City Spotlight: Bellevue, Washington | Connect Your Meetings
Connected to Seattle via the world's longest floating bridge, Bellevue lives up to the origins of its name, which means "beautiful view." Nestled between Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish, the city has a 320-acre wetland preserve and a 53-acre botanical garden. It's been named one of the safest cities in the United States by Forbes magazine, and companies such as Eddie Bauer, Microsoft, T-Mobile, Verizon and Expedia all have offices within its boundaries. Underscoring Bellevue's business vitality are recent investments in the city's hotel infrastructure, highlighted by the 732-room Hyatt Regency's $185 million expansion in 2009.
Noteworthy: For teambuilding, try the three- to six-hour Bellevue Challenge Course, which offers 18 different courses and can include tight-rope walking and traversing a cargo net or swinging logs.
"I was very impressed with the city," says Susan Barrett, western regional director for the National Exchange Carrier Association and planner for the NECA Expo 2012. "We used the Hyatt Regency, which is connected via covered walkways to The Bellevue Collection, which has shops, restaurants and entertainment options.
"Because it's a national conference, we had attendees who came from as far away as Guam, Alaska and Hawaii. With more than 700 rooms, Hyatt was able to accommodate everyone within the hotel, as well as cater to their dietary needs, which made things a lot easier. My executive team fell in love with the venue, and the attendees were thrilled they could easily get to off-site activities when not at the conference."
Also within easy walking distance from Bellevue's downtown hotels is the Meydenbauer Convention Center, a sleek, modern venue. "The center operates differently on purpose," explains Jane Kantor, CMP, director of sales for MCC. "We're not your average big-box meeting facility where you work with third-party contractors to supply on-site services. Everything a planner needs for their event is handled via one of our guest services managers, who provide a single point of contact. The Meydenbauer is exceptionally flexible, and our staff is trained to provide services that will deliver the majority of your meeting needs."
Bellevue Quick Facts
Area guest rooms: 4,400 | Nearest airport: Sea-Tac International Airport | Convention center: Meydenbauer Convention Center | Meeting rooms: 12 | Total meeting space: 54,000 square feet