• Get to Know: Bellevue, WA

     
    FROM THE Spring 2016 ISSUE
     
  • Get to Know: Bellevue, WA

     
    FROM THE Spring 2016 ISSUE
     
  • Get to Know: Bellevue, WA

     
    FROM THE Spring 2016 ISSUE
     
  • Get to Know: Bellevue, WA

     
    FROM THE Spring 2016 ISSUE
     

When Stacy Graven, executive director of Visit Bellevue Washington, first moved to Bellevue in 1972, the city fell squarely into the “bedroom community” category. Much has changed since then, however. “The community has continued to evolve from suburban to much more urban city,” says Graven, “but it still manages to be a great place to live, work and play.”

Bellevue has also proven itself to be plenty capable of hosting a full spectrum of meetings and events, with more than 203,000 square feet of meeting space across the city. There’s also a host of things to do off the clock. Graven loves to show out-of-town visitors Bellevue’s Downtown Park and Botanical Garden or take them on a stroll through Old Bellevue’s Main Street, which continues down to the Lake Washington waterfront. “That, or spending an afternoon at the Bellevue Arts Museum, then on to experience world-class shopping and fabulous dining options,” she says.

Here are four more reasons why this Eastside hub is an ideal meeting destination:

» Bellevue boasts 4,700 hotel rooms. Of those, 3,200 are located in the downtown core within a mile of Meydenbauer Convention Center—one of the city’s most popular event venues, with more than 54,000 square feet of meeting and event space.

» The city’s hotels and meeting spaces are all fairly new. Two new hotels have opened in the past year, and two more are scheduled to open in the coming year. Most of the other hotels have recently completed upgrades or remodels.

» Meydenbauer Center recently completed a $12.5 million renovation, both inside and out. The renovations included enhancements to the meeting rooms, lobbies and theater, as well as technology and audiovisual upgrades.

» Thanks to Bellevue’s central location in the Puget Sound region, meeting attendees can explore the wineries and mountains to the east or Seattle’s iconic attractions to the west.

Who says you can’t have a meeting without some pampering mixed in? Several hot springs resorts in the U.S. Mountain West can accommodate smaller meetings complete with lodging, function space, din- ing and soaking. Some even have on-site spas and other standout features like an ice museum or microbrewery to include on an itinerary.

 

Erase any vision you might have of a dude ranch, especially the “City Slicker” version. For the purposes of this story, let’s use the name ranch resort and picture a big dose of vision and thousands of acres for both herds and people to roam. It’s a fairly different option, but one with similar friendliness and the Western spirit of a dude ranch.

 

To say Wisconsin is having a moment would be an understatement. A statewide renaissance resulting in plenty of new developments, impressive renovations and entrepreneurial ventures has been years in the making and shows no sign of slowing anytime soon.