A Grand Choice for Meetings in the Midwest
  • November 23, 2016
  • GRAND RAPIDS, MI – For planners in search of a second-tier city with plenty to offer for meetings and events, Grand Rapids, MI, is among the best options in the Midwest — they just might not know it. The New York Times named the destination one of its “52 Places to Go in 2016,” citing the city’s urban renewal, Grand Rapids Downtown Market robust arts culture and numerous craft breweries. Grand Rapids welcomes attendees to explore these features in a walkable downtown that is just 15 minutes from Gerald Ford International Airport.

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    The historic Amway Grand Plaza Hotel is connected to DeVos Place convention center.

    Large groups can convene at DeVos Place, which houses a 162,000 sq. ft., column free exhibit hall, a 40,000-sq.-ft. ballroom, 26 individual meeting rooms and a 2,404-seat performing arts theater. The convention center is complemented by three AHC+Hospitality properties: Amway Grand Plaza Hotel (connected via temperature-controlled skywalk), JW Marriott Grand Rapids and Courtyard Downtown Grand Rapids.

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    The JW Marriott Grand Rapids’ jdek offers dining along the Grand River.

    AHC+Hospitality has been making history since its original hotel, The Pantlind, opened in 1913. By 1925, The Pantlind was rightfully ranked “One of the Ten Finest Hotels in America” for its aesthetic architecture and exceptional service. The Pantlind lobby boasts one of the world’s largest gold-leaf ceilings. Today, “The Pantlind” refers to the historic lobby inside the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, which opened in 1981 after a careful refurbishing of the original building. The new hotel combines the graceful heritage of The Pantlind with the modern amenities of the Glass Tower. The 682-room hotel offers 47,000 sq. ft. meeting space and is home to 11 restaurants and lounges, including Michigan’s first Four Diamond Cygnus27. Located on the 27th story, it is the highest dining destination in Western Michigan. In 2015, the hotel launched Wolfgang Puck’s newest concept, The Kitchen.

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    Scenic outdoor space complements The Kitchen, a Wolfgang Puck dining concept at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.

    For an even higher level of service, AHC+Hospitality opened the 337-room JW Marriott Grand Rapids in 2007. Now approaching its 10-year anniversary, the downtown property just finalized a soft-goods renovation exuding plum tones that provide a sense of home for business travelers. But before heading up to bed, attendees can drift outside to the hotel’s jdek. Until The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck opened across the street, the jdek was the only place in Downtown Grand Rapids to dine along the Grand River. For groups that need to break the ice, the hotel offers the JW Kitchen Stadium. The “Iron Chef” competition includes TV-show inspired lighting, a professional kitchen and Guns N’ Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle” as entrance music. Planners have an overall 27,689 sq. ft. of meeting space at their disposal.

    To satisfy multiple price points, the hotel group also includes the 214-room Courtyard Downtown Grand Rapids, with 9,949 sq. ft. meeting space. Meeting groups lodging at all three AHC+Hospitality hotels can be placed under one master account for billing convenience. All in all, the company is the ideal lodging partner for groups looking to experience the buzz in Grand Rapids.