Downtown Concierge

Experience Columbus Announces EXPY Awards


In the Media


Experience Columbus

Experience Columbus will present three EXPY Awards at the organization's annual event on Tuesday, March 6. Celebrating its 10-year anniversary during the city's bicentennial year, the EXPY Awards program recognizes outstanding contributions by businesses, organizations or individuals whose creativity and innovation have created a vibrant and distinctive Columbus experience for visitors and residents and have propelled Columbus into the national spotlight.

This year's recipients are Dine Originals Columbus for helping make Columbus a nationally recognized "foodie" capital, the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation for the two beautiful downtown parks Columbus Commons and Scioto Mile and the Short North Business Association for Gallery Hop and HighBall. "These three incredible organizations truly represent the Best of US," said Paul Astleford, president and CEO of Experience Columbus. "They epitomize the hard work, collaborative spirit and creative vision that significantly impacts Greater Columbus' image appeal as a destination."

The EXPY Awards will be presented during the annual Experience Columbus event held March 6 from noon - 1:15 p.m. in the Battelle Grand ballroom at the Greater Columbus Convention Center at 400 N. High St. A networking reception before the program starts at 11:15 a.m. The event is open to the public with tickets ranging from $60-$90 per person, available at The theme for this year's luncheon showcase plays off of the fact that as Columbus marks the city's 200th birthday, the rest of the nation is talking about us. Attendees will experience firsthand why the city is trending at the top of lists for the country's best food, tourism, shopping, arts, sports, attractions and more.

Dine Originals Columbus | The Flavor of Independence is Bold and Distinct
Dine Originals Columbus is dedicated to creating remarkable experiences for visitors by enriching the identity and culture of Columbus. Launched nine years ago, this collection of 50 locally owned restaurant members strategically showcase and promote Columbus as a premier dining destination while also nurturing the local community through various initiatives and philanthropies.

Foodie tourists make their travel plans with the expectation of enjoying specific culinary experiences. Dining in a locally owned restaurant and enjoying an authentic serving of hospitality matters to a significant percentage of the 10 million overnight visitors Central Ohio hosts each year. Dine Originals restaurants help foster a more distinctive and independent dining scene in Columbus.

As more visitors bring their spending into Greater Columbus, local businesses prosper, incomes increase and the standard of living rises. This is why Dine Originals declares it is strengthening the Columbus economy one bite at a time.

Columbus Downtown Development Corporation | Gorgeous Green Space in the Heart of Downtown

Downtowns play a crucial role in the economic health of a city. A vibrant downtown stimulates economic and business activity in the area and attracts visitors. Developing green, livable space adds to Columbus' downtown vitality.

A public-private partnership, led by the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation and with the City of Columbus and Franklin County, has resulted in the beautiful new Scioto Mile and Columbus Commons. In their inaugural season, these two new parks welcomed hundreds of thousands of people.

Scioto Mile stretches along the city's riverfront and features a spectacular interactive fountain destined to become one of the city's iconic images. Whether it's to bring the kids to play, enjoy local fare at Milestone 229, take in a free concert or enjoy a romantic stroll along the Promenade, this green corridor enhances Columbus' downtown experience for visitors and residents.
The Columbus Commons is 9 acres of green space located in the heart of downtown. A true common area for the entire community, the park features a hand-carved Carousel and the new Columbus Bicentennial Pavilion, which will become the summer home of The Columbus Symphony's Picnic with the Pops series and features ongoing, family-friendly free programming.

Short North Business Association | Pioneering the Urban Revitalization of Central Ohio

Known as Columbus' "art and soul," the culturally rich Short North Arts District with its restaurants, shops, boutiques, galleries and pubs is a phenomenal draw for leisure visitors and convention attendees alike.

Gallery Hop, now in its 27th year, is every first Saturday of the month and brings thousands of visitors to the galleries and shops of the Short North. On a typical Hop, more than 40 galleries and venues spotlight the best of established and emerging Ohio-based and nationally and internationally acclaimed artists.

In just four short years, HighBall has become one of the most talked about and highly anticipated events in the Midwest. The key to its success has been its focus on "celebrating the art of design." The signature of HighBall is a dramatic runway/stage built on the street under the iconic Short North arches. It's a cross between Carnivale and Mardi Gras with a pinch of Halloween and a healthy splash of Short North spirit.

About the EXPY Awards

The Experience Columbus EXPY Awards program recognizes outstanding contributions by businesses, organizations or individuals whose creativity and innovation have created a vibrant and distinctive Columbus experience for visitors and residents and have propelled Columbus into the national spotlight.
Award recipients must deliver an exceptional experience for visitors by creating a more attractive environment, providing improved access to amenities, or delivering unparalleled service to a meeting, convention or group.

Nominations are accepted from the public and reviewed by an executive advisory committee comprised of Experience Columbus staff and members of its board of directors. EXPY Awards are presented at the annual Experience Columbus event. Honorees over the past decade include Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, COSI, German Village, City of Dublin, the Arnold Sports Festival, Columbus Crew, Huntington Park, Pelotonia and the Columbus Museum of Art among many others.

As the convention and visitors bureau for Ohio's capital city, Experience Columbus' mission is to sell, market and promote the Destination Columbus experience to visitors. For more information about all Columbus has to offer as a destination for leisure visitors, meetings, conventions and trade shows, go to or call 866-397-2657.