A couple of prominent West Coast destinations should look out (you know who you are!). Seattle is set to steal a piece of that Pacific Northwest meetings biz. Planners, if you’ve ever thought about taking a group to Seattle, the time is now. Indeed, the city has quietly undergone a renaissance—largely thanks to Amazon, Boeing, Microsoft and Starbucks—that’s transforming it into a millennial-focused power player for conferences and events.
“Every one of the global companies headquartered here is doing really well. That has fueled hotel growth and new airline service, and has served as a catalyst for downtown living,” says Tom Norwalk, president and CEO of Visit Seattle. “Every [aspect] you can imagine has taken off. I look at it as the biggest resurgence a city has ever seen.”
Seattle-headquartered Amazon will open three striking, spherical structures (shown above) on its new campus this summer, ranging from 80 to 95 feet tall. The unique buildings will have exotic plants and open space for Amazon employees (no word on whether they’ll be available for private events, but here’s hoping).
In addition, Seattle Tunnel Partners has embarked on a huge project that will replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct, leading traffic through a tunnel beneath downtown instead. In turn, it will create a new waterfront for Seattle full of pedestrian pathways and public green spaces. Estimated completions for these ventures are 2017 to 2020, but there’s plenty more going on now. See why meetings in this city are a guaranteed success.