Black Meetings and Tourism

May/June 2012

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YUM, YUM From fast food to five-star cuisine, Tallahassee will keep your taste buds tin- gling, serving up specialties ranging from homemade country sausage and steaks to wild game and fresh seafood. FLY OVER Tallahassee Regional Airport is cur- rently under construction, with airport and the city council considering an ICE (International Customs Enforcement) center, for an international status. For information: www.visittallahas- PHILADELPHIA Philadelphia, or Philly as it is affec- tionately called, has long been a favorite destination for meeting planners, and for good reasons. There is much to see, do and experience in the City of Brotherly Love, which has the slogan: Life * Liberty * AndYou. central location on the East Coast regu- larly helps organizations break atten- dance records.We're an easy day's drive from 40% of the U.S. population. " Coker said the Philadelphia Convention Center (PCC) has expand- ed and grown by 62 percent. The PCC has one million sq. ft. of saleable space, with the capacity to host two conven- tions simultaneously and mega tradeshows. It is located in the heart of downtown, with more than 8,500 hotel rooms that are within walking distance of the center and various attractions. "This means that meeting planners can save on transportation costs – and so can attendees, " said Coker. Other PCC highlights include: 528,000 total sq. ft. of contiguous exhib- it hall space, seven exhibit halls totaling 679,000 sq. ft., two ballrooms (32,000 sq. ft. and 55,400 sq. ft.), 79 meeting rooms and a 34,960-sq. ft. grand hall. The Philadelphia Convention Center's website calls the city, The Complete Package. Maybe it's the cob- blestone streets or the cutting-edge cui- sine. Maybe it's the eclectic stores, the electric performances, the bustling city squares or the serene, leafy parks. Maybe, and most likely, it's all of the above and more. GETTINGAROUND Philadelphia, the second largest city Liberty Bell Julie Coker, senior vice president, con- vention division, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, has some insight into what makes her city such a pop- ular destination. " W h a t ' s great about our city is that we are very accessi- ble and walka- ble, "In " said Coker. fact, Philadelphia's JULIE COKER Black Meetings & Tourism May/June 2012: 19 on the east coast,has one of the nation's most sophisticated transportation net- works in the country – linking Philadelphia International Airport and Amtrak's 30th Street Station directly to the convention center and downtown – all through easy to access regional rail and subway lines, THE HIGHLIGHTS " according to Coker. Philadelphia, with a population of 1,526,006, is considered a city of neigh- borhoods.The city is so compact atten- dees are only steps away from their hotel, the convention center, attractions, restaurants and retail. Here is just a taste of what Philly has to offer: 3,936 hotel rooms within a four-minute walk from the convention center, 6,402 hotel rooms within a ten- minute walk,8,924 hotel rooms within a 15-minute walk, 10,500 hotel rooms in Center City, 30,000 hotel rooms in the region, steps from America's most his- Downtown Indianapolis "When meeting professionals visit Indianapolis, they find that we are the epit- ome of a clean, safe and walkable down- town, " saidArnheim. "Indianapolis boasts over 200 restaurants, shopping and dozens of cultural attractions all within short walking distance. And our hospital- ity community thrives on our successwith meetings and events. Attendees sense this with the warm welcome they experience in every restaurant, hotel and cultural attraction. " But, it doesn't stop there. "Simply put, the convenience of Indianapolis is what makes this city a perfect meeting destina- tion, " " said Arnheim."The central location makes Indy easily accessible and the com- pact and connected downtown encour- ages attendees to explore the city. That is the reason Indianapolis was named one of the most walkable down- towns in the nation. toric square mile, 22 theaters, music, sports and recreation venues, 882 stores and boutiques, 605 restaurants and nightlife locations. FLYING IN There are 1,400 daily flights at Philadelphia International Airport. For information: www.philadelphi- INDIANAPOLIS You'll like Indianapolis! Dustin Arnheim, director of conven- tion sales, Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association, offers some reasons why

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