeting and exhibit space, approximately 750,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 31; (513) 419-7300

Airport Transit
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Inter­national Airport, a 15-minute drive to downtown. Transfer cost by taxi, $30; by shuttle, $22

Room tax, 17%; sales tax, 6.5%; total tax on hotel rooms, 17%

Group Venues Just steps away from the Duke Energy Convention Center is The Phoenix, a vintage 1893 gentleman's club turned banquet venue. Groups of up to 1,000 people can dine in a variety of spaces restored to their full Italian Renaissance splendor, including the 1,200-square-foot President's Dining Room with its hand-carved library breakfront. (513) 721-8901

The American Sign Museum, the only facility in the United States dedicated to the study and preservation of public signs, offers groups of up to 800 a trip down memory lane. Among the colorful visual relics on display are hand-lettered Las Vegas show cards from the days of Frank Sinatra and "changeable" neon lights that run on radio waves. (513) 407-9854

Cincinnati USA, (800) 543-2613