Experience Grand Rapids came in third as the Best Destination Marketing Organization in the Midwest, with two Michigan properties also garnering recognition in the 2023 Stella Awards.
A competition honoring excellence in the meetings industry, the Stella Awards are given based on meeting planners casting nearly 10,000 votes for 770 destinations, hotels, and service providers. Nominations are made in 16 categories across six regions in the U.S. and worldwide.
Experience Grand Rapids was recognized for building a strong collaborative network with city resources such as the DeVos Place convention center, local hotels, and even residents to support the meetings industry in the region.
“The DMO also has helped transform traditional site visits into a site-experience approach tailored to the needs of each planner and the event they are hosting,” according to Stella Awards competition notes.
Experience Grand Rapids Marketing Content Manager Kelly Messerly says it’s the first time Experience Grand Rapids has received the award. “Our team focuses on building close relationships with clients,” she says. “Receiving this award indicates our efforts are being noticed.”
MotorCity Casino Hotel came in first in the Midwest in the Stella Awards’ Best On-Site Support Staff category. “From cutting-edge presentations to banquets, the hotel’s associates are known for their friendliness and efficiency, not to mention their long terms of service,” according to the award summary. “Many have been employed between 10 and 20 years. RFPs are met with prompt responses, special requests are quickly addressed, and guest feedback is taken seriously.”
MotorCity Casino Hotel also came in third in the Midwest for Best Decor/Design and was a finalist for the Stella Awards’ Midwest’s Best Food and Beverage as well as for the Midwest’s Best Hotel/Resort.
Amway Grand Plaza, Curio Collection by Hilton came in third in the Best Hotel/Resort Event Space Midwest division. The awards’ website reads, “With 47,120 square feet of meeting space, the 656-room Amway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids, Michigan is a sure bet for planners.” The hotel was also a finalist for Best Hotel/Resort in the Midwest.