Black Meetings and Tourism

May / June 2016

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MEETING IN "THE SHOW-ME STATE" IS CONVENIENT AND AFFORDABLE BY REGGIE MURPHY Missouri is a Midwestern U.S. state covered by grassy plains and the forested Ozark Mountains. Kansas City, on the Kansas border, has jazz clubs, the National World War I Museum and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, with giant shuttlecock sculptures on its lawn. St. Louis, on the Illinois border, is known for its 630-ft. Gateway Arch overlooking the Mississippi River. If you can do it outdoors, you can do it in Missouri. Whether your thing is hiking, ziplining, or just taking in breathtaking scenery, it's easy to discover Missouri outdoor activities that fit your lifestyle. The Show-Me State boasts hundreds of conservation and natural areas as well as 87 state parks and historic sites. This state serves meeting planners as an outstanding option when planning con- ferences of various sizes. Missouri's cen- tral location makes conference attendees traveling experience to the various cities for business relatively fast and conven- ient. ••ST. LOUIS•• If you haven't been to St. Louis lately, then you need to take another look. With a vibrant convention package bol- stered by a multi-billion dollar transfor- mation, St. Louis has what you need to hold a memorable and productive meet- ing, convention or event. From the $380 million transformation of the grounds surrounding the iconic Gateway Arch, to an ever expanding list of uniq ue ven- ues and locations, St. Louis has world- class restaurants, entertainment and attractions that will put the excitement into your next meeting. The America's Center Convention Complex is home to four distinct meet- ing facilities under one roof: Cervantes Convention Center, The Dome at America's Center, the St. Louis Executive Conference Center and the Ferrara Theatre. In addition the conven- tion center features five exhibit halls, a ballroom and more than 80 meeting rooms. After a long day or series of days attending a grueling conference make sure to save some time to venture off and explore all the exciting attractions, restaurant and cultural sites in The Lou! People of African descent have played a large role in St. Louis since the city's founding in 1764. Early census fig- ures show Blacks, both free and slave, lived in St. Louis from its earliest days under French and Spanish colonial rule. In fact, Black settlers were listed amo ng those killed defending St. Louis from the British in the Revolutionary War Battle of Fort San Carlos, which took place on what are now the Gateway Arch grounds. While in St. Louis ven- ture to some of the city's historic sites, which tell many stories of African- American influence in this Mid-Western region. The Scott Joplin House State Historic Site is a great place to begin your exploration of St. Louis' rich African-American history. Tour the mod- est flat where Scott Jo plin wrote his famous ragtime classics, including "The Entertainer." The apartment is lit by gaslight. It contains 1902 furnishings. An antique player piano fills the home with The King of Ragtime's unique music. The Old Courthouse is another St. Louis memorandum representing the African-American's struggle for freedom in America. Built between 1839 and 1862, this historic site was the scene of one of the nation's most important cases: the freedom trial of Dred and Harr iet Scott. The nine-acre Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing And Rest Area is on the St. Louis Riverfront Trail, three miles north of downtown St. Louis, just north of the Merchant's Bridge. In the early morning hours of May 21, 1855, a small group of runaway slaves and their B M & T ••• May/June 2016 ••• 46 AREA GUIDES • • • STATS • • • HOTEL ROOMS Crown Plaza Hotel St. Louis- Downtown 440 DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Conference Center 223 Embassy Suites St. Louis - Downtown 212 EXHIBITION FACILITIES America's Center Convention Complex Total Exhibit Space 502,000 sq. ft. Meeting Rooms 80 WHO YOU GONNA CALL? St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission (800) 916-0092 African American Chamber of Commerce of Missouri – (314) 381-0141 M I S S O U R I St. Louis Gateway Arch Photo Credit: Bev Sykes

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