OCT 2012

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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Home ALABAMA ARKANSAS FLORIDA GEORGIA KENTUCKY LOUISIANA MISSISSIPPI NORTH CAROLINA OKLAHOMA SOUTH CAROLINA TENNESSEE TEXAS VIRGINIA WEST VIRGINIA Planning Directory Planner Resources Meeting Site Showcase INSIDER'S GUIDE By Selena Chavis Northern Kentucky Located directly across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, the Northern Kentucky region offers the amenities of a vibrant big city without the high costs. And, according to Barbara Dozier, vice president of sales and marketing with the Northern Kentucky CVB, it's more than just affordability that brings groups back—it's the uncommon level of service that groups have begun to associate with the region. "We're a very tight, hospitality-driven commu- nity," she said. "Planners are often astounded at the level of service we provide. It's a great generator of repeat business for us." The CVB puts it money where its mouth is when it claims high customer satisfaction. In fact, it backs up its assertion with a 100 percent satisfac- tion guarantee. "If you host a meeting in the convention center and you're not happy, we'll write you a check for one day's rental," she explained. The Northern Kentucky Convention Center is currently being renovated to "modernize" the facility. Where To MEET The METS Center is a high-tech training and conference facility offering extensive technology and audio/visual services. Eighteen fully equipped meeting rooms are avail- able along with an auditorium that can seat up to 150. The Bank of Kentucky Center is a multi-purpose arena located on the Northern Kentucky University campus with nearly 10,000 seats. For meetings, the facility provides a specialty curtaining system that divides the facility by half. Connected to the Northern Kentucky Convention Center via a walkway, the Marriott RiverCenter Downtown Cincinnati was recently Bowling becomes hip again at Star Lanes on the Levee, a new "boutique bowling alley" at Newport on the Levee entertainment district. ■ honored at the 2012 Marriott Global Full Service Hotel Conference, held by the hotelʼs management com- pany, Aimbridge Hospitality. Along with the 2011 Marriott Staff Service Award, the property received the 2011 Hotel of the Year award, said General Manager Kris Brown. According to Megan Gabriel, senior corporate sales manager at the Embassy Suites Cincinnati RiverCenter, the one thing that sets the property apart from others is "our impeccable staff." She added, "I know it sounds a bit cliché, but I look at the hotel as our family and our home." The Radisson Hotel Cincinnati Riverfront features meeting space for up to 500 people and the award- winning 360 restaurant, offering views of the downtown skyline. The restaurant is one of the top 100 romantic restaurants in the U.S. According to Sales Account 34 ConventionSouth OCTOBER 2012 Manager Stephanie Rork, the Cincinnati Airport Marriott is one of the highest ranked hotels world- wide, ranked consistently within the top 10 Marriott hotels for guest sat- isfaction. "Our award-winning prop- erty is among the top five Marriottʼs for providing an outstanding arrival and departure experience as well as a problem-free stay for guests." In 2013, management company Wine- gardner and Hammons is slated to re-invest in the property providing a number of upgrades to the lobby, restaurant and 13,000 square feet of meeting space. Rork noted that a Starbucks is a planned addition. Located in Fort Mitchell, Ky., the Drawbridge Hotel and Convention Center offers a unique flair reminis- cent of a European village. The property came under new ownership in 2009 and was later fully renovated. The property houses 30,000 square feet of convention space. ■ www.con v The Northern Kentucky CVB puts its money where its mouth is when it claims high customer satisfaction by offering a money-back satisfaction guarantee. The Northern Kentucky Convention Center (NKCC) is located in the heart of a rapidly expand- ing business and entertainment district that is home to 40 percent of the Cincinnati area's hotel rooms. The NKCC is in the midst of some upgrades, said Patricia Garvey, direc- tor of sales and marketing. "We are completing some soft good renova- tions in the coming year," she noted. "We will be modernizing the building to be more aligned with current trends." Garvey also noted that the center is situated near a picturesque 19th Century suspension bridge that connects to downtown Cincinnati. "We look at the skyline of Cincinnati," she said. Dozier also noted that the suspension bridge allows groups to walk to baseball and football games, shopping and more, creating "great synergy between the two sides of the river." ■ Northern Kentucky Convention Center via Facebook Newport on the Levee via Facebook

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