• Get to Know: Juneau, Alaska

     
    POSTED April 17, 2018
     
  • Get to Know: Juneau, Alaska

     
    POSTED April 17, 2018
     

Ask Liz Perry, president and CEO of Travel Juneau, what she loves most about her adopted hometown and she points to the city’s three most alluring features: its natural beauty, walkability and recreational opportunities. 

Good choices. 

Alaska’s capital city boasts some of the most spectacular scenery in the world (the 1,500-square-mile Juneau Icefield is just 13 miles from the city center), and the historic urban center is 14 square miles of small-town delights. Plus, thanks to the city’s proximity to Gastineau Channel, Mendenhall River and Mendenhall Lake, Perry can leave work and have her fishing hook in the water within the hour. 

Easily accessible to outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing and whale watching, Juneau also offers award-winning art, culture and dining experiences that offer a window into the unique history of the warm and vibrant community. Top museums recall the impact of the Gold Rush and the colorful stories of the people who came to Juneau searching for fortune. The Sealaska Heritage Institute, located in the Walter Soboleff Building, houses the state’s largest collection of Southeast Alaska Native art.

Planning an event for a large number of people requires more than just an enticing backdrop, however, and Juneau is more than adequately equipped to accommodate big groups. The Centennial Hall Convention Center has approximately 17,000 square feet of meeting space, and an additional 27,000 square feet of meeting space is available at other venues throughout the community. Juneau also has approximately 1,200 guest rooms, ranging from hotels to quaint, picturesque bed-and-breakfasts and lodges.

And all of this, says Perry, is only two hours by air from Seattle. 

The time is right; the stage is set. Groups are ready to meet face to face again, and the four-star luxury hotel MGM Grand Detroit is ready to welcome you back.

According to MPI’s report “Spring 2021 Meetings Outlook,” three-quarters of meeting professionals predict a face-to-face event this calendar year. And that definitely rings true for Lisa Williams, executive director of sales for the hotel.

 

After about 15 months of Zoom happy hours and countless virtual meetings, events, and conferences, it’s clear that virtual gatherings don’t hold a candle to the magic that in-person gatherings can spark. People are excited for in-person events again.

 

Just like the rest of the world, the hospitality and travel industries slammed to a halt when the pandemic hit last March. Some sectors within them had built-in solutions to focus on, such as hotels limiting capacities and restaurants focusing on takeout and delivery. But for many businesses within the related meetings and events realm, there were no natural alternatives to turn to.