April 13, 2009

Kansas City Mo. - New Convention District Has Transformed KC

Kansas City is creating a buzz after more than $5 billion in development has transformed the downtown convention district. A brand-new eight-block entertainment district with more than 40 restaurants and entertainment venues offers exciting new nightlife options just steps from the convention center. Add renovated hotels, an expanded convention center complex, and unique museums that you won’t find anywhere else, and KC’s new convention district may just change your perspective on what you’d expect to find in Kansas City.

Indeed, KC, has undergone nothing less than a remarkable transformation. More than 14 blocks in the heart of downtown have experienced one of the most concentrated urban redevelopment initiatives in the country. This includes the new eight-block Kansas City Power & Light District, which offers everything from fine dining to line dancing. Next door, the new Sprint Center - an 18,500-seat, all glass arena - provides a unique experience for sporting    events, concerts, and large meetings. Best of all, these new entertainment options are located just blocks from the convention center, creating a vibrant, walkable convention district.

If you haven’t seen the Kansas City Convention Center lately, you’re in for a surprise. May 2007 marked the opening of the new 46,480-square-foot Grand Ballroom, one of the 10 largest convention center ballrooms in the country. The $135-million ballroom holds 4,650 people theater-style or 3,000 people for meal functions. It has received Silver LEED certification and features an energy-efficient day-lighting system and many other green features.

Finally, the city’s hotels have also joined the downtown renaissance. Nearly all ofthe 3,500 downtown hotel rooms have completed or announced major renovations in the last two years, including the Marriott Downtown, Crowne Plaza, and Hyatt Regency Crown Center. In addition, two historic hotels have reopened- the Hilton President and the Aladdin Holiday Inn.

At a Glance:

CONVENTION FACILITIES

 • 388,800 square feet ol column-free exhibit space on one floor

 • Brand-new 46,480-square-foot Grand Ballroom

 • 45 state-of-the-art meeting rooms

 • Three-level conference center

 • 2,400-seat fine-arts theater

 • Renovated arena that seats 10,700 people

 • Outdoor plaza and sculpture garden for events of up to 2,000 people

ATTRACTIONS

With a remarkable slate of museums and cultural institutions, Kansas City might surprise first-time visitors with its diverse mix of entertainment options. From swinging jazz to breathtaking fountains, KC has free-time activities to suit any taste. Check out these new attractions:

 • The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art: Time magazine ranked the new Bloch Building as the No. 1  “best new and upcoming architectural marvel in the world” for 2007.

 • National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial: This museum has received rave reviews since opening in 2006 as the only one in the country dedicated to the Great War.

 • College Basketball Experience: Highenergy exhibits recreate the intensity of a college basketball game, from foul-line hecklers to a last-second buzzer beater.