While the name Allentown is widely known thanks to Billy Joel’s hit song about the city, many don’t realize what a gem this Pennsylvania city truly is.
After all, Joel’s anthem about Blue Collar America was based on Allentown in the wake of Bethlehem Steel’s decline and eventual closure, and the Lehigh Valley city has rebounded and prospered in the decades since thanks to signifi cant growth in the health care, transportation and warehousing industries.
Today, Allentown is the third largest city in the state and Fortune recently named it as one of the top five up-and-coming cities. It’s no wonder that meeting planners on the East Coast are taking advantage of the beautiful locale.
The Allentown Park Hotel offers both a 288-square-foot boardroom and a 573-square-foot conference room available for meetings. The hotel is known not only for the quality of service the guests get while their meeting or event is taking place, but what happens afterwards. “After discovering hidden treasures and the local flavor of Allentown, you will be ready to relax with a wide variety of amenities,” says Kayla Farley, sales coordinator. “The staff pays attention to the little things—they can make an ordinary stay into an extraordinary one.” The hotel provides all modern technology, complimentary Wi-Fi, as well as all basic meeting needs and work with several unique local catering services that can accommodate any needs.
Hilton Garden Inn Allentown Bethlehem Airport prides itself on offering businesses several great options suited for corporate meetings, accommodating as many as 70 attendees. Meygan Young, area director of sales, says its Meetings Simplified by Hilton Garden Inn program includes use of a meeting room; a flip chart and markers; an LCD projector; all-day, nonalcoholic beverage service; free Wi-Fi; and lunch and dinner options. “We have bright, spacious meeting rooms that are ideal for any key corporate meeting,” she says. The hotel is located minutes away from the Lehigh Valley International Airport.
With 13 event rooms, six breakout rooms and nearly 18,000 square feet of meeting and event space, Renaissance Allentown Hotel can accommodate groups of up to 400 people. The ballroom on the fifth floor has floor-toceiling windows, providing lots of natural light. It also has a 1,600-square-foot balcony that overlooks the Lehigh Valley, and event and meeting participants enjoy using the space. “We also have five different meeting rooms on our third floor that is very flexible with air walls,” says Paul T. Sharp, director of sales and marketing.
The cuisine of Grille 3501 is a unique blend of Asian, French and Mediterranean served with warm hospitality. “We have a great variety of offerings but some of our house favorites would certainly be our crispy chicken dumplings accompanied by a cucumber jicama slaw and sweet soy sauce,” says Mandi O’Brien, event manager. Private events can be hosted here for up to 120 guests, making it an ideal spot to host a variety of events for people visiting Allentown on business. “We have an A/V package that includes screen and projector rental,” O’Brien says. “We are also able to be flexible on menu selections, to cater to not only specific budgets but menu requests as well.”
The Hamilton Kitchen and Bar prides itself on its vast bourbon selection, as well as its multipurpose private event space. “We host functions from 10 to 200. These range from pharmaceutical dinners to business luncheons and more,” says Dave Adams, director of operations. “We have A/V equipment available, and customize party packages to meet our guests’ specific tastes and budgets.”
Fegley’s Brew Works is known for local craft-made brews, food made with the freshest ingredients sourced from local, organic or sustainable items, as well as being a familyrun and independent brewery and restaurant since 1998. “Our signature dishes include items made with our in-house beers: Bavarian pretzels with beer and cheese soup, BREWschetta and our Brewer’s grain-fed burger,” says Jacqueline Svrcek, banquet sales director. The restaurant offers four banqueting floors and can host receptions and events for up to 240 guests. “All of our rooms are wired for sound, lights on dimmers, and three of the rooms have mounted ceiling projectors and screens for video or photo capabilities,” Svrcek says.
For those attending meetings or events in the area, there is plenty to do during downtime. The Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley has more than 17,000 works of art, representing about 2,000 years of cultural heritage in an accessible, visitor-friendly environment. “For more than 75 years, the Allentown Art Museum has been a place where inspiration is born and lifelong memories are made,” says Kaitie Burger, communication manager for Discover Lehigh Valley.
In the evening, check out the Pines Dinner Theatre for some fabulous food, spectacular shows and a unique down-home, country-casual atmosphere. “We also have private space to host business meetings and gatherings,” says Oliver Blatt, partner. It can accommodate 120 for corporate meetings.
The Mack Trucks Historical Museum has a great collection of antique Mack truck models that museum curator Doug Maney calls “a great way to see history.” Tours are available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.