The Calgary Stampede
draws 1 million visitors every summer for 10 days of rodeos, derbies (including the infamous chuck-wagon races), concerts and exhibitions.
Hilton Worldwide has announced an agreement to build the chain's first three-flag hotel development in the city. To be called Calgary Airport Hotel Village, the complex will feature a 135-room Hampton Inn and a 252-room Hilton property, to open in late 2013 and late 2015, respectively; both will share a 14,000-square-foot conference center. In addition, a 122-room Homewood Suites hotel will open at the site late next year.
In June 2012, the boutique Hotel Arts debuted an additional 10 guest rooms, taking its overall room count to 185. The property also expanded the Galleria Meeting Room to 1,074 square feet and began construction on a new full-service bistro on the lobby level, slated to open before the year's end.
Properties in Calgary include the 525-room Westin Calgary, 405-room Fairmont Palliser, 394-room Delta Bow Valley, 355-room Hyatt Regency Calgary, 323-room Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire, 306-room Sheraton Cavalier Hotel, 248-room Coast Plaza Hotel & Conference Centre, 241-room Sheraton Red Deer Hotel, 185-room Hotel Arts, 184-room Radisson Hotel Calgary Airport, 169-room Glenmore Inn & Conference Centre, 157-room Carriage House Inn and 135-room Grande Rockies Resort. For a more complete listing of city hotels, visit mcvenues.com.
Calgary TELUS Convention Centre; exhibit space, approximately 47,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 36; (403) 261-8500
Calgary International Airport, a 20- to 30-minute drive from downtown. Transfer cost by taxi, US$36-46; transfer cost by shuttle, US$16 one way
Hotel room tax, 7%; sales tax, 5%; total tax on hotel rooms, 12%
At Saltlik, a sophisticated yet cozy steak house, enjoy everything from prime sirloin to filet mignon. With a private cocktail room and dining room, the restaurant can accommodate up to 90 people for a reception or 45 for seated dinners. (403) 537-1160
With exhibits on auto and bike racing, baseball, hockey and more, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame is a must for aficionados of athleticism. The facility also offers 40,000 square feet for a reception in its new home in Canada Olympic Park. (403) 776-1088
Animal lovers will smile at the penguins and swoon in the butterfly conservatory at the Calgary Zoo, which offers custom events options as well as a Safari Brunch package. (403) 232-9300
Meetings and Conventions Calgary, (403) 261-8592
Tour some ancient fossil beds at Dinosaur Provincial Park,
a unique and spectacular 18,000-acre natural preserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site about 125 miles east of Calgary.
Alberta's capital city got a new luxury hotel with the opening of the 139-room Four Points Sheraton Edmonton South in June 2012. The property features approximately 11,000 square feet of meeting space and complimentary high-speed Internet access, as well as a fitness center, a business center and an indoor heated pool.
The elegant 313-room Sutton Place Hotel downtown is undergoing extensive renovations to its public spaces and restaurants, according to Tom Gaglardi, president of Northland Properties Corp., which recently purchased the property. The hotel's ballroom can accommodate groups of up to 600.
Area properties include the 416-room Westin Edmonton, 355-room Fantasyland Hotel, 327-room Mayfield Inn & Suites, 313-room Sutton Place Hotel Edmonton, 307-room Crowne Plaza Chateau Lacombe, 249-room Edmonton Marriott at River Cree Resort, 237-room Delta Edmonton South Hotel & Conference Center, 235-room Radisson Hotel Edmonton South, 233-room Ramada Hotel & Conference Centre and 169-room Delta Edmonton Centre Suite Hotel.
The Edmonton Exposition Centre; exhibit space, 522,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 34; (780) 471-7377
The Shaw Conference Centre; exhibit space, approximately 200,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 34; (780) 421-9797
Edmonton International Airport, a 35-minute ride to downtown. Transfer cost by taxi, US$49; transfer cost by shuttle, US$15-$18 (by reservation only; call 780-465-8515)
Room tax, 3%; sales tax, 5%; total tax on hotel rooms, 8%
The Art Gallery of Alberta offers approximately 85,000 square feet of event space amid a dazzling array of boldly original exhibitions, such as the upcoming "Beautiful Monsters: Beasts and Fantastic Creatures in Early European Prints" (Oct. 13, 2012-March 3, 2013) and "EDO: Arts of Japan's Last Shogun Age" (Nov. 3, 2012-Feb. 10, 2013). (780) 422-6223
Visit Edmonton, (780) 424-9191
Some of the world's best steaks come from Alberta cattle. Learn more at albertabeef.org
The city recently was cited as one of Canada's top 10 food and wine destinations by TripAdvisor's Traveler's Choice Awards. The communities of Banff and Lake Louise offer about 130 bars and restaurants -- many of which cater to the aprés-ski crowd, since the area is home to nearly 8,000 acres of slopes.
Properties include the 768-room Fairmont Banff Springs, 414-room Banff Centre, 244-room Inns of Banff, 211-room Banff Park Lodge, 171-room Banff Rocky Mountain Resort and 108-room Buffalo Mountain Lodge.
The Banff Centre; exhibit space, 5,920 square feet; total meeting space, 72,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 60; (403) 762-6435
Calgary International Airport, a 90-minute drive to Banff. Transfer cost by Banff Airporter bus, about US$119 roundtrip; by limousine, about US$300
Hotel room tax, 4%; sales tax, 5%; tourism improvement fee, 2%; total tax on hotel rooms, 11%
Treat attendees to dazzling views of the Canadian Rockies at the Panorama Restaurant, in the Summit Complex at the top of Sulphur Mountain. The 200-seat eatery is accessible by an eight-minute, jaw-droppingly gorgeous gondola ride. (403) 762-2523
Embrace the spirit of the Canadian Old West at Wild Bill's Legendary Saloon, Banff's largest restaurant, bar and entertainment venue. The kind of joint where you won't feel out of place wearing spurs, W.B.'s features smokehouse dining, live music and dancing (including line dancing). The venue can accommodate up to 600 people for a reception or 220 for dinner. (403) 760-7581
Banff-Lake Louise Tourism Bureau, (403) 762-8421