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The Center recognized as Kentucky’s top convention and meeting facility

By: Sharon Dodson, The Center for Rural Development
By: Sharon Dodson, The Center for Rural Development

The Center for Rural Development has been recognized as Kentucky’s top convention and meeting facility by a statewide hospitality trade publication.

The Center, located in Somerset, Ky., was the recipient of one of five 2009 Blue Plate Awards presented by PREP Magazine, a leading publication for food and hospitality industries in Kentucky and sister publication of The Lane Report.

The Center’s winning of the “Conventions and Meetings Award” was in recognition of the organization having a top-rated meeting and convention facility that is improving the quality of life for residents in its 42-county primary service area of Southern and Eastern Kentucky, according to Meredith Lane, editor of PREP Magazine.

“We are extremely proud to accept this award, which recognizes The Center as being one of the premier convention and meeting venues in Kentucky,” Laura Glover, director of sales and events for The Center, said. “Whether it’s a small, elegant family gathering, informative business meeting, or a large-scale banquet or event with thousands of guests, The Center and our expert events staff has the capability to meet most any need.”

With 26,000 square feet of functional event space, The Center is the largest full-service meeting and convention venue located between Lexington, Ky. and Knoxville, Tn. The facility houses five 600-square-feet ballrooms, featuring fold-out panels which can be customized for either individual break-out meeting rooms or one overall 3,000 square-foot meeting space; two spacious exhibit halls with a combined size of 23,160 square feet; and a state-of-the-art, 760-seat performance arts theatre.

In January, The Center opened a new full-service commercial kitchen stocked with the latest appliances and accessories on the market for on-site food preparation.

The new kitchen, located on the east side of the facility near The Center’s large spacious exhibit halls and ballroom meeting rooms, will allow food preparers to serve hot-plate meals for 500-plus guests at events and programs.

The Blue Plate Awards, presented annually by PREP Magazine, recognize leaders in the food service, lodging, tourism and attractions industries in Kentucky.

Others 2009 recipients included Theatre Square Marketplace, Louisville, Restaurant Award; School Restaurant, Lexington, New Technology Award; Equus Run Vineyards, Midway, Promotion Award; and 21c Museum Hotel, Louisville, Lodging Award.

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