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Meetings Mingle With Nature in Spokane

By Amanda Christensen

Spokane is the second-largest city in Washington. || Courtesy of Visit Spokane

Located just 40 minutes west of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Spokane is home to restaurants, outdoor activities, and standout venues galore for eventgoers to enjoy. As a winter destination, Spokane has no shortage of options to get your attendees out and about as the snow falls and lays down a winter wonderland—from sledding and skiing to snowboarding and snowshoeing.

Vibe: As the second-largest city in Washington behind Seattle, Spokane offers a lively urban streetscape full of good food, memorable venues, and welcoming hotels. “Greater Spokane has a little bit of something for everyone,” says Kate Hudson, public relations manager for Visit Spokane. “It’s the kind of place you visit and envision yourself living in. We hope that business travelers stay an extra day or two to explore this accessible and walkable city.”

Transportation: Spokane International Airport offers direct flights through eight airlines. Spokane can also be reached by road via Interstate 90 and by train via Amtrak’s Empire Builder Route, which originates in Chicago, Illinois, and travels to Seattle.

Hotels: Spokane is home to 7,855 hotel rooms, giving planners flexibility and variety when looking to book room blocks. Consider the 716-room Davenport Grand, which offers the Whiskey Bar in a den and an on-site Starbucks. The Centennial has 411 guest rooms and 30,000 square feet of event space, while the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Spokane City Center affords 21,000 square feet of space across 14 meeting rooms. The Historic Davenport offers opportunities for relaxation and rejuvenation with its on-site spa and swimming pool.

Meeting Venues: The city has four major convention facilities:
Spokane Convention Center, INB Performing Arts Center, Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena, and The Podium. The convention center works well for large groups with its 300,000 square feet of event space and 41 breakout rooms. For a venue with a view, the INB Performing Arts Center overlooks the Spokane River and offers capacity for up to 700 attendees. Adjacent to Riverfront Park, both the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena and The Podium have an abundance of flexible space for gatherings.

Restaurants: When it comes to Spokane’s culinary scene, Hudson says, “You’ll need more than a few days to taste what Spokane is cooking—innovative chefs collaborate to create dishes that inspire, bakers make delectable pastries, baristas elevate the coffee experience, [and] many incredible restaurants and cafes are within walking distance of the Convention Center District.” For groups, she recommends Anthony’s for Pacific Northwest seafood, Tavolàta for Italian fare, Brick West Brewing for craft beer, Mizuna Restaurant and Wine Bar for New American dishes, and Wooden City for cocktails and small plates.

Must-Sees and -Dos: Spokane becomes a wonderland in the winter months. “Five ski resorts are within two hours of downtown Spokane, so finding a place to go is no problem,” Hudson says. These include Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Park and Silver Mountain
Resort. Hudson notes that ice skating on the Numerica Skate Ribbon, located inside Riverfront Park downtown, is a must. Attendees can also stroll the shops downtown, explore the city’s holiday events, go wine tasting in the Cork District, and more.