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Snapshots of convention centers in the Southwest (July 2013)


Big Bear Lake Convention Center

On 3.8 acres of land and not too far from two ski resorts is California’s Big Bear Lake Convention Center. Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest inspired the creation of the large tent-shaped convention center in 1976. The German food and entertainment festival is permanently at home here and usually takes place in the fall.  Full service is provided in the 11,000 square feet of meeting space, which can accommodate up to 1,400 attendees indoors and up to 2,500 when indoor and outdoor space is combined. Outside is a patio, reception and a three-quarter acre garden.  Services include event catering and decorating along with audio/visual and sound and lighting equipment. Banquet seating for up to 800 is given along with access to two bars, a full-service and short-order kitchen, and 254 parking spaces.

The Davis Conference Center

After parking for free outside the 70,000 square-feet Davis Conference Center in Layton, Utah, attendees can stop to take in views of the surrounding mountains. Inside the convention center are varying sights, including the 18,000 square feet of exhibit space in the Eclipse Expo Hall, the 7,000 square-feet ballroom and an indoor pool. Combined with Davis is the Hilton Garden Inn, which offers 147 guestrooms with complimentary high speed Internet and a business center. In-house equipment is available at Davis:  drop-down screens, built-in LCD projectors, audio-visual technology and a piano. Other services include catering, an on-site restaurant, luggage storage and more.

Glendale Civic Center

For two years in a row, Glendale Civic Center received a No. 1 ranking from Ranking Arizona, an Arizona Business Magazine publication about meeting and conference facilities in the state.  Since 1999, the civic center has provided those in or visiting Glendale with 40,000 square feet of meeting space for day conferences, awards banquets, graduation ceremonies, tradeshows, weddings or more.  Included in the main building is 35,000 square feet of rental space. The nearby Annex building provides an additional 3,800 square feet of meeting space. Accessing the facility is easy by bus, taxi or car, and it is also wheelchair-friendly. Equipment is provided for events as well as a loading dock to bring in major items.

Henderson Convention Center

Although the Henderson Convention Center opened in 1982, it was renovated in 1996.  This Henderson, Nev. facility offers 10 meeting rooms in its 14,000 square-feet space. Professionals can accommodate up to 1,000 when choosing theater seating with a projector and screen. Another option is banquet tables for 20. The largest room in the convention center is the 2,544 square feet Grand Ballroom B along with three Sierra rooms to provide cozier options at 735 square feet each. This venue allows outside caterers, and it is not too far from Fremont Street and the Las Vegas Strip.

Taos Convention Center

Surrounded by mountains, mesas and the desert is the 20,000 square-feet Taos Convention Center in the historical town of Taos, near Santa Fe, New Mexico. Opened since 1994, the convention center provides seven meeting rooms. Its largest room at 7,238 square feet is the Rio Grande Hall with the smallest being its 220 square-feet Executive Conference room. Meeting spaces feature portable walls and staging equipment. Free parking is available, or attendees can take a shuttle to the venue. Tasting on-site catering or visiting the business center can be done in-between breaks at events. When business is all said and done, visitors can enjoy skiing, golfing and shopping locations.

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