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The Group Travel Leader Going on Faith Select Traveler

On the bayou at Monroe & West Monroe

Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge, by Michell Morris

Where is Monroe/West Monroe, La.?
The cities, in northeast Louisiana, are 90 miles west of Jackson, Miss., and about 250 miles east of Dallas. The population for the cities and surrounding Ouachita Parish is 150,000.

How do we get there?
Interstate 20 and Highway 165 intersect at Monroe/West Monroe. Delta, United and American Airlines have daily flights to Dallas, Houston and Atlanta at Monroe Regional Airport, which recently opened a new $35 million terminal.

What’s new?
• This summer, the Duck Commander Hometown Tour will be available as a brochure and a mobile website. The tour spotlights places in the area made famous by A&E’s “Duck Dynasty.”

• The Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo will open a new splash zone this summer.

Tell me about the local meeting venues.

• Monroe/West Monroe has some 2,000 guest rooms.

• The Monroe Civic Center is the largest meeting facility in northeast Louisiana, with five facilities on 31 acres. The complex includes a 22,000-square-foot convention center, a 14,000-square-foot conference hall, a 7,600-seat arena, a 2,000-seat theater and a 30,000-square-foot equestrian pavilion with stalls and other amenities.

• The West Monroe Convention Center, in the middle of West Monroe, was recently renovated. It has three conference halls, two dining rooms and a boardroom, and is within a short drive of nine hotels.

• The area’s main conference hotel is the 260-room Clarion Inn and Suites Conference Center off Interstate 20 in Monroe, with 21,000 square feet of meeting space and a large atrium that can accommodate up to 57 booths.

• The 134-room Hilton Garden Inn West Monroe is the area’s newest hotel. It has 2,786 square feet of meeting space.