Through the Eyes of a BCC Event Coordinator

From the desk of Annie Walbridge, Event Coordinator at the Bayfront Convention Center:

There is a lot more to this job than meets the eye. Besides recommending event space and dining options, we need to be aware of all of the best parts of Erie to suggest. I figured I would share my love for Erie as a whole and what all it has to over from the Convention Center’s side of it!

As a born-and-raised Erie girl, I am proud to live in Erie, PA and passionate about the great developments Erie has to offer. A lot of these have come about in recent years, and so even a local Erie-ite may not know what they have at their own front door! The city has completed many successful projects throughout the years as well has embarked on some very exciting upcoming ones. Whoever coined the hashtag #ItsOkToLoveErie had the right idea, by promoting the love for this city rather than focusing on its imperfections and struggles.

The new Courtyard Marriott Hotel, which is connected to the Convention Center, opened last summer and has the most spectacular views of our beautiful Presque Isle Bay. Since the opening of this hotel, we have been able to bring in more conventions than ever before. A recent article from The Guardian states, “research has found that “blue space” including sea, rivers, lakes and even urban features can have a positive impact on wellbeing.” That is exactly what you get with the infinity pool and floor-to-ceiling windows with a view of Lake Erie offered by this hotel!

I am lucky to be able to see views of Lake Erie every day at work. In having this opportunity, I also get to see how many people use these views as part of their daily activities. I see bikers, fishermen, walkers, runners, boaters, dog walkers, wildlife and more. It’s so great to see people taking advantage of the beautiful scenery our Bayfront offers, whether it’s winter or summer.

Groups that come to Erie for an event, such as a convention or trade show, often ask what else there is to do here. We suggest the 3,112 acre Presque Isle State Park, boasting 13 miles of recreational trails. We recommend the many different restaurants with bars and outdoor seating, such as the Sheraton Bayfront Grille, Courtyard Shoreline Bar and Grille, the Cove, Smugglers Wharf and Rum Runners. We refer them to the Victorian Princess, which is a paddle boat that offers dinner cruises, private tours and more! Erie also has a Presque Isle Water Taxi. You’re able to travel across Presque Isle Bay with stops to Dobbins Landing, Liberty Park and Waterworks at Presque Isle State park. The list goes on and on!

With Erie’s upcoming projects, including the development of Bayfront Place, I am excited to see how the future evolves in our city. As someone who is surrounded by the best that Erie has to offer on a daily basis, I see such great potential for our city and I know this is not the end for Erie, it is just the beginning of many new adventures!

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