by Michael J. Shapiro | August 01, 2016
Why here?
Cleveland has seen some dramatic changes over the past several years, thanks to more than $3.5 billion in tourism-related infrastructure completed or underway since 2011 in the city and surrounding county. The new 600-room Hilton Cleveland Downtown (pictured) opened in June.

• The Wyndham Cleveland at Playhouse Square recently updated all of its 205 guest rooms, along with adding an indoor pool, a whirlpool, a fitness center and a sauna.

• The 175-room Residence Inn Cleveland Downtown, in the Historic Gateway district, has wrapped up a $12 million renovation that refreshed all guest rooms and all 3,000 square feet of meeting space.

The InterContinental Hotel and Conference Center wrapped up a multimillion-dollar renovation of its Presidential and Ambassador suites, which now meet the latest U.S. Secret Service lodging requirements.
read more

Local Update
 The 600-room Hilton Cleveland Downtown opened on June 1 in a gleaming 32-story tower on the shore of Lake Erie. The convention hotel connects to the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland and is adjacent to the Global Center for Health Innovation. The Silver LEED-certified building is designed to fill many of the guest rooms and meeting rooms with natural light and offer impressive views of the lakefront. The hotel has more than 50,000 square feet of meeting and function space, including a 20,778-square-foot grand ballroom.

 The Drury Plaza Hotel debuted in April in the renovated historic Cleveland Board of Education Building -- the result of a three-year, $52 million project. The 189-room hotel provides 3,900 square feet of meeting and event space, plus an on-site restaurant, the Teacher's Lounge. The stately marble-lined, two-story lobby features large Depression-era murals themed around education.

 The 166-room Residence Inn Cleveland Avon at the Emerald Event Center debuted in March of this year. Near Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, the hotel offers spacious suites with kitchen areas. The connected Emerald Event Center has 11,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including a 7,000-square-foot main function room that can accommodate 500 to 700 people.   

 In May, the Holiday Inn Cleveland Clinic opened for business on the clinic's campus in the thriving University Circle neighborhood. The modern 276-room property offers another lodging option for families visiting the clinic and attendees of events in the surrounding area. The hotel has 1,300 square feet of meeting space.

 The Flats East Bank complex is in the midst of a multiyear, $750 million rejuvenation project. Phase II of the project added a wooden boardwalk alongside the Cuyahoga River and a wealth of dining and entertainment venues. The next phase will see the addition of a movie theater, retail outlets and as many as 100 new residences. No timeline has been set for planned Phase III developments.