by Chris Duthie | May 01, 2017

Boise, Idaho

Boise's dynamic appeal is perhaps best exemplified by Boise Centre, which in July will complete a $47.5 million, 52,000-square-foot expansion that pushes its upscale convention space to 92,000 square feet, adds a new ballroom, swells the total of meeting rooms to 29 (plus two levels of prefunction space), and includes a concourse that connects to the 252-room Grove Hotel and the 5,000-seat CenturyLink Arena.

At the forefront of a downtown hotel boom is the 110-room Inn at 500 Capitol, which opened in January with fine dining, a fitness center, free WiFi, 2,300 square feet of meeting space and complimentary bicycles. The hotel is steps from Boise Centre and the Boise River Greenbelt, a 25-mile pathway ideal for biking, walking and running.

Debuting this spring are a 152-room Hyatt Place and a 180-room Residence Inn by Marriott, bringing the city's total room count to well over 6,000. Other major properties include the 303-room Riverside Hotel and the 112-room Hotel 43, all in a walkable downtown studded with dozens of restaurants, including the acclaimed Alavita, Bardenay, Chandlers Steakhouse and Superb Sushi.

The Boise River is a playground
for outdoor enthusiasts.

A former Oregon Trail military post, Boise's natural appeal includes fishing, hiking, mountain-biking, skiing and Boise River kayaking and rafting. The city's mild climate has inspired seven wineries to take root within the rich volcanic soil of the nearby Snake River Valley, and two microbreweries will debut in town in the near future, adding to the hip vibe in this home to 215,000 residents and cultural draws that include ballet, opera and a Shakespeare festival.

Boise Airport offers direct air service from 20 major cities and free shuttles to most hotels.

Special meeting venue: In downtown, the ornate Egyptian Theatre, built in the 1920s to show silent films, provides 740 seats for group gatherings.

Irving, Texas
In Irving, just 17 minutes southwest of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, planners are empowered with first-tier accessibility, accommodations, amenities and attractions, all without the big-city hassles.

Leading Irving's mission to offer signature meeting facilities is a $110 million, 350-room Westin hotel rising next to the stylish Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas. When completed next winter, the hotel will feature 16,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 10,000-square-foot ballroom.


From top: Tampa, Fla., retains its
laid-back Gulf Coast allure. In Irving,
Texas, the Four Seasons Resort and
Club Dallas at Las Colinas features
gracious outdoor event space.

In September, the $200 million Irving Music Factory at Las Colinas will open next to the convention center. Features will include an 8,000-seat indoor/outdoor concert hall plus a large plaza that will stage fashion shows, food festivals and other events. The facility will be complemented by 250,000 square feet of restaurants, retail, a movie theater and a comedy club.

Such improvements will markedly elevate the allure of the 275,000-square-foot, Silver LEED-certified Irving Convention Center, which opened in 2011. The venue sports a 48,500-square-foot exhibit hall, a 20,000-square-foot ballroom and 20 breakout rooms.

The city currently offers 75 hotels and 12,000 guest rooms with easy access to attractions in nearby Dallas and Fort Worth. Luxury accommodations are found at the 431-room Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas, which has 41,000 square feet of meeting space and the LAW (for land, air and water) signature restaurant. Off-site dining options include Via Reál, which serves Southwestern cuisine and has four spacious private rooms, and the Ranch, a honky-tonk featuring live music and Texas-style grub like grilled Kobe beef, catfish and chipotle meatloaf.

Special meeting venue:
 At the Four Seasons Resort, gatherings take place  on the event lawn overlooking the 18th fairway of the hotel's TPC golf course.