February 2012

Happenings - Northern Ohio

Cleveland Museum of Art


  • Cleveland Medical Mart and Convention Center (216.920.1430; is on track to open downtown in 2013. The Medical Mart will be the world’s only facility targeted to the medical and health care industries, and the adjoining convention center will boast 230,000 square feet of exhibit hall space. The $465 million venue will also feature 60,000 square feet of meeting rooms and a 30,000-square-foot grand ballroom with views of Lake Erie.
  • The Crowne Plaza Cleveland City Centre closed in November 2011 and is rescheduled to reopen as the Westin Cleveland Convention Center Hotel (800.937.8461; in July 2013 after a $64 million renovation that includes guest room upgrades. The property will have more than 25,000 square feet of meeting space, a restaurant with outdoor dining space, a business center, a fitness center and a spa.
  • By spring 2013, the new Starwood Aloft (877.462.5638; boutique hotel downtown will anchor a $275 million development project connecting the East Bank of the Flats with the Warehouse District. The Flats East Bank (216.514.8700; waterfront district will feature retail and entertainment options, a 1,200-foot boardwalk, a riverfront beach and 10 acres of public parks.
  • The $350 million Cleveland Horseshoe Casino ( is scheduled to complete its first phase, located in the historic Higbee Building on Public Square, in June, and the second phase of the casino is slated for completion in 2013 on the banks of the Cuyahoga River.
  • The International Exposition Center, or I-X Center (216.676.6000;, announced plans in 2011 to invest $25 million to $30 million over the next few years to upgrade visitor amenities, and improve traffic flow and parking.
  • The 70,000-square-foot Greater Cleveland Aquarium (216.862.8803; celebrated its grand opening in January. The aquarium has spaces to rent for gatherings, and the entire aquarium is available for buyouts.
  • Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art (216.421.8671; broke ground on a new 34,000-square-foot, four-story home that is scheduled to open in fall 2012.
  • The Cleveland Museum of Art (216.421.7350; continues its progress on a massive makeover due for completion in 2013. More than 900 pieces are back on display in 16,000 square feet of renovated space. Yet to come is the completion of two more wings, the build-out of neighboring restaurants and shopping spaces, and the opening of a hands-on interactive Lifelong Learning Center in the fall of 2012.


  • The Pro Football Hall of Fame (330.456.8207; is undergoing a multimillion-dollar “Future 50” expansion and renovation to better preserve and present its ever-growing collection of artifacts and documents by expanding from 83,000 square feet to 115,000 square feet. Completion is expected in 2013 to coincide with the Hall of Fame’s 50th anniversary.
  • Gervasi Vineyard added an event center, the Villa Grande Conference and Event Facility (330.497.1000;, in November.

Lake Erie & The Shores

  • The Kalahari Convention Center opened at Sandusky, Ohio-based Kalahari Resort (419.433.7759; in January after a $22 million expansion that more than doubled the size of the resort’s meeting facilities to 215,000 square feet. The 120,000-square-foot addition features a 38,000-square-foot ballroom/expo center, a 12,000-square-foot junior ballroom, 14 new meeting rooms, 30,000 square feet of prefunction space and audiovisual capabilities. Also at Kalahari Resort, the Nyumba Entertainment Villas opened in late 2011. These two-level standalone buildings have five bedrooms, four bathrooms, a living room, a recreation room and a six-person hot tub.
  • The Tri-Motor Heritage Museum (419.366.0950; is set to open during this summer at the Erie-Ottawa Regional Airport in Port Clinton. The museum is dedicated to the history of Ford Tri-Motor aircraft and will house historic displays, a fully restored vintage 1950s diner and the ongoing restoration of Ford Tri-Motor 5-AT-40, which will offer sightseeing flights over the Lake Erie islands region.


  • The Toledo Hollywood Casino (419.661.5200; is currently under construction and is set to open in spring with a 125,000-square-foot gaming floor featuring up to 2,000 of the newest slot machines, 60 table games and four restaurants.


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