• Get to Know Altoona, Pennsylvania

     
    POSTED February 21, 2020
     
  • Get to Know Altoona, Pennsylvania

     
    POSTED February 21, 2020
     
  • Get to Know Altoona, Pennsylvania

     
    POSTED February 21, 2020
     
  • Get to Know Altoona, Pennsylvania

     
    POSTED February 21, 2020
     

With so many people searching for niche, unique vacations, it can be difficult to find the perfect spot. However, if it’s rich history, a variety of event spaces, and a plethora of outdoor recreation activities you’re looking for, look no further than Altoona, Pennsylvania.

The city of Altoona is conveniently located along Interstate 99, two hours east of Pittsburgh. “The location allows conference groups to draw attendees from more than 7 million people within a three-hour radius,” says Mark Ickes, executive director of Explore Altoona.

Whether you find yourself in Altoona for business or pleasure, there is no shortage of things to experience. Check out what’s going on at the state-of-the-art convention center or take a trip back in time and visit a reconstructed Revolutionary War fort site.

For meetings and events, “the variety and value of meeting and event space within the Altoona/Blair County market is advantageous for any budget,” says Ickes. Over the past two years, Altoona has renovated and added 550 hotel rooms, completed a $12.5 million expansion of Laguna Splash water park, and expanded train trips on the Everett Railroad to cel- ebrate Altoona’s deep historical connection to the American railroad.

With an array of award-winning hotels to choose from, Ickes says “this is an exciting time for groups to explore a small destination with big adventures!”

Event planners often prepare for the worst, but one thing they likely didn’t anticipate was a global pandemic when selecting event cancellation insurance policies for their 2020 gatherings. Panicked planners began contacting Marcia McKinney, owner of Northeast Insurance Advisors, in late February and early March, but as meetings and events ground to a halt, they were already out of luck.

“It’s kind of like trying to buy homeowner’s insurance as your house is starting to catch fire... it’s too late,” says McKinney.

 

Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth is one of six recipients of the James Beard Foundation’s 2020 America’s Classics Award, which is given to locally owned restaurants that have timeless appeal and are beloved regionally for quality food that reflects the character of their community. Per the foundation, “Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth, a chicken dinner behemoth positioned between Detroit and Michigan’s summer lake destination, is decidedly on the beaten path. William Zehnder Sr. and his wife, Emilie, bought a former hotel in 1928.

 

In early April Detroit’s TCF Center became a 1,000-bed alternate care site to help ease the burden on local hospitals during the COVID-19 crisis. The 723,000-square-foot facility became the TCF Regional Care Center. According to Pure Michigan’s Michelle Grinnell, who serves as public information officer for the state’s alternate care sites, 39 patients were treated at TCF, the last of whom was discharged on May 7.