Photo by Destination Cleveland

Enhancements to Cleveland’s meeting and conventions package are underway with renovations at the city’s downtown convention center, new hotel developments and updates at world-class attractions like the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Convention Center Expansion

As part of a $49 million investment, the LEED Gold-certified Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland (HCCC) is expanding. The complex will be enhanced with new flexible meeting rooms, the creation of an elevated outdoor terrace and expansion of the junior ballroom to double the current size. The rooftop terrace will add an outdoor space with city views to the complex, creating an ideal option for open-air receptions and events. Infrastructure improvements include new escalators, stairs, restrooms and meeting room technology. 

With the expansion, HCCC’s available space will increase from 475,000 square feet to around 553,000 square feet. Updates are expected to be complete by summer 2024, in time for the city to host the ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition.

New & Updated Hotels

A recent refresh of the Glidden House hotel’s 52 traditional guestrooms reflect the grandeur of the family home with local handcrafted furnishings, upscale finishes and original works from local artists. Built in 1910, the stately mansion was originally the home of Frank and Mary Glidden of the Glidden Paint Co. 

After extensive renovations, the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel will be rebranded as the Hotel Cleveland, returning the city’s second-largest hotel to its original name. The 491-room property will be part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection when renovations are completed in early 2024. Also set to open next year, a once‐vacant downtown office building is being transformed into a 97‐room boutique hotel. The independent property will be named Fidelity Hotel in a nod to the building’s original name and will include onsite dining, meeting rooms and a speakeasy‐style bar.

Looking ahead, a new W Hotel is set to open in 2025 in a 1960s modernist skyscraper in Downtown Cleveland. Plans for the 210-room hotel include a 15,000-square-foot ballroom and event center, a full-service spa and gym and a restaurant on the 38th floor with panoramic city views. 

Attraction & Venue Updates

Some of the city’s most popular visitor attractions are expanding and undergoing transformative updates, creating new spaces for unforgettable events and adding to the world-class experiences for event attendees.

Recently completed updates at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History bring visitors new and reimagined spaces to explore, including a virtual reality flight simulator experience, an immersive planetarium journey through space and time and an updated Discovery Center that encourages hands‐on learning. The new spaces are also designed to provide private event options throughout the museum.

Also new in 2023, the 120-foot dining and entertainment ship Lady Caroline is now operating sightseeing cruises on Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River. Lady Caroline is equipped with four decks – three climate-controlled and one open-air – providing scenic views of the city skyline and waterfront. Lady Caroline departs from the Flats West Bank with a variety of cruise options, including lunch, brunch, dinner and private charters.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will break ground later this year on a 50,000 square foot, $100-million expansion and renovation that will bring learning labs, a concert venue with seating for up to 900 and a 10,000-square-foot gallery space to house large-scale traveling exhibits. The expansion will also increase outdoor connections and pathways to the lakefront and waterfront promenade around the museum. 

Destination Cleveland Sales & Services Team Updates

Destination Cleveland’s team continues to grow and evolve to meet the needs of planners and to capture the increased interest and demand to meet in Cleveland. Promotions this year include Sharrona Burns to vice president of sales and services operations, Lisa Shanahan to director of Chicago regional sales and Katie Costa to senior sales manager. New additions to the team are Kayla AriasKara Wyrock and Sandra Olsen joining as senior managers of convention sales and Michael LaGuardia as a sales manager. Working together, the team ensures events held in Cleveland are the most memorable yet.