Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love has a lot to brag about with new hotels, a new museum and a steady stream of tourists. “We have lots of returning visitors,” says Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of Visit Philadelphia. “Everybody wants to be in Philadelphia.” What’s making Philly so irresistible, and how can planners jump on the bandwagon? Take a look.
The city’s newest attraction is the Museum of the American Revolution, located near historic icons like the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. Opened in April 2017, the museum details the history of the war from the early days of unrest in Boston to the creation of the republic. The museum’s theater accommodates 190 people and is outfitted with three digital projectors and surround sound for lectures, meetings or presentations. The museum also includes a 5,000-sq.-ft. special exhibits gallery, which can be rented for event programming; and Liberty Hall, which can accommodate 180 for a seated dinner and has an outdoor terrace.
Groups can take advantage of WeWork, which opened its fourth Philadelphia location in Center City in February. Located on the top floor at 1900 Market Street, the downtown 56,000-sq.-ft. venue has 2,200 square feet of meeting space configurable for a 150-person reception or a 70-person seated dinner. You’ll also find amenities like self-serve beer taps, a game room and a koi pond.
Reading Terminal Market
Philly’s famous Reading Terminal Market welcomes 6 million visitors per year. Arrange a food tour focusing on local delights like cheesesteaks, pretzels and hoagies. Planners can also host events in the market’s Rick Nichols Room, which holds up to 48 for a lunch buffet (with catering options on-site) or up to 60 for a lecture.
Hotel Options Galore
The Logan, part of the Curio Collection by Hilton, is the new incarnation of Philly’s former Four Seasons Hotel. With 40 more guest rooms than its previous iteration, The Logan has 391 rooms, 20 meeting rooms, 12,000 square feet of indoor meeting space and 6,300 square feet of outdoor space. The hotel’s new Stenton Ballroom is a cozy space for dinners with a roaring fireplace and views of the iconic Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Another hotel option is The Inn at Villanova University, which reopened in July 2017 after renovation and has 56 guest rooms, 14 meeting rooms and a 5,000-sq.-ft. ballroom. New Four Seasons, Aloft, Cambria, W and Element hotels will open in 2018 and 2019.
Craft Brew Scene
One of the newest craft breweries in the city is Roy-Pitz Barrel House, opened in summer 2017. It doubles as a 5,000-sq.-ft. event space for up to 150 guests for cocktail hour and includes four large-screen TVs that can be used during an event. Menu standouts include hand-cut fries, Bavarian-style soft pretzels and burgers.