Courtesy Rossford CVB
Published March 09, 2017
Ohio’s suburbs are close to international airports for easy fly-in access and crossed by interstates for convenient arrivals by automobile.
Sure, suburbs are usually less expensive, but they still offer all the same amenities as their big-city counterparts — and even more. Only in Ohio’s suburbs will planners find venues with rolling rows of grapevines, views of a Lake Erie lighthouse or a sculpture park where they can meet in a pyramid-shaped house.
The city of Rossford sits just across the Maumee River from downtown Toledo, making it Toledo’s closest suburb. At the crossroads of Interstate 75 and the Ohio Turnpike, four hotels form a sort of mini hotel district, and “all work together,” said Beth Genson, executive director of the Rossford Convention and Visitors Bureau. The Hampton Inn and Suites has a 1,300-square-foot divisible meeting room, and the CVB once helped arrange an evening reception where attendees went from hotel to hotel.
Rossford’s big news is Project RED, short for Rossford Entertainment District. Across the street from the Hollywood Casino Toledo, plans are in the works for a new mixed-use development that will include a 150-room hotel with a conference center, slated for spring 2019, as well as restaurants and retail space. The nearby Lake View Banquet Facility can accommodate about 200 people.
Owens Community College’s Center for Fine and Performing Arts has a 526-seat theater for presentations, speakers and movies, and the center’s glass-walled rotunda is popular for receptions.
Two recently opened air domes — Total Sports Complex and the Soccer Centre — are also available for events. With a liquor license and its own food truck, Total Sports hosts after-hours events and team-building challenges. Groups can also take a behind-the-scenes tour at Bass Pro Shops, where the CVB can sponsor a fudge tasting.
Dublin, Ohio, plays up its connections to Dublin, Ireland, but the city is much more closely associated with the city of Columbus. Dublin straddles the banks of the Scioto River just 17 miles northwest of downtown Columbus.
Dublin is home to three full-service conference hotels that can each accommodate events for about 300 people, said Pat King, national sales manager for the Dublin Convention and Visitors Bureau. The 306-room Marriott, the 284-room Embassy Suites by Hilton and the 215-room Crowne Plaza each offer about 13,000 square feet of function space.
But what “we are most excited about” is the new Bridge Park development under construction across the river from downtown. The project will include a 19,000-square-foot conference facility, called The Exchange at Bridge Park, that will connect to an adjacent 150-room AC Hotel by Marriott. The Exchange will have an event courtyard and a 9,000-square-foot ballroom and “will be the largest meeting venue in Dublin,” King said. Plans also call for a pedestrian bridge over the river connecting historic downtown to the development’s new restaurants, pubs, shops and green space.
To incorporate some Irish flair into meetings, planners can rent an entire floor of the three-story Brazenhead Irish Pub, styled after the oldest pub in Ireland, or reserve the 200-person Manor Hall at the Golf Club of Dublin, where French doors open to the Celtic Patio and views of the rolling greens.
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