Visit Spokane may not be the biggest meetings destination in the state of Washington, but when you hear about the many amenities if offers or talk to the destination experts at Visit Spokane, you’d never know it. We recently spoke with Robert Enriquez, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Visit Spokane and learned about the latest developments, dining and attraction offerings, as well as what makes their city unique, it got us excited about the things to come!
SUZZANNE: What might we find you enjoying in the destination on your day off?
ROBERT: I have four kids, so on days off, I’m often taking them to different attractions throughout the Spokane area. One of our favorite spots is Riverfront Park. My kids love feeding the ducks and riding the Looff Carrousel, and we often pack a picnic to enjoy by the river.
SUZZANNE: What are a couple of your favorite places to dine or get a drink?
ROBERT: One place that quickly became a favorite is The Wandering Table. It’s located in Kendall Yards, which is a new neighborhood just a few blocks west of downtown Spokane. I love the “choose your price” option – everyone at the table can pick the price they want to pay for the meal, and the chef will come up with a series of courses for you to enjoy based on the price. It’s a fun way to try different foods that you probably never would have chosen for yourself.
Spokane is unexpected. We are a smaller destination, but offer all the amenities of a larger city…and at a lesser cost. Our 500,000sf convention center is not only in the heart of downtown Spokane, it’s connected to two hotels (1,100 rooms total), and is surrounded by restaurants, shops and entertainment venues.
The city is also extremely accessible as our walkable downtown is only 10 minutes away from Spokane International Airport. Plus, the entire Spokane hospitality team works really well together, and is more than flexible when it comes to making events possible.
Meeting planners are often surprised to learn of all the amenities Spokane has to offer. Whether attendees are looking for great restaurants, breweries, wineries, outdoor recreation, entertainment, etc., we have it here. Not only do we have it, it’s probably only about 10 minutes from where you’re staying in Spokane.
Virtual reality seems to be growing more and more within the meetings industry. At Visit Spokane, we have our own virtual reality tradeshow booth where planners can view different scenic areas and venues throughout Spokane to get an idea of the destination.
Our virtual reality and augmented reality experiences are our latest innovative offerings. Planners who have never been to Spokane have the opportunity to view key destinations throughout our region as if they were really visiting. People who have never been to Spokane don’t always know what we have to offer, so this is a way to let them experience the destination before coming to see it first-hand.
Since we offer a variety of meeting and hotel space, we can host all sizes and types of meetings. For citywide conventions, it’s generally 700-1,100 rooms on peak.
Spokane’s downtown has undergone some major renovation projects within the last few years. The Spokane Convention Center was expanded to 500,000sf, and The Davenport Grand, a 716-room hotel connected to the Convention Center, just opened in June 2015. Red Lion Hotel Spokane at the Park recently rebranded as Hotel RL, a new brand within the Red Lion Hotels Corporation. Spokane’s “front yard,” Riverfront Park, is in the middle of a $64-million renovation project. Once complete, the park will be a prime spot for meeting attendees as it’s located just outside the doors of the Convention Center.
It’s an exciting time to meet in Spokane. If you haven’t visited Spokane in as little as a few years, it’s a completely different experience.
Thank you Robert for taking the time to talk with us today and share what makes Spokane such a great place to hold a meeting!