More good news for meetings and events continues to pour out of the Gerald R. Ford International (GFIA) Airport.

The airport reported an almost 6 percent increase in passengers—2,811,622 total in 2017—flying and in out of the Grand Rapids facility. That record established the best year in the airport’s 54-year history, and marked the fifth straight year of record-setting growth.

The airport saw growth in 11 of 12 months during 2017, and experienced 53 months of growth over a 60-month period.

And then, from one meetings-and-events destination to another, Frontier Airlines earlier this year introduced regular direct flights between Orlando, Florida, and Grand Rapids. 

That’s in addition to the $17 million in renovations at the complex, including upgrades in space, retail, food and beverage, restrooms, amenities, and customer service offerings. A new, consolidated passenger security checkpoint centralized and combined security screening to one main checkpoint. Michigan Meetings + Events reported about that activity in the Spring 2018 issue.

Phase two of the project will begin in the fall with improvements at the airline ticket counters, baggage claim area and elsewhere. 

All of this makes it easier and more convenient for meeting and event attendees and planners to get to and from inviting sunset side venues and destinations.

“As we continue to grow in traffic it is imperative that our facilities keep up with our passenger demand. Our passengers keep coming back because we listen to their wants and needs. Our 2020 Vision is to hit the three million passenger mark,” says GFIA President and CEO Jim Gill.

I chatted with Karen Totaro, general manager of Detroit’s newly renamed Huntington Place convention center, for our People Profile page in the spring issue of Michigan Meetings + Events. We didn’t have room for the whole conversation, so I wanted to share more of what Totaro had to say.  

 

From throwing axes to racing go-karts, everybody wins when teambuilding takes a sporty turn. 

Step away from the Zoom call. Put the spreadsheets aside. Exit the conference room. If you want to foster collaboration and strengthen bonds among colleagues, it helps to break a sweat, have some fun and engage in a little friendly competition. Whether it’s during a multiday meeting or an afternoon retreat with your office mates, Michigan offers countless ways to take a sporty approach to teambuilding.

High Caliber Karting and Entertainment

 

Sheraton Dallas Hotel has introduced a new outdoor event space under its new event programming, Dare to Outdoors. The hotel’s catering team has partnered with Pacific Plaza Park, a 3.7-acre green space in Downtown Dallas. The park features a 31,950 square-foot lawn space and permanent seating, as well as night-sky friendly lights for star-watchers. Three food truck power outlets are available and standard outlets are located throughout the park.