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The Group Travel Leader Going on Faith Select Traveler

Fort Wayne fields new players

Development in downtown Fort Wayne is giving meeting planners more reasons to stage meetings in this Midwestern city, 150 miles southeast of Chicago.

Several projects make the Grand Wayne Convention Center’s central downtown location even more appealing.

Families can spend free afternoons at the children’s zoo.

Opened this spring less than a block from the center is Parkview Field, home to the Fort Wayne Tincaps, a minor league affiliate of the San Diego Padres. The ballpark has plenty of event spaces, including the Treetops Rooftop Party area and the Appleseed Picnic Pavilion. The park’s Home Run Porch borrows from the popular seats atop the Green Monster at Fenway Park in Boston.

Work has started on another downtown hotel, the new 250-room Courtyard by Marriott, according to Betsy Perry Patton, communications manager at Fort Wayne/Allen County Convention and Visitors Bureau. The hotel and its 6,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space will be linked by sky bridge to the convention center, which is already connected to the Hilton Fort Wayne and two off-site venues: the Embassy Theatre, home of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, 25,000 square feet of indoor gardens and four outdoor gardens.

The ballpark and the Courtyard are part of the Harrison Square redevelopment project, which will also include a new city park and a condominium/retail project upon completion.

The Grand Wayne’s convention hall is nearly 50,000 square feet.

The 246-room Hilton Fort Wayne merges seamlessly into the Grand Wayne, the state’s second-largest convention facility.
The center’s convention hall encompasses almost 50,000 square feet; there is also a 10,000-square-foot ballroom, 30,000 square feet of prefunction space and almost 10,000 square feet of meeting rooms.

One other downtown destination, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, is closed for renovations. When it reopens in 2010, the museum will have improved its permanent collection, as well as many aspects of the museum building, from the galleries to the education spaces.

On the edge of downtown, the new Holiday Inn at IPFW is well situated for groups that meet at the nearby Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

A new minor-league ballpark, a hotel and retail and residential development are among the changes afoot in downtown Fort Wayne.

The 151-room hotel is adjacent to IPFW, a combined extension campus for Indiana University and Purdue University. IPFW students work at the hotel to apply the lessons learned in their hospitality management courses.
“The Holiday Inn at IPFW is one of a kind. It’s a teaching hotel with excellent university partnerships,” said Patton.
Fort Wayne/Allen County CVB
(800) 767-7752