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Purdue brings cheers – and meetings – to Lafayette-West Lafayette

Lafayette and West Lafayette are divided by the Wabash River, but the two cities in northern Indiana offer meeting planners a combined package of attractions and meeting spaces.
Located on Interstate 65 about 150 miles south of Chicago and 65 miles north of Indianapolis, the cities offer quick access to the Indianapolis International Airport about an hour’s drive away.

West Lafayette is home to Purdue University, a Big 10 school with extensive meeting and conference facilities and a conference planning division to match.

A pedestrian bridge over Wabash River connects Lafayette and West Lafayette.

Among the facilities on this 39,000-student campus is the Stewart Center, a dedicated conference center near Memorial Union, the student union. The center includes two theaters, Fowler Hall with 400 seats and the Loeb Playhouse with 1,000 seats; 23 meeting rooms; and two 4,000-square-foot ballrooms.

Memorial Union has several small meeting rooms, as well as entertainment options for students and campus visitors that include a bowling alley and several restaurants.

The Union Club Hotel completes this complex of buildings and offers full service to 190 rooms and eight suites. The hotel, like many of the buildings and meeting sites on campus, blends modern conveniences with historic architecture, giving the campus a character all its own.

Unlike other, more intimate campus venues, Elliott Hall is suited to large groups, with 6,000 seats on three levels. It claims to be the largest proscenium-style theater in the country.

“A large group might use Elliott Hall for general sessions and then have breakout sessions in the Stewart Center. Or we have had smaller trade shows in the center’s ballrooms,” said Susan Xioufaridou, sales coordinator for the Purdue University Conference Division.

During the school year, on-campus housing may be  limited for large meetings. There are several area hotels that serve the overflow, and many have meeting spaces of their own.

Tiered classrooms for training sessions are among the options at Purdue University

During the past year, the Holiday Inn City Centre in Lafayette, built in 2002, has gone through a rebranding and a major remodeling. Its lobby, bar and restaurant were remodeled, and soft goods were upgraded in its 147 guest rooms. The hotel’s 7,500 square feet of meeting space is also getting a makeover.

The University Plaza Hotel in West Lafayette has also undergone a thorough remodel in the past year. The hotel’s 171 rooms have been updated with new mattresses, carpets and soft goods. Two ballrooms, a large atrium and an outdoor garden space host small trade shows and events for up to 650.

Downtown Lafayette has a number of off-site venues for groups, many in historic properties that convey small-town charm. The Muse is the newest of these venues, and its 6,500 square feet of flexible space can be configured to host a concert one night and a charity event the next.

“I wanted to create a venue for entertainment and give it a little spark of fun,” said Muse owner Mink Lin. “We’ve hosted events for United Way, Blooming Artists, the YWCA, the symphony orchestra and other local nonprofits.”

Purdue athletic teams have a loyal following.

Groups that want to get outdoors can head a few miles out of town to Historic Prophetstown.

Set amid a 300-acre state park, Historic Prophetstown interprets the area’s history with an emphasis on prairie life and Native American culture.Groups can hold meetings on site and have country-style cookouts.

Lafayette-West Lafayette CVB
(800) 872-6648