Tourism and accommodation services are growing industries worldwide and within Northeast Ohio. With just under 2,000 hotel rooms, Independence is already an important regional node for hotels and accommodation services. Most of this accommodation demand is driven by regional business tourism, including overnight stays generated by downtown Cleveland convention business.
Nestled against the scenic Cuyahoga River valley, Independence offers access to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad and other regional attractions. The Cuyahoga Valley National Park is the 7th most-visited national park in the United States, with over 1.5 million visitors (and increasing). This attendance represents a large potential audience and market for visitor attractions, tourism services, accommodation, retail, entertainment and other economic activity within Independence.
Opportunities have been identified for the City to build on this existing base and also expand its share of the leisure tourism industry. The primary growth industries within the tourism cluster include the following:
- Lodging (721). The City can build on its existing base of accommodation services by attracting a more diversified mix of lodging facilities.
- Food Services & Drinking Places (722). There are opportunities for more restaurants and eating and drinking places, as well as food service operations that serve a broader regional market.
- Meetings, Events and Conferencing (5612, 5615, 5619). Because of its central location, proximity to the business base, and excellent transportation accessibility, Independence is competitive as a location for meetings, events and conferencing. The MICE (meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibition) industry is growing and through its services offers opportunities in return to attract business.
For more information about how your company can explore opportunities in Independence, contact the Economic Development Department at 216.524.4131.