Black Meetings and Tourism

March / April 2018

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B M & T ••• March/April 2018 ••• 36 AREA GUIDES M I N N E A P O L I S THE CULTURAL CAPITOL OF MINNESOTA OFFERS TOP LEVEL HOSPITALITY ON A BUDGET B Y C Y N T H I A M O L U S K More than 18 million people choose to visit Minneapolis each year, and a high percentage of those visitors come here to attend meetings, conventions and events. With a Delta Air Lines hub at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and light rail that connects the airport and Mall of America to downtown, this city is easy to explore. The Minneapolis Convention Center is fully equipped with proper equipment, size and staff to accommodate meetings, weddings, banquets and social events of any magnitude. The venue is equipped with a 3,400 fixed-seat auditorium, 475,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 87 meeting rooms, a 28,000-sq. ft. ballroom and a 55,000-sq. ft. ballroom to be exact. The Minn- eapolis Conven- tion (MCC) is close to the sports, art, music, theater, festivals, food and beer that make Minneapolis a vibrant city. Minneapolis has 7,000 rooms down- town of varying price points and types, and nearly 5,000 of those are within half a mile of the Minneapolis Convention Center. Even if one hotel can't hold your whole delegation, it's guaranteed that your attendees won't be more than a quick walk away from headquarters. Meet Minneapolis President & CEO Melvin Tennant and his team stand ready to assist you in making your conference or other event in the city a memorable one. One visit to Minneapolis and you'll quickly see it's all about art here—right from the nation's first-ever sculpture gar- den to the world-class museums, and even the bizarre House of Balls. Don't leave without catching a show on the Hennepin Theatre District, or seeing the five-story Kobra mural of Bob Dylan. Tour a glass factory in Northeast then ride over to Artcrank, the bike poster show put on by Minneapolis's finest designers. While in Minneapolis be sure to explore some of the historic African- American sites and see what influences have been made to the city by people of color. The Lena O. Smith House, located at 3905 5th Avenue South has been desig- nated as a historic landmark. Lena O. Smith, born in 1855, was the first African- American woman licensed to practice law in the state of Minnesota. Smith was also the first president of the NAACP, and a founder of the Minneapolis Urban League. One of Smith's high-profile cases was featured during the tour — she was the attorney representing Arthur and Edith Lee. The Arthur and Edith Lee House, located at 4600 Columbus Avenue South, is a National Historic Landmark. The Lees purchased their home in 1931, but felt hostility from their new neigh- bors, who were all White. As many as 3,000 White people regularly formed angry mobs to surround the Lee home and threw rocks while chanting threats and racial slurs in an attempt to force the Lees to move out. The Lees decided to stay in their home and hired attorney Lena O. Smith, who began officially representing the Lee fam- ily. The Lees lived in their home for a few more years and eventually, on their own terms, moved a few blocks north to the Central Neighborhood area. For those attendees looking to delve into a little gaming Minneapolis has got you covered. Mystic Lake Casino and Hotel in the southwestern suburb of Prior Lake (35-minunte drive from downtown Minneapolis) is a major Minnesota attrac- tion and has no shortage of activities and eating options. The casino, naturally, is at the center of these enticements, featur- ing slot machines, blackjack, bingo and pulltabs. Voted "Best Airport in America," the (MSP) Minneapolis - St. Paul International Airport is a centrally-located travel hub revered for its ease of check-in, security, and amenities. Minneapolis Skyline • • • STATS • • • HOTEL ROOMS Minneapolis Marriott City Center 585 Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel, the Depot 335 DoubleTree by Hilton Minneapolis – University Area 141 EXHIBITION FACILITIES Minneapolis Convention Center Total Exhibit Space: 475,000 sq. ft. Meeting Rooms: 87 WHO YOU GONNA CALL? Meet Minneapolis (888) 676-MPLS www.minneapolis Photo Credit:Minneapolis C.C.

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