Meeting Planners Create Competitive Team Building Exercises in Kansas City

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Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center and The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center in Missouri recently completed a 2-year, $22 million renovation—a large portion of which went to updating meeting rooms and public spaces at the 1,454-room hotel complex.

The Sheraton's 2,000 silver ball chandelier is now accentuated by lobby space filled with sunlight from the floor-to-ceiling windows that highlight the room. The atrium-style lobby now boasts a Link@Sheraton as well as a Microsoft lounge for meeting attendees to work in a more relaxed setting. What was once the famous Skies Restaurant and Lounge has been turned into an executive lounge on the 19th floor. While the room doesn’t rotate like it once did, executive level guests can eat breakfast overlooking some of the best views of downtown.

The Westin property is easily accessible from the Sheraton via The Link, a climate-controlled walkway. Planners will likely find the most exciting part of the Westin renovation to be the opening of Tangent, a flexible 260-sf workspace available for small groups of four to six to book last minute. The room is equipped with the latest technologies, including video conferencing and floor-to-ceiling white boards.

“We are pleased that this small highly-functional and flexible meeting space is the cap to our renovation,” said Steve Shalit, general manager of the complex. “While a hotel room or lobby is a place where you can do work, Tangent was specifically designed with the modern businessperson in mind as a smart room and personalized work space that enhances productivity and can be booked on demand.”

The hotel complex’s location in Hallmark’s Crown Center district allows for several offsite excursions to nearby Union Station, the Liberty Memorial, Legoland Discovery Center or Sea Life Aquarium. Planners can also incorporate teambuilding through the complex’s meeting packages. To really get a sense of the area’s love for barbecue, attendees will appreciate Joe Davidson’s grill camp, in which the group will learn how to grill from the founder of Oklahoma Joe’s, an area favorite barbecue restaurant. From there, they will compete against each other to see who can create the best sauce-dripping dishes. Katie Allen, CMP, the complex’s director of catering and event management, suggests having the competition at The Westin, which has an outdoor deck above the ballroom that overlooks downtown.

Perhaps best of all is that meeting planners can plan events and book rooms at both hotels while charging everything to one account. The hotel complex offers 150,000 sf of meeting space, including the largest hotel ballroom in Kansas City (at 17,487 sf). Plus, it connects to the Crown Center Exhibition Hall, which provides an additional 45,500 sf of space.

“Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center and The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center truly embody the best of both brands while offering meeting planners options for one-stop shopping for meetings of all sizes and experiences,” says Shalit. “Thanks to Starwood’s support, we can provide the combined resources of two great brands to our clients.”