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November 15, 2016

New Hyatt Regency, Convention Center Expansion to Boost Seattle's MICE Scene

International Meetings Review

Adam Leposa

From a big new hotel development to a proposed expansion to the Washington State Convention Center (WSCC), Seattle's meetings and events sector is poised to expand.

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced plans for a new Hyatt Regency hotel in Seattle's downtown area that will bring over 100,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space to the city. The 1,260-room property will be in the Denny Triangle neighborhood at 8th and 9th Avenues between Stewart and Howell Streets, and it will also have multiple food and beverage outlets and a Regency Club lounge.

Also nearby will be Pike Place Market, the Space Needle and the Seattle Aquarium, the city's Capitol Hill and Lake Union neighborhoods, and, importantly, the WSCC, which is currently gearing up for a proposed expansion of its own.

According to the latest timeline on the WSCC website, the project is aiming for the start of construction to happen in 2017, with a projected 2020 opening. The project will transform the equivalent of three blocks of mixed commercial zone land into a new facility that will add 250,000 square feet of exhibition space, 125,000 square feet of meeting rooms and 60,000 square feet of ballroom space to the WSCC's existing spaces. The new areas will be spread across several levels, with a modular approach aiming to support a wide variety of event types.

In all, four new hotels were completed in Seattle's tri-county area in 2014, with another eight opening in 2015 and eight more expected to open in 2016, according to a report by Kidder Mathews. Hotels proposed or under development include properties in the city's central business district, South Lake Union, Northgate and the University District.

The Palladian, a Kimpton Hotel, for example, opened in February 2015, with a Staybridge Suites in Fremont/Wallingford, the Hyatt House Space Needle and a Hilton Garden Inn also opening that year. Currently under construction are an SLS Hotel at 5th and Columbia, a Thompson Hotel at 1st and Stewart, and an Embassy Suites north of CenturyLink Field.

Keep visiting for the latest meetings and events industry news, trends and updates.

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