Black Meetings and Tourism

Jan / Feb 2015

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B M & T ••• January/February 2015 ••• 20 banquet rooms and more than 80 meeting rooms comprise 180,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. Private companies and foundations together with the city, state, and federal government have contributed several hundred million dollars toward the riverfront development. Key public spaces in the International Riverfront, such as the RiverWalk, Dequindre Cut Greenway and Trail, William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor, and a cruise ship passenger terminal and dock at Hart Plaza encourage and accommodate foot traffic. This makes sense, since the area provides an ideal venue for a variety of annual events and festivals including the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, Detroit Free Press International Marathon, the Detroit International Jazz Festival, Motor City Pride, the North American International Auto Show, and River Days. With so many convention facilities, accommodations, attrac- tions and recreational options clustered around the Detroit International Riverfront for easy access, it's no wonder planners and their delegates are placing Detroit high on their wish list of meeting destinations. For more information contact the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau at (313) 202-1800. MILWAUKEE In the heart of downtown, the two-mile long RiverWalk winds along the Milwaukee River with access to some of the city's best restaurants, brewpubs, shops and waterfront nightlife. Eye-catching public art gives the RiverWalk the feel of an out- door gallery and colorful, user-friendly directional signs elaborate on the city's history. It's the site of many Milwaukee events, including River Rhythms, the Milwaukee River Challenge and more. Simply put, Milwaukee is a walker's paradise. The Milwaukee RiverWalk winds through the heart of the city, tying together three distinct riverfront neighborhoods — the Historic Third Ward, Downtown, and Beerline B. Just three blocks south of downtown, the Historic Third Ward is now known as "Milwaukee's Arts and Fashion District" and offers the city's most dynamic array of restaurants, spas, theaters, galleries and unique shopping, all in a historic warehouse setting. More than 20 blocks from its northernmost to southernmost points, the RiverWalk is unified by permanent and changing art exhibi- tions that create a unique, urban, outdoor gallery. A leisurely stroll provides plenty of opportunities to discover Milwaukee. Why? Milwaukee's RiverWalk is home to an out- door art gallery called RiverSculpture! that includes both perma- nent pieces and temporary installations that change periodically. As you stroll along the RiverWalk you'll enjoy making new dis- coveries, from small, whimsical sculptures such as Gertie, the world's most celebrated duck, to sizeable and striking abstract works. There are currently 20 sculptures on display representing national, regional and local artists. Also located in the heart of downtown Milwaukee is the Wisconsin Center, one of the world's most architecturally exhil- arating and technologically robust convention facilities. The facility offers 188,695 sq. ft. of contiguous exhibit sp[ace, a 37,506-sq. ft. Grand Ballroom, an additional 39,640 sq. ft. of meeting space that can be divided into as many as 28 meeting and breakout rooms, and $1.2 million in public art. Fortunately, the area's popularity has not gone unnoticed. Several years ago, Milwaukee's RiverWalk was designated one of America's Ten Great Public Spaces by the American Planning Association (APA). Milwaukee is nicknamed the "City of Festivals," and it only takes a glance at the calendar to know why! Most of the city's great street festivals and year round special events, plus near- weekly ethnic festivals and huge events like Summerfest are easi- ly accessible on foot. For more information contact Visit Milwaukee at (800) 5544-1448. LOS ANGELES Since the City of Angels is such a huge sprawling destination, you might think the only way to experience LA would be by car or on one of those double-decker open-air tour buses. But you'd be wrong! Los Angeles is a city of many unique and fascinating neighborhoods that entice visitors with culture, cuisine and excitement. Granted, things can be pretty spread out in Los Angeles, so you will need some wheels under you to journey from one district to another. But once you arrive at your neigh- borhood destination, there's no better way to drink it all in than by touring on foot. Los Angeles has something for everyone, with 75 miles of sunny coastline, a flourishing Downtown, lifestyle playgrounds Milwaukee lakeshore walking path Skyline of Detroit, Michigan

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