Prevue January-February 2018 - 12

bureaubuzz

A Confluence of Creativity in Raleigh
North Carolina's capital city blazes a path toward sustainability

A

1,200-mile footpath cuts through
the Appalachian Mountains to the
Atlantic, creating in North Carolina
what forester Benton MacKaye called a
realm between primal and human nature;
in this instance, a patchwork tapestry of
old tobacco barns and textile villages,
weathered lighthouses, pine forests,
crashing waves and windswept sand
dunes. The path comes 80 years after
MacKaye's vision for an Appalachian trail,
or a "cobweb" of footpaths that create "a
refuge from the crassitudes of civilization"
so that we may learn to be civilized.
Like MacKaye's trail, the Mountainsto-Sea Trail has been made by hand,
a reflection of the cultural sensibility of
today's Raleighites as well, if you ask Visit
Raleigh's Director of Sales, Malinda Harrell.
"Our vibrant cultural melting pot of
passionate and innovative makers are
shaping the growth of our emerging creative
businesses. They are the lifeblood of
our city."

A Walk on the Wild Side
Meetings and conventions groups can
get in touch with their wild and artistic
sides during a hike on section 11B of the
trail, a greenway parallel to Neuse River
that meanders by public art displays and
across suspension bridges, sunflowerbathed fields and natural preserves. BMX
and go-kart racing, one of the highest
indoor rock climbing walls in the country,
outdoor obstacle courses, canoeing
and paddleboarding also keep Raleigh
true to its "one of the most adventurous
cities in America" accolade (Men's Health
magazine). Harrell says a three-pronged
sustainability strategy of environmental
stewardship, social equity and economic
strength is one of the most adventurous
initiatives to date.

Picture caption

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

"Raleigh is a certificated 4-STAR
community, and the first community in North
Carolina to achieve certification through the
national STAR Community Rating System
(STAR) for excellence in sustainability."
Solar-powered charging stations are
the latest innovation that groups can utilize,
and the LEED Silver-certified Raleigh
Convention Center, just steps away from
the newly opened 175-suite Residence
Inn Raleigh Downtown and connected
400-room Raleigh Marriott City Center
hotel, is the place to be for sustainable
events. One of the largest and newest
underground speakeasies in the Southeast
is also trying its best to be a sanctum for
exhausted execs. The cavernous Watts
& Ward emulates the underground spirit
of the 1920s with swanky seating, vintage
artwork, rustic tables and bookshelves full
of history. Buyouts for up to 300 attendees
are happening here.

The Smithsonian of the South
Raleigh is considered the "Smithsonian of
the South" not only due to an abundance
of high-quality, free museums, historic

"Our vibrant cultural melting pot of passionate and
innovative makers are the lifeblood of our city."
12 | prevuemeetings.com

attractions and educational institutions,
but where these converge with the stories
of natural landscapes and the creative
and pioneering spirit. The North Carolina
Museum of Natural Sciences and North
Carolina Museum of History offer free
entry; the Contemporary Art Museum
Raleigh, Carolina Ballet and North
Carolina Theatre have minimal fees
and all are within walking distance to the
convention center.

Downtime in the District
Harrell says the new Morgan Street Food
Hall in the Warehouse District, and
its shopping, galleries, dining, brewery,
bean-to-bar chocolate factory and tech
incubators, will offer unique meeting space
to groups when it opens this year. The
Brewery Bhavana in downtown Raleigh's
Moore Square district is a "gathering
space for people from all walks of life and
backgrounds," offering Belgian-inspired
beer, dim sum, a library and flower shop,
all in one. Groups of up to 250 can also get
inspired at Vidrio restaurant, with more than
50 wines on tap and 400 stunning, handblown glass pieces in the Glenwood South
entertainment district.-Johnalee Johnston
visitraleigh.com


http://www.visitraleigh.com http://www.prevuemeetings.com

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