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by Sarah J.F. Braley | November 08, 2012
FYI
The Pacific Northwest is a diverse geographic region, marked by stunning mountain ranges and lush forests. Amid the area’s natural attractions are sophisticated cities (including Anchorage, Alaska, above) with rich infrastructure and appeal to draw meetings and events of all types. Ground has been broken on a 165-room Embassy Suites Hotel in the Horn Rapids golf community in Richland, Wash. The property will open in fall 2013 with 10,000 square feet of meeting space and a three-acre vineyard. Coeur D’Alene Resort in Idaho (below) has completed a year-long renovation of the lobby, guest rooms and more. On-site, the new 11,000-square-foot Hagadone Event Center opened in summer 2011. Amenities surrounding the 370-room Tulalip Resort Casino advertiser! , about an hour north of Seattle, continue to grow. The retail center has added a new Cabela’s outdoor store. New in Oregon:   The 70-room Inn at the 5th (innat5th.com) opened in Eugene in March, with a 1,400-square-foot meeting room, a boardroom and a garden plaza that accommodates 125 people.
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Anchorage, Alaska

The Anchorage Convention & Visitors Bureau has changed its name to Visit Anchorage. The move is similar to that of other destination marketing organizations that have rebranded to put the focus on marketing and bringing visitors to their destinations.



The Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck program, which allows certain flyers to go through an expedited security check, is scheduled to be begin at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport later this year.TSA press 571-227-2829



Renovations at the 198-room Westmark Anchorage Hotel finished up earlier this year, adding flat-screen TVs to the guest rooms and redoing the bathrooms. The property offers 4,862 square feet of meeting space.�

The 92-room Aspen Suites Hotel opened in midtown in June. Each room features a fully outfitted kitchen with a ceramic cooktop. The hotel is minutes from the airport and the convention district.

Meeting Hotels

Properties in Alaska’s largest city include the 606-room Hilton Anchorage Hotel, 546-room Hotel Captain Cook, 392-room Anchorage Marriott Downtown, 375-room Sher�aton Anchorage Hotel & Spa, 251-room Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel, 248-room Mil�lennium Alaskan Anchor�age and 198-room Westmark Anchorage Hotel.

Convention Centers

Dena’ina Center; exhibit space, 72,240 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 15. (907) 263-2850; anchorageconventioncenters.com/denaina-center

The Egan Center; exhibit space, 30,534 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 21. (907) 263-2800; anchorageconventioncenters.com/egan-center

Airport Transit

Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, approximately 5 miles from downtown. Transfer cost by taxi, $20

Taxes

Room tax, 12%; sales tax, 0%; total tax on hotel rooms, 12%

Group Venue

Alaska Ambassadors offers attendees two walking tours through the city: the Taste of Anchorage Culinary tour, featuring sample bites and chef wisdom from a variety of local restaurants; and the Art, Chocolate and History tour, visiting the city’s public art collection and historical spots. Groups of up to 25 are accommodated. (907) 538-2643; alaskaambassador.com

Contact

Visit Anchorage, (907) 276-4118; www.anchorage.net



Local Update:



Boise, Idaho

The Boise Centre, the city’s main convention facility, takes its commitment to sustainability programs seriously. Last year, aside from donating about 6,000 pounds of food to a local rescue mission, approximately 6,300 pounds of kitchen compost were collected, 5,850 pounds of coffee grounds were composted, and 300 cases of wine bottles (more than one-third of them purchased from local wineries) were recycled or donated. Boise Airport welcomes flights from many major carriers, including Alaska Airlines Delta, Frontier, Southwest, United and US Airways.

Meeting Hotels

The city’s group properties include the 303-room Riverside Hotel, 254-room Grove Hotel, 195-room Boise Hotel & Conference Center, 112-room Hotel 43 and 100-room Owyhee Plaza Hotel.

Convention Center

Boise Centrecq; exhibit space, 50,000 square feet; meeting rooms, 20. (208) 336-8900; boisecentre.com

Taxes

Room tax, 7%; sales tax, 6%; total tax on hotel rooms, 13%

Group Venue

The walls have plenty to say at the Old Idaho Territorial Penitentiary, built in 1870 in what was then the Idaho Territory, and in service until 1973. The four-acre “Old Pen” welcomes outdoor events for groups of up to 1,200 in the main yard and grounds. (208) 334-2844; history.idaho.gov/old-idaho-penitentiary

Contact

Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau; (208) 344-7777 or (800) 635-5240; boise.org(Laurie McConnell at 208.344.7777)

Local Update:

SEattle

The 153-room Pan Pacific Hotel Seattle has received Green Globe Certification after adopting a zero-impact policy. Among numerous other sustainable efforts at the property: The key cards are biodegradable, and the front-desk staff wears uniforms made from material incorporating recycled plastic bottles. The hotel has seven meeting rooms, including a 1,600-square-foot ballroom.



The ground floor at the 426-room W Seattle has been revamped, and a new restaurant, Trace, has been added. The eatery features a living-room lounge, a minimalist look for its 100 seats, a sushi bar and a menu serving regional cuisine. The hotel offers 10,000 square feet of meeting space.



A $20 million, multiple-phase renovation is under way at the Washington State Convention Center, to be completed by the end of 2013. Sustainability is the theme here, including the use of carpet and wall coverings made with recycled materials, and long-life, toxin-free porcelain tile. The center’s new on-site Conference Center features 71,000 square feet of flexible space.

Meeting Hotels

Downtown’s many top group proper�ties include the 1,258-room Sheraton Seattle Hotel, 891-room Westin Seattle, 553-room Renaissance Seattle Hotel, 450-room Fairmont Olympic Hotel, 425-room Grand Hyatt Seattle, 424-room W Seattle and 415-room Crowne Plaza Seattle, 358-room Seattle Marriott Waterfront, 346-room Hyatt at Olive 8, 297-room Red Lion Hotel on Fifth Avenue, 250-room Courtyard by Marriott Seattle Downtown/Lake Union, 237-room Hilton Seattle, 223-room Edgewater, 189-room Hotel Monaco, 123-room Best Western Executive Inn, 120-room Hotel 1000 and 119-room Hotel Andra.

The nearby city of Bellevue ADVERTISER!offers the 733-room Hyatt Regency Bellevue, 353-room Hilton Bellevue, 337-room Westin Belle�vue and 178-room Sheraton Bellevue Hotel.

Convention Center

Washington State Convention Center; exhibit space, 236,700 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 72. (206) 694-5030; wsctc.com

Airport Transit

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, approximately 13 miles south of downtown. Transfer cost by taxi to downtown, $45-$50; from downtown hotels to the airport, flat fee of $32; by shuttle, $15 and up. Sound Transit Link light-rail direct from SeaTac to downtown, $2.50 one-way

Taxes

Room tax, 7%; sales tax, 8.6%; total tax on hotel rooms, 15.6%

Group Venue

Too often, banquet space has the look of false majesty draped on a ballroom. Not so The Ruins, a private dining club with four function rooms. The eclectically decorated spaces include the Chocolate room, which holds up to 35 people; the ballroom, accommodating up to 112 for a dinner; the dining room, holding 72; and the more intimate Maisonette, which can fit up to 18. (206) 285-7846; theruins.net

Contact

Seattle’s Convention and Visitors Bu�reau, (206) 461-5800; visitseattle.org MC