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See Seattle ... and soak up the experience.

Seattle is more than a destination, it's an experience. Sip coffee at the original Starbucks. Learn to play the electric guitar at Experience Music Project. Scale the world's tallest indoor climbing pinnacle at the REI flagship store. Travelers are drawn by Seattle's vibrant, easily walkable city center surrounded by pristine wilderness and abundant recreation.

Meeting space

In Seattle, technology and culture often convene to offer dynamic meeting venues such as Paul Allen's Experience Music Project; Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, which opened last year as the new home of the Seattle Opera and Pacific Northwest Ballet; and the Seattle Symphony's Benaroya Hall.

The Washington State Convention and Trade Center (WSCTC) is the Pacific Northwest's premier meeting and event facility. In the heart of Seattle's vibrant retail and entertainment district, the city's top gourmet restaurants, shopping, theater, and nightlife surround it.

WSCTC completed a major expansion in 2001, which doubled its total heavy load exposition space to 207,000 square feet. A dramatic glass-enclosed function space rises above Pike Street and boasts views of the thriving city center, Pike Place Market, and Elliott Bay. The center includes a 1.5-acre landscaped plaza, 55,000 square feet of retail space, and a $1.5 million art display.

The center offers consistently high levels of convention service and state-of-the-art technical support and has been awarded Best On-Premise Catered Event by the National Association of Catering Executives.

Accommodations

Downtown Seattle offers more than 6,000 hotel rooms within walking distance of WSCTC. In 2003, two major international hotel brands entered the downtown Seattle market. Fairmont Hotels and Resorts re-flagged the historic, AAA Five Diamond Four Seasons Olympic Hotel in the heart of downtown Seattle, And the 357-room Seattle Marriott Waterfront opened near the Bell Harbor International Conference Center and Seattle's cruise port. The new property features approximately 11,000 square feet of meeting space and the Fish Club restaurant.

Attractions

The crown jewel of Seattle's attractions is the Seattle Center, the 74-acre legacy of the 1962 World's Fair. Its distinctive 605-foot Space Needle is the city's leading landmark and symbol. From its observation deck, you can enjoy a 360-degree view of the city and Puget Sound, with the snowcapped Cascade Range to the east and the Olympic Mountains to the west. Additional popular attractions include Pike Place Market, Pioneer Square, the waterfront, the Seattle Art Museum, the Pacific Science Center, the Woodland Park Zoo, the Seattle Aquarium, and the Museum of Flight.

Food and beverage

While the convention center is renowned for its food and beverage service, meeting attendees will find many of Seattle's top culinary treasures within blocks. A stroll through Pike Place Market reveals a regional bounty of wild salmon, Dungeness crab, oysters, mussels, fresh produce, strong coffee, craft beers and ales, and a wide selection of internationally acclaimed Washington wines. Add to that an array of sophisticated restaurants run by creative, sometimes daring, chefs, and it's easy to understand why. Seattle is considered a connoisseur's mecca.

Amenities and services

The Citywide Concierge Center opened in the lobby of WSCTC in mid-2003. More than a traditional concierge desk, this high-tech, high-touch center offers reservations and bookings for restaurants, attractions, tours, transportation, performing arts, and sports events and houses downtown Seattle's only TicketMaster center. One of the first of its kind in the United States, the Citywide Concierge Center features trained concierge professionals who serve travelers and convention delegates.

Airport and ground transportation

Getting to Seattle is easier than you may expect. During the past two years, the city's connections have been strengthened by a wealth of new air service, including Alaska Airlines' nonstop service between Seattle and Washington, D.C.; Boston; Newark, New Jersey; Miami; and Denver as well as new Chicago service from both Alaska Airlines and Southwest Airlines, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is undergoing a $2.6 billion upgrade that includes construction of a third runway, concourse expansion, subway system reconstruction, and more than 100 other projects.

WSCTC is within easy walking distance of hotels, dining, shopping, and entertainment. Downtown buses are free, and the Seattle Center Monorail provides a 90-second link to the Space Needle, Experience Music Project, and other nearby attractions.

Contact

Don Welsh, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing

Phone: 206-461-5800

E-mail: dwelsh@seeseattle.org

Web site: www.seeseattle.org
COPYRIGHT 2004 American Society of Association Executives
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Title Annotation:Hospitality
Publication:Association Management
Article Type:Advertisement
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2004
Words:710
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