by Agatha Gilmore | May 01, 2012
Clevelands skylineSeveral new hotels will open soon in the downtown and University Circle areas, boosting the city's guest rooms by 23 percent. First up is the 150-room Courtyard by Marriott-University Circle later this year, followed by the 472-room Westin Cleveland Convention Center Hotel in July 2013. The latter will feature 25,000 square feet of meeting space. Also coming in 2013 is the city's first tech-forward, Starwood-branded Aloft hotel, with 150 rooms and 3,000 square feet of meeting space. In addition, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants has broken ground on a 140-room, $40 million downtown boutique hotel that will feature a specialty restaurant.

In the Warehouse District, the $275 million Flats East Bank Project will bring a hotel, retail, entertainment, a 1,200-foot boardwalk and more to the city by spring 2013.

The $465 million Cleveland Medical Mart and Convention Center is on track to open in August 2013 with an array of medical showrooms, an exhibition hall and conference facilities geared toward both the medical and mainstream marketplaces. It will include a 30,000-square-foot grand ballroom with views of Lake Erie.

The first phase of the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland will debut in June, with the rest to open in 2013 at a total cost of $350 million. The venue is in the historic Higbee Building in downtown's Public Square.

Meeting Hotels
 Major properties in the city include the 491-room Renaissance Cleveland Hotel, 400-room Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center, 379-room Double­Tree by Hilton Cleveland Down­town/Lakeside and 322-room InterContinental Hotel & Conference Center Cleveland.

Convention Center
Cleveland Convention Center; meeting and exhibit space, 375,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 15; (216) 348-2200

Airport Transit
 Cleveland Hopkins International Air­port, a 15-20 minute drive from downtown. Transfer cost by taxi, up to $50; by shuttle, about $20

Taxes Room tax, 7.75%, plus 8.5% secondary tax; sales tax, 7.75%; total tax on hotel rooms, 16.75%

Group Venues
In October, Cleveland's famed Museum of Contemporary Art will reopen in its new $26.3 million building in the Uptown District of the University Circle neighborhood. Features include a lobby designed as an "urban living room" and Wi-Fi throughout. The facility, devoted to presenting cutting-edge artists in a variety of mediums, is aiming to become LEED Silver certified. (216) 421-8671

The Greater Cleveland Aquarium debuted in January and features 5,000 fish and a transparent, 145-foot "seatube" that allows visitors to experience life under the sea. The aquarium can accommodate groups of up to 600. (216) 861-1445

The already iconic Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tells the story of rock music, from its blues beginnings to Lady Gaga and beyond, with exhibits that range from vintage programs to videos. The facility offers meeting space for receptions of up to 2,500, including the 164-seat Foster Theater. (216) 515-8420

Positively Cleveland, (216) 875-6600