Lions and Convention Business Roaring in Downtown Detroit

Thursday, October 19, 2023


The Detroit delegation at the Imex America trade show had much to celebrate beyond the resurgence of the Lions this NFL season.

In recent years, there has been a boom in new hotel development downtown, with several new properties opening in the past few years and more on the way — and the 2.4 million-square-foot Huntington Place was recognized this year among the nation’s top convention centers by the Wall Street Journal.

The Visit Detroit team at the Imex show was getting that word out to attendees, letting them know about several “best of” hospitality awards won by Huntington Place, formerly known as the Cobo Center, and other downtown entities. These include being named the best riverwalk by USA Today and Travel Lemming declaring Detroit is among the top 10 places to visit this year. The convention center also won several awards this year, including Exhibitor Magazine’s Centers of Excellence Award, and a LEED Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Buildings Council.

“Detroit continues to shine with cranes in the air and hotels and other development popping up all round the LEED Gold certified Huntington Place,” said Karen Totaro, general manager Huntington Place/ASM Global. “This city makes it so easy for convention attendees from the multiple hotels within walking distance to the 5-star restaurants and charming speakeasys to discover.”

New hotel projects have added more than 500 rooms to the inventory in the last two years, with more than 400 more in development at a trio of ongoing hotel construction projects, which will bring the downtown room inventory to more than 5,000.

And the winning ways of the Lions on the gridiron have also added to the success of downtown Detroit as well. The division-leading team is selling out, bringing more fans in the area, which is expecting throngs of football fans when the city plays host to the NFL draft next spring.

“Detroit’s positive momentum is unmistakable, and there are more than $8 billion in additional development underway,” said Claude Molinari President and CEO of Visit Detroit. “Our region’s music, cultural attractions, new hotels, and global leadership on sustainable mobility make it the place to be for meetings, conventions, and events this decade.”

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