Cleveland Calling

Unique venues and new developments make 2018 a great time to visit this destination

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame North Harbor

With sports, music, great outdoors, and plenty of memorable venues, Cleveland has meeting groups covered. Whether holding an event in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, catching a concert by the Cleveland Orchestra (celebrating its centennial this year), or a game at Progressive Field, groups are sure to have a good time in this Ohio city -- and the summer is an especially nice time.

"The warmer months are a great time to visit because groups can take advantage of multiple outdoor activities to explore the city and venture beyond the four walls of a meeting space," says Mike Burns, senior vice president of convention sales and services for Destination Cleveland. "Groups can catch an Indians game, cruise along the shore of Lake Erie, or grab dinner at a riverfront restaurant. Plus, we have multiple new developments and one-of-a-kind events and exhibitions to highlight."

As far as new developments, The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland wrapped up a major renovation last fall, updating all 206 guest rooms and reconfiguring its lobby (it also expanded and redesigned the property's fitness area). The hotel has also added TURN Bar + Kitchen, with a menu meant to showcase diverse cultures of the city.

Other large-scale properties for groups to consider are the Westin Cleveland Downtown, with 484 rooms and a 9,000-square-foot ballroom; the 491-room Renaissance Cleveland Hotel, with more than 64,000 square feet of meeting space; the     ith 404 guest rooms and 16 meeting rooms; and the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center, with more than 17,000 square feet of meeting space and 400 guest rooms.

But beyond the hotel inventory, this city is bursting with cultural attractions. Most prominent is the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, with new acquisitions ranging from Jerry Lee Lewis' piano to a colorful outfit from Pink. The site offers a wide range of venues, from the 163-person-capacity Foster Theater to the 14-person capacity VIP Conference Room -- or planners can rent the entire museum (which can fit 2,000 reception-style and 600 seated) for nighttime events.

Other standout venues include the Cleveland Museum of Art, which offers a number of meeting spaces of its own and will this summer be featuring the striking and unbeatably Instagrammable exhibit "Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors." The Great Lakes Science Center offers groups indoor and outdoor space options with a backdrop of innovation and engineering. For those looking to get their blood pumping a bit quicker, Cedar Point, aka The Roller Coaster Capital of the World, offers group packages, and this month unveils the new rollercoaster Steel Vengeance -- the first steel-on-wood hybrid coaster standing more than 200 feet tall.

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This article appears in the May 2018 issue of Successful Meetings.