Lisanne Ballantyne, president and CEO of Tourism Kelowna, is not originally from British Columbia. Born in Montreal and raised in Winnipeg, she was working in Alberta—most recently as general manager of the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton— before arriving in Kelowna last year. The decision to move, she notes, was an easy one. “The Okanagan Valley is one of the most beautiful destinations in Canada and a region undergoing tremendous growth. I have family in Kelowna, so it was a very special opportunity to live and work in a place where building the tourism economy is such a recognized part of the future of regional growth.”

She’s already immersed herself in the Kelowna “vibe,” as she calls it, spending Sundays on mountain trails or hosting friends who travel to the region to experience the Okanagan food and wine culture, urban adventures and all the outdoor activities that come from living in a destination surrounded by mountains, orchards and lakes. 

For meeting and event planners looking to travel to the city, Kelowna has 110,000-plus square feet of meeting space, 4,500 hotel rooms and 26 special-event venues, along with hotels and resorts that focus on creative indoor-outdoor space. “This is a community that cares deeply about hospitality and authentic experiences. People choose to live or visit here for the lifestyle, pace and opportunities that are uniquely Kelowna,” says Ballantyne.

She says three more reasons to choose Kelowna as a destination for meetings and events are:

» Kelowna is an experienced meeting destination that offers urban attractions and stunning landscapes combined with teams of hospitality and event experts ready to showcase the Kelowna experience for your delegates. 

» It is a unique year-round destination with 2,000-plus hours of sunshine, 40 wineries, 30 beaches, 16 golf courses and two ski resorts.

» It is the international gateway to the Okanagan Valley. It is easily accessible by major U.S. and Canadian highways, and has an international airport with 60 daily non-stop flights to nine cities. tourismkelowna.com.

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.

 

Destination Niagara USA designed its series of 360-degree videos with the purpose of allowing meeting planners to virtually explore meeting and event venues in Niagara Falls, NY. The introductory video, with its footage of scenic spots that include Niagara Falls State Park, Luna Island, Stedman’s Bluff and Cave of the Winds, could do double duty as a meditative app on a stressful day.

 

After a year that kept most explorers close to home, the newly transformed Rand Tower Hotel Minneapolis is ready to whisk guests away on a new adventure. With the completion of a $110 million-dollar transformation, the Jazz Age architectural icon that once housed office space has been reborn as a luxe 270-room boutique hotel.