THE “CONSTITUTION STATE” BOASTS A BUMPER CROP OF MEETING OPTIONS
By Gretchen Kelly
Connecticut calls to mind pastoral scenes of farms, barns, seaports and tony towns. But it’s much more than that. The “Constitution State” is home to major business hubs in Stamford, New Haven and Hartford, all a short trip from NYC either by car or Amtrak or even local airports. These cities are themselves close to getaway havens like Mystic Seaport where a slower pace of life and a lot of history offer planners relaxed options for off-site experiences.
LOCAL EXPERT TIP: “Connecticut offers a variety of impressive convention and conference venues that vary in size and amenities. From dynamic locations in urban centers such as Hartford, New Haven or Stamford, to scenic sites in the hills of Central and Eastern Connecticut, there are great options for every group. Connecticut is conveniently located between New York City and Boston, and is easy to get to via road, rail, or air.” – Robert Murdock, President of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau
5 FANTASTIC PLACES TO MEET
Connecticut Convention Center opened in 2005 in Hartford and is the largest convention center between New York and Boston. The center is in an entertainment hub with new restaurants, shops and bistros. The Center has 140,000 sq. ft. of exhibition space, a 40,000-squarefoot ballroom and 25,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting.
XL Center, the more than 15,000-seat downtown Hartford arena has played host to artists including Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, Bruce Springsteen,
Billy Joel, Pearl Jam and many others. Total sq. ft. of meeting space: 80,855 with the largest room measuring up at 68,855 sq. ft.
Hilton Stamford Hotel & Executive Meeting Center is centrally located with 64,052 sq. ft. of meeting space. The largest room at 10,240 sq. ft.
River Spirit Casino Resort located just South of Route 66 and hugging the Arkansas River in Tulsa is an all-glass luxury hotel with 483 guest rooms and access to the 50,000 sq. ft.
Ardmore Convention Center has recently undergone renovations and now offers 13 meeting rooms and 50,000 sq. ft. of event space. The most prominent convention center in Oklahoma’s south-central region, Ardmore Convention Center has updated its board rooms, halls, salons
and conference rooms.
5 REASONS MEETING PROFS LOVE RHODE ISLAND
- Easy access. Connecticut is easily accessible by car with three interstate highways. Amtrak and Metro-North offer frequent rail service. Air service is available via five airports, of which Bradley International Airport (BDL) is the largest, and offers nonstop access to many popular domestic and international destinations that include Canada, Mexico and even Dublin.
- Casinos and resorts. Connecticut is home to both Mohegan Sun in Uncasville (275,000 sq. ft. of total meeting space and Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket (150,000 sq. ft. of meeting space). Both offer the amenities and services planners expect at luxury resorts with the added boost of casino options for participants who want to play.
- Walkable cities. New Haven, Hartford and Stamford are all large cities with a small town feel in terms of walkability and leisure and dining options.
- History and culture. Connecticut has 5,543 square miles of attractions and museum options, all within a 2-hour drive from one side of the state to the other. The Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford is a perennial favorite, housed in Twain’s own last home: a huge old (and supposedly haunted) Victorian house.
- Water’s edge resorts. Connecticut has miles of coast with marinas and seaports dotting the state. Saybrook Point Resort & Marina is an AAA Four Diamond-rated property with water-side views. The Resort has a 3,100-square-foot ballroom with views of the marina and an outdoor terrace that overlooks the mouth of the Connecticut River.