SEP 2016

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 6 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 52 T E N N E S S E E On a visit to Chattanooga in early July, I found a thriving, active city, full of art, music, great restaurants and brewpubs. Set within the Appalachian Mountains and along the Tennessee River, the downtown and surrounding area provide all sorts of recreational options. A Riverpark and paved trails extend along miles of riverfront and the city keeps adding new attractions. Both locals and visitors were out and about throughout the day and evening, many headed to the Tennessee Aquarium fronting the river or to the IMAX 3-D The- ater across the street, the first in the South- east to use a new laser projection. During a walk from my hotel to one of the area's many restaurants and brew pubs, I could hear the cheers from AT&T Field, where the Chattanooga Lookouts were playing Minor League Baseball. Ed Dolliver, vice president of sales for the Chattanooga Convention & Visitors Bu- reau, said the city is attracting record num- bers of leisure, meeting and sports groups. "Our city fathers tried to create a great place for locals to live and what we have found is that our city is also a great place for tourists of all kinds," he said. Primarily a regional market, with lots of drive-to meetings, reunions and state association conferences, Chattanooga has community-wide 10 Gig Internet service that attracts high tech groups. "Technology is big here, and that's important to a lot of meeting and event planners," Dolliver said. "Additionally, groups love our walkable downtown and the affordable attractions, along with our convention center located right in the middle of the downtown. "Promoting this city is the easiest part of my job," he added. "We are so fami- ly-friendly, with so many attractions and so much to do that it's easy to sell this destination." n Checking out Chattanooga Site Visit by Marcia Bradford North Shore Carousel 1. The view of the Tennessee River, with the sun setting over the mountains be- yond it, from my room at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Chattanooga/Down- town/Cameron Harbor. 2. Bike Chattanooga, with bikes that can be rented for hourly or day-long use. 3. The Walnut Street Bridge, a pedestrian bridge that crosses the river and con- nects to the trendy North Shore area. 4. Chattanooga Cycleboats, a 14-passen- ger vessel that is propelled along the Tennessee River by the passengers. 5. "Old-School" attractions, such as Ruby Falls and Lookout Mountain. n 5 Cool Things About Chattanooga Chattanooga at Night

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