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Facilities Update
Meeting & Event Planners Discover Splendor Of New Battelle Grand At Greater Columbus Convention Center

Meeting and event planners from throughout the country and their guests are discovering the splendor of Battelle Grand, the SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center’s new multi-purpose ballroom that is the largest in Ohio. Described by media and hospitality representatives as “the new place to be,” “a marvelous experience realm” and “a 15” on a scale of one to 10, Battelle Grand opened earlier this year after an extensive 16-month, $40 million renovation.

The facility’s initial events, including an open house for the hospitality community and a gala dedication, have been joined by a variety of clients booking successful functions in this exciting new venue. Among the first to welcome their guests to this stunning new ballroom were the largest served breakfast in the nation honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, and the Arnold Sports Festival, the largest multi-sport festival in the nation, which attracted more than 175,000 attendees in 2010. Major corporations and a variety of organizations, including Honda, the Columbus Chamber, Experience Columbus, the YWCA Women of Achievement and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, selected Battelle Grand as their venue of choice for their annual and supplier meetings.

Offering 74,000 sq. ft., including 50,000 sq. ft. on the main floor and 24,000 sq. ft. on the mezzanine, Battelle Grand is receiving accolades both for its amenities and capability of accommodating large banquets, upscale trade shows, athletic competitions and wedding receptions. “Battelle Grand is not only the largest ballroom in Ohio and divisible into five different configurations, it offers floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the city, combined with an LED ceiling lighting system capable of 65,000 different color combinations,” said SMG Regional General Manager Craig M. Liston. “Battelle Grand is truly a unique space providing a setting and flexibility second to none.” A luncheon and gala dinner for clients, local dignitaries and media officially dedicated Battelle Grand. The evening featured a multi-course gourmet dinner prepared by exclusive caterer ARAMARK. A full evening of entertainment, including Irish dancers, Broadway singer Kevin McGuire and aerialists from AntiGravity, illustrated the capabilities of the theatrical staging and specialization of the LED ceiling lighting possible within this magnificent new ballroom.

The abundant size of Battelle Grand is further enhanced by the attractive carpeting and deluxe wall treatments, blackout curtains and sunshades, floor-pocket power and data sources to support trade shows, built-in concession areas and a variety of seating options. In addition to Battelle Grand, the renovation also involved creation of a newly decorated Center Lounge gathering space within the Food Court & Shops area, the upscale 36 on the Boulevard window-lined meeting room, additional meeting rooms, new elevators, escalators, carpeting and furnishings throughout the facility.

“We’re thrilled at the rave reviews Battelle Grand is receiving from our clients, the hospitality community and the media,” said Liston. “The Greater Columbus Convention Center also offers guests the SMG Total Services System standards they have come to expect. In addition, construction will begin this summer on the 532-room Hilton Columbus Downtown across the street that will be connected to our facility by covered walkway.” The Greater Columbus Convention Center, located in downtown Columbus, hosted an estimated 2.5 million visitors in 2009. The facility is owned by the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority and is managed by Philadelphia-based SMG.