Atlanta is known for its intown neighborhoods, each with its own personality and unique vibe. A common thread that unites the communities is Atlanta BeltLine, a former railway corridor turned pedestrian path around the core of the city.
The BeltLine, one of the largest transportation projects in Atlanta’s history and one of the most ambitious sustainable redevelopment projects taking place in the United States right now, has transformed the landscape of the city. As of today, Atlanta BeltLine comprises 22 miles of unused railroad tracks circling 45 of the city’s in-town neighborhoods. By the time the BeltLine is complete in 2030, it will provide a 33-mile network of multi-use trails and walkways, open green space, and restored parks, as well as access to outdoor art installations, restaurants and breweries, and art galleries and shopping, to locals and visitors alike. The BeltLine shouldn’t have any problem living up to its slogan, “Where Atlanta Comes Together.”
Atlanta’s BeltLine Bolsters Its Meetings and Events
Atlanta’s central location, easy access to air and ground transportation, and robust hospitality and convention infrastructure has long made it a top U.S. destination for meetings and events. For the fourth year in a row, Atlanta has been named one of the top five leading meetings destinations in the United States, ranking No. 4 on Cvent’s list of the top 50 cities for meetings and events for 2019.
“Meeting planners are often looking for something unique as their attendees have met in various destinations across the globe. People want options, and Atlanta BeltLine delivers,” said Charlene Lopez, director of citywide sales at Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau. The desire for authentic connection and engaging in local, communal experiences has grown even stronger as millennials and Gen Zers — who want to play an active role in the event rather than be a passive listener — attend meetings and events for work in growing numbers. “Because the path is so close to Downtown’s convention and entertainment district where most large meetings and events take place, attendees can really have a full array of diverse experiences,” Lopez continued.
The BeltLine offers meeting planners and attendees an immersive experience that showcases Atlanta’s local flavor. Some highlights include The Eastside Trail — the first section completed — which connects several of Atlanta’s in-town neighborhoods like Reynoldstown, Inman Park, and Old Fourth Ward, integrating newly renovated green spaces and improving walkability throughout the city.
Mixed-use developments are scattered along the BeltLine as well, providing attendees with an array of entertainment and dining options as they explore Atlanta. Ponce City Market, housed in the fully-renovated 1925 Sears, Roebuck & Company building situated between Atlanta’s in-town neighborhoods, connects directly to the BeltLine. The urban market features a food hall, retail and shopping, living and co-working spaces, as well as RFD Social, a large gathering space located inside The Roof at Ponce City Market on the 10th, 11th, and 12th floors of the tower. RFD Social is home to a >collection of bars, lounges, and a truly unique meeting and event space, designed to preserve the tower’s 1920s vintage feel and history.
Farther south is Krog Street Market, a 1920s warehouse converted to shops, stalls, and restaurants. Atlanta BeltLine’s Westside Trail is home to the Lee + White development, formerly known as Warehouse Row. Once a transportation and logistics hub, it now offers dining and breweries steps away from the loop.
Those that want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of Atlanta’s entertainment, food, and drink scene might be pleasantly surprised to find 22-acre Centennial Olympic Park in the heart of Downtown, and Piedmont Park just steps away from hotels in Midtown. Historic Fourth Ward Park also has vast skyline views and space large enough to host a variety of events from concerts and festivals to outdoor yoga classes and recreational sports.
How the BeltLine Has Redefined Group Dining in Atlanta
The BeltLine provides meeting attendees easy access to some of Atlanta’s best food and drink offerings, showcasing the city’s blend of Southern hospitality and forward-thinking culinary innovation. Most venues can host a variety of groups ranging in sizes and complete buyouts for meeting planners organizing event-related meals.
“Because restaurants and venues are connected by the loop, it’s a great layout for planners looking to organize a dine around or walking progressive dinner,” said Kristin Delahunt, vice president, convention services at Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Some of Atlanta’s most popular microbreweries are situated on the BeltLine and double as excellent locations for large, private events. On the Eastside Trail, Ponce City Market provides a variety of restaurants and retail in one location, with many of the shops offering team-building events for groups,” she continued. Most of these dining options are also close to the convention and entertainment district, making them an appealing option for meeting planners that want a genuine Atlanta experience without having to venture far.
The restaurant and retail development will continue to expand through more sections of the BeltLine over the next several years, offering local business owners visible and high-traffic locations to grow while infusing the neighborhoods with homegrown dining and retail options. “The BeltLine has become a staple in how our team promotes the city and creates destination appeal for convention attendees,” said Delahunt. “The communities around the path have become their own destinations within Atlanta, offering attendees a wider variety of experiences than ever before.”
Still welcoming. Still Atlanta. In the last few weeks, we have started cautiously reopening while introducing health and safety methods. We’re open for you to join us here in Atlanta safely and we will also continue to provide our services virtually. Contact a member of our sales team to plan your next meeting.