Black Meetings and Tourism

March / April 2015

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air miles north of Seattle and 600 air miles southeast of Anchorage. The current population of Juneau is 32,832. TIME TO ASSEMBLE Conveniently located within walking distance to hotels, restaurants, and attractions, Centennial Hall Convention Center sits on Juneau's waterfront, and has 17,000 flexible sq. ft. There are three ballrooms and four meeting rooms. Juneau can accommodate conventions, retreats, committee meetings, and regional conferences of up to 600 people. The Centennial Hall Convention Center is located in the heart of downtown Juneau and is central to government offices. Centennial Hall has seven meeting rooms ranging from 300 sq. ft. to 12,389 sq. ft., a column-free ballroom that can be divided into three separate rooms, each with state-of- the-art lighting and sound systems. It has two lobbies pro- viding an additional 2,900 sq. ft. for receptions, displays, net- working and relaxing between sessions. The hall also fea- tures an on-site registration area and a commercial kitchen for catered events. Juneau, with a population of 32,660 (490 or 1.5% of which are African-American), offers a wide variety of out- door activities – including hiking alongside the Mendenhall Glacier, summertime whale watching, fishing, zip-lining and wintertime skiing/snowshoeing – all just minutes from meeting venues and hotels. City highlights include The Mendenhall Glacier, consid- ered Juneau's #1 attraction, The State Capitol Building, The Goldbelt/Mt. Roberts Tramway (where the public can take a gondola 1,800 vertical feet to the docking station) and enjoy Alaska native artwork, other cultural activities, hiking and the Timberline Grill. Because Southeast Alaska has large populations of humpback whales, orca, sea lions, bald eagles and many more species, wildlife watching is a must see and must do. While there isn't an African-American cultural area in town, there are some organized walking tours available through the Juneau-Douglas City Museum. There are about 1,100 hotel rooms in the city. It's a mere 12 minutes or eight miles ride from Juneau International Airport to the center of the city. MESA, AZ Mesa, with a population of 457,587 (2013), is the second- largest city in the Greater Phoenix metro area and boasts a number of unique, in-demand meeting venues that can host small to mid-size groups. The hotel product is growing, and the destination incorporates the neighboring towns so plan- ners have access to diverse event offerings. About 3.7% of the population is African-American. The city boasts 2.1 mil- lion visitors annually. Mesa, with the motto Mesa City Limitless, has direct access to the Tonto National Forest and is only minutes from hotels. Attendees can carve out an authentic Western experi- ence in the Sonoran Desert. Team-building activities are possible, including horseback riding, arts immersion courses and treasure hunting in the Superstition Wilderness. Mesa is surrounded by iconic cactus-studded landscapes. The downtown core is set to welcome the Metro Light Rail expansion. S TUFF TO DO Downtown Mesa has a self-guided historical walking trail. Visitors can stop by the Alston House. The home was built in 1929 and belonged to Mesa's first African-American doc- tor, Dr. Lucius Alston, and is on the National Register of Historic Properties. It is currently the operations center for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Committee. The home is adjacent to Washington Park and the Washington Activity Center which for decades served the African- American and Hispanic communities. There is a self-guided public art tour. Visitors can print copies of the tour at the Visit Mesa Visitors Center. Keep strolling and you'll run into the Mesa Arts Center, the Southwest's largest arts and education complex. Mesa boasts three museums in downtown, all within walking dis- B M & T ••• March/April 2015 ••• 20 Juneau Alaska city Skyline Photo Credit: Liane Harrold

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