by Andrea Doyle | June 02, 2016

This metropolitan region on the southern shores of Lake Ontario, part of New York's Finger Lakes region, is the third-largest city in New York State and is accessible by air and Amtrak, it is within a day's drive of most of the Northeast and eastern Canada. There are more than 7,500 hotel rooms in the community -- 1,200 of which are within one mile of the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center.

The convention center has 100,000 square feet of flexible meeting and exhibit space connected to 1,100 rooms in a trio of hotels, with an enclosed skywalk system and riverside promenade conveniently connecting them all. The convention center includes 25 meeting rooms and seating for 5,000.

The Hyatt Regency Rochester, connected to the convention center, was recently purchased by local developers and will soon undergo a $15 million renovation, which will completely transform it.

Opened in spring of 2015 is the Hilton Garden Inn Rochester Downtown, a short walk from the Rochester Riverside Convention Center.

In late 2015, The Strathallan Rochester -- a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, debuted a new rooftop event space, the City View Ballroom.

ARTISANworks, a gallery of paintings, photography, three-dimensional and kinetic art, is introducing a new and unique event space, The French Quarter, designed in the theme of Mardi Gras in the heart of Bourbon Street, bringing a bit of southern flair to Rochester, NY.  

The DoubleTree by Hilton Schenectady has opened in the center of downtown Schenectady, just blocks away from Union College and 10 miles from Albany International Airport. The 120-room hotel with 3,700 square feet of meeting space has completed a multimillion-dollar makeover that includes the addition of a new commercial building featuring a restaurant, lounge, meeting space, pool, and exercise facility.

"Schenectady is a colorful city that has been revitalized over recent years with a number of new theaters, offices, and cultural events," says Mounssif Slaoui, general manager of DoubleTree by Hilton Schenectady.

Amazing meetings have been happening in Albany for 400 years, and there are four centuries' worth of arts, architecture, and culture to enjoy between sessions.

From the Albany Institute of History & Art, founded in 1791, to an expanding nanotech industry, Albany is situated at the crossroads of the Northeast, a convenient destination for those who are looking for more than just meeting space.

Albany will soon have an 82,000-square-foot facility, when the $66.5 million Albany Capital Center opens its doors in March of next year. This multipurpose space will accommodate groups from 10 to 5,000 people and include 22,500 square feet of ballroom and exhibit space, 9,200 square feet of meeting space, and 13,500 square feet of pre-function space. Also on track for early 2017, the 17,000-seat Times Union Center is undergoing a $15.7 million renovation to enclose its front atrium and create 2,800 square feet of additional meeting space. Combined with the Empire State Plaza, these three facilities will make up the Capital Complex, the largest meeting space in Upstate New York, with 159,000 square feet.

On June 9, Lucky Strike Social will open its 18th location in Albany, changing its concept to include more meeting space for groups. This latest location includes an auditorium just beyond the bowling lanes, restaurants, and gaming rooms, which features a full-size stage, and state-of-the-art sound equipment. It will be a "smart room," with many different furniture options and a full food and bar menu.   

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This article appears in the June 2016 issue of Successful Meetings.