For a small community, Grandview Heights offers a surprising number of spaces for meetings and events.
"People don't necessarily think of Grandview as a site for their events, but that's changing," said Brian Cheek, executive director of Destination Grandview, the city's convention and visitors bureau.
A key was the opening of the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel and the Grand Event Center at Grandview Yard, he said.
"All of the activity that's happening at the Yard is putting the spotlight on Grandview as a destination for event planners," Cheek said.
Destination Grandview has created an event-space document on its website that offers a list of most of the event spaces in the Grandview area along with the square feet and capacity at each site.
"The target market for the document is meetings and event planners or anyone who is looking to put together an event," Cheek said. "We have spaces in town that are ideal for a company's team-building event or a wedding reception -- you name it."
Plenty of space
The document lists 14 meeting- and event-space sites, ranging in total capacity from 38 to 585 and in square footage from 800 to 7,600.
Five more event spaces have opened in recent months and will be added to the document, Cheek said.
The new spaces include Hip Hues, a studio at 1068 Goodale Blvd. that hosts private events and parties that incorporate screen-printing activities; and Versa, a co-working space at 1201 Dublin Road.
Versa opened in January and will open a second location in the Arena District in September.
It offers both co-working space for small businesses and self-employed individuals and eight meeting and conference rooms with capacities ranging from four to 70 people, said Oliver Coffey, Versa's director of shared knowledge.
"We have 'huddle' rooms that can hold small meetings for three or four people, typical boardrooms with one long table, and more flexible space that we can reconfigure in a variety of ways that best suits the event or meeting," Coffey said.
About a year ago, the 1400 Food Lab in Marble Cliff redesigned its event space and put an increased emphasis on hosting events.
"Our events serve as an extension to our primary mission of promoting and growing innovative food entrepreneurship," said Christine Hawkes, the food lab's private-events coordinator.
"If someone wants to have an event here, we have more than 100 different food-makers that can provide food for the event," she said.
"Part of my job is to be a matchmaker and connect the right culinary experience that fits the event someone is planning."
Along with its gathering room, which can hold 56 people for a seated event and 65 to 70 for a reception, 1400 Food Lab also offers space in its cookbook library and access to the food trucks that are parked at the facility when they are not in use.
"Lately, we've had a lot of conference groups and corporate team-building activities," Hawkes said, "but we also host our share of rehearsal dinners and bachelorette parties.
"We can do everything from setting up cooking lessons with a chef to "Chopped"-style challenges like you see on the Food Network where people get a mystery basket of ingredients and create a recipe using those ingredients," she said.
Events also can offer guests a chance to hop onto one of the food trucks and design their own product and how they would market and sell it, Hawkes said.
"Food is the component that can add something different to a meeting or private event," she said.
The Grand Event Center at Grandview Yard opened in 2016 and has gained a reputation as a top venue for meetings, conferences and special events in the community.
"The type of events we host run the gamut," said Michael Holtzleiter, general manager of the Grand Event Center and the adjacent Courtyard by Marriott Columbus OSU Hotel.
During the week, the center provides space for meetings and conferences held by companies and organizations, he said.
"On the weekends, we're heavy on social gatherings," Holtzleiter said.
"Things like weddings receptions, retirement parties, bar mitzvahs, graduation parties -- we're booked at least 40 weekends a year."
The Grand Event Center offers more than 6,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including a ballroom with nearly 4,000 square feet available.
The Scioto Room's 1,670 square feet can be used as one large meeting space or divided into up to three separate smaller rooms.
"We'll have companies or groups that will hold their main session in the ballroom and then they're able to hold breakout sessions in the Scioto Room," Holtzleiter said.
The adjacent Courtyard by Marriott has a room offering about 500 square feet of space for meetings and activities.
"Often, when we have a wedding reception being held at the event center, the space at the hotel will be used as a dressing room for the bride and bridesmaids," Holtzleiter said.
Grandview's location serves it well as an event destination, Cheek said.
"We have easy access to Ohio State, downtown and the interstates," he said. "Grandview's a very walkable community with great restaurants, outdoor amenities and all that Grandview Yard offers.
"It offers a lot of great things to do and places to eat for people who are attending a conference or event and are staying overnight at one of the hotels," he said.
Grandview's location was one of the major reasons Versa selected the Dublin Road site for its first outlet, Coffey said.
There's less hassle holding an event in the Grandview area compared to downtown, Hawkes said.
"One of the things people like is that we can offer free and easy parking and that's not always easy to find downtown," she said.
Grandview is a grand location for the event center, Holtzleiter said.
"We take advantage of the power of proximity," he said. "Our location puts us so close to downtown and OSU, but you're not in the middle of all the hustle and bustle of downtown and campus."
Visitors can enjoy a wealth of options for dining and shopping before and after events both at Grandview Yard and along Grandview Avenue, Holtzleiter said.