Prevue November-December 2017 - 54
A fast-growing downtown & progressive mindset anchor Boise meetings
[ON LOCATION] JESSIE FETTERLING
hen groups visit Boise, Idaho, their typical response
is "who knew?" according to Terry Kopp, director
of sales for the Boise Convention & Visitors
Bureau. With a population just over 220,000, Boise
has the immersive, small-town vibe that groups crave. The Boise
Airport is located just 10 minutes from downtown, and Kopp says
conventions of a notable size (1,000+) essentially run the town and
are viewed as key to the city's economy.
"We stand out because we are a city smaller in population,
but one that offers many of the same amenities you'd find in larger
cities such as the ballet and symphony."
That said, Boise's downtown is seeing major growth. This
year alone brought three new hotels within walking distance of the
convention center to the downtown core. Opened in January, the
109-suite Inn at 500 Capitol's features 57 themed suites-think
Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, and even potato-themed
digs-and 700 pieces of local art throughout, not to mention
red flower boxes on its exterior that make it recognizable from
several vantage points in town. The 150-room Hyatt Place Boise/
Downtown opened in May, while the 185-room Residence Inn
Boise Downtown City Center just opened in mid-October. And,
"We stand out because we are a city
smaller in population, but one that
offers many of the same amenities
you'd find in larger cities."
54 | prevuemeetings.com
as of July, the Boise Centre debuted an expansion that brings its
total meeting space up to 80,000 sf.
Boise is a city that has long supported social causes, whether
being one of the first states to permit women's suffrage; being
home to one of the largest Basque communities in the US; or being
a voice to voiceless endangered species.
Standing as a representation of the community and its efforts
to speak out against injustice is what Boise is all about, says Dan
Prinzing, executive director of the Wassmuth Center for Human
Rights. A traveling Anne Frank exhibit arrived here more than a
decade ago and inspired an educational park that honors Frank
and human rights across the globe. The memorial features a sapling
taken from the chestnut tree that stood outside Frank's window, a
life-sized bronze statue of the heroine and outdoor space to meet in.
Saving endangered birds is the mission at the World Center
for Birds of Prey, and groups can take an educational tour of
the facility and meet some of the birds, or host an event in exhibit
space at the center.
Lastly, the year-round activities such as hiking, biking, skiing
and fishing are available for groups, all within minutes of downtown.
Bogus Basin offers night skiing until 10 p.m.-a perfect ending
to a day of meetings. Rafting the mighty Main Payette River with
family-owned Cascade Raft & Kayak also ensures a memorable
Idaho experience that groups can top off with a riverside barbecue
on the company's lawn, located at the end of the route.