An estimated $2 billion in investment has given new wind to Cincy’s urban core, and Barrie Perks, VP of sales and services for the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau, says that’s just the beginning.
“Cincinnati is on an incredible run. The explosion of new hotels and high-end restaurants, paired with Cincinnati’s accessible location, help make it an optimal host for a convention. Our compact size also allows conferences and conventions to make an impact and ‘own the city.’ We’re able to offer the big city experiences and amenities that people love without the hassle that comes with big city meetings.” Perks points to the new Banks Entertainment District on the Ohio Riverfront and revitalized Over-the-Rhine neighborhood as thresholds for Cincinnati development.
Both are a short walk from the Duke Energy Convention Center, or a short ride on the new Cincinnati Bell Connector streetcar, which zips past the center, Contemporary Arts Center, Music Hall (which along with the Cincinnati Museum Center and Memorial Hall, is undergoing its own million dollar renovation) and other popular attractions.
Close to 600 new hotel rooms dropped anchor in the downtown area over the past two years. Set to debut this year: AC Hotel Cincinnati at The Banks, Hyatt Place Sharonville Convention Center (connected to the center), Hotel Covington inside the historic Coppin’s department store and a Marriott Autograph Collection hotel, which is taking shape in the historic Anna Louise Inn building.
Value is expressed in many ways in Cincy—whether embracing diversity, free fitness classes at Washington Park, free concerts and salsa dancing at Fountain Square or the growing inclination of hotels to mitigate internet costs by wrapping fees into rates or offering as an incentive. Demand is also up for giveback opps in Cincy, as corporate and high-profile groups seek to make an impact on the community. Perks notes last summer’s MLB All-Star Game where MLB visitors worked with inner city kids to “makeover a local baseball field, benefit a new Boys and Girls Club and help fund an MLB Urban Youth Academy.”
For an authentic Cincy experience, American Legacy Tours plunges groups into the city’s brewing heritage via tours of underground pre-Prohibition lagering tunnels and perhaps a tasting therein.