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by Sarah J.F. Braley | September 01, 2013
Why Here?
With not even a million residents between them, the three cities represented here -- Anchorage, Alaska; Boise, Idaho; and Bellevue, Wash., above -- show that the Wild West is still the wide-open west. But there are plenty of state-of-the-art facilities for events, and acres upon acres of space to play outdoors.

Coastline revamp: Sections were closed for renovations this year, but the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, an 11-mile path in Anchorage, Alaska, reopens for cyclists, runners and others in 2014. anchoragecoastaltrail.com
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Anchorage, Alaska
A $5 million renovation is under way at the 248-room Millennium Alaskan Anchorage. Already finished are the restaurant, bar and lobby. Work on the corridors and outdoor deck began in May. Banquet space should be completed this month, and the guest rooms will undergo a revamp beginning in October. The property has a variety of meeting spaces, including a ballroom that can hold up to 275 for a reception.

A number of carriers increased their service into Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport this past summer, including a Virgin America route from San Francisco and nonstop United flights from Newark (N.J.) Liberty International Airport. CVB officials expect the flights, which generally run from May through September, to be available again in 2014.

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 Sher­aton Anchorage Hotel & Spa, 248-room Mil­lennium Alaskan Anchor­age and 198-room Westmark Anchorage Hotel. To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, go to mcvenues.com.

Convention Centers
Dena'ina Center; exhibit space, 97,972 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 15. (907) 263-2850; anchorageconventioncenters.com/denaina-center

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

Airport Transit
Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, about five miles from downtown. Transfer cost by taxi, $20

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

Group Venue
Captain James Cook first entered Prince William Sound in 1778 at the helm of the HMS Resolution. These days, outfits such as Phillips Cruises ply the waters at the foot of the glaciers, going out for four- to six-hour trips. For private outings, the Klondike Express welcomes 338 passengers and the Glacier Quest holds 149 people. (907) 276-8023; phillipscruises.com

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