Richmond, BC

Where East Meets Canadian West Coast for Business

Richmond, BC

Where East Meets Canadian West Coast for Business

Located next to the Fraser River, the Richmond Oval is home to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics for speed skating, and this venue is available for community and group events. Check out the view of the Olympic ice from one of Richmond Oval’s group function spaces — including the unique wood wave roof made of local pine bettle kill wood — a great sustainability choice.

If you thought that Richmond, Canada, simply served as the suburban airport hub for Vancouver, you’re missing the beauty of this slice of British Columbia located at the mouth of the Fraser River. Richmond is actually quite convenient for business meetings and events.

Beyond its obvious suburban appeal, Richmond is rich in cultural and community activities. And the historic fishing village of Steveston – just 10 minutes from the downtown area – is a quaint area that offers several blocks of locally owned shops and unique items … not to mention that it’s the departure point for whale watching tours. Richmond offers a full range of outdoor activities.

Home to the Richmond Olympic Oval for speed skating in the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, Richmond is refurbishing and expanding. Those from the Northwest U.S. and western Canada have historically chosen Richmond for international business travel within North America, but Richmond is quickly becoming known a cost-effective, international business destination among airport cities.

Richmond Canada Hotels

Richmond hotels have been renovating themselves so that they may be ready to meet the demand associated with the Winter 2010 Games and beyond. With 25 hotels and a total of 4,500 guest rooms, Richmond is seen as an affordable destination to host small to mid-sized meetings and events (600 people and fewer). At the same time, Richmond hotels are definitely positioning themselves to draw more meetings and events. Three business travel hotels in Richmond include:

  • River Rock Casino Resort
  • Marriott Vancouver Airport
  • Delta Vancouver Airport Hotel

TBD Indoor Racing in Richmond, BC, Canada offers an indoor kart racing track that’s definitely a unique activity for team building (custom group packages and meeting options available). I came in third place against the other drivers.

Richmond Canada Activities

Whether you’re looking to organize a meeting at an airport hotel or wanting to host a meeting that incorporates elements of team building activities or spousal programs, Richmond definitely offers some unique options. Richmond activities include whale watching adventures, fishing, hiking and biking trails, golfing, restaurants, museums and plenty of cultural heritage sites. Other Richmond activities include afternoon tea at London Heritage Farm and indoor go-cart racing at TBD Indoor Racing. Three Richmond activities for business travel include:

  • Vancouver Whale Watch
  • Brittania Shipyard National Historic Site
  • Shopping in Steveston

Richmond Canada Restaurants

It is said that Richmond offers the best Asian cuisine outside of the mainland because of its large Asian population. And it’s probably true: you’ll find Cantonese, Szechuan, Shanghainese, Taiwainese to Northern China and South Pacific. But Richmond also offers a range of other dining experiences, from its fresh seafood taken directly from the wharf in Steveston to other multi-ethnic options. For those interested in business travel to Richmond, consider these three options:

  • Papi’s Ristorante Italiano (Steveston)
  • Shanghai River Restaurant
  • UBC Boathouse (private events only)

Richmond Canada Information

Richmond is growing in population and popularity. About 185,000 people live in Richmond as of 2007, but this is projected to grow to 226,000 by 2021. Richmond’s recreation and culture contribute to this growth, where the people have a life expectancy of 83.4 years – higher than Japan, the top of country according to rankings by World Health Organizations (WHO). Other information about Richmond that may be useful to know includes:

  • The Golden Village is Richmond’s unique Asian shopping mall.
  • The International Buddhist Society is the largest temple in North America.
  • The Olympic Oval for the 2010 Winter Games.

Note: Citizens of the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Bermuda or the Caribbean are required to present a valid passport when entering the United States at any airport.

Photos: (c) 2009 RH Communications, Inc. / Rob Hard

Rob is editor of Business Travel Destinations. He reviews international destinations for meetings and events -- where business travelers go, the hotels where they stay and their lifestyle preferences on the road. Rob was previously the event planning guide for About.com (owned by The New York Times Company) from 2007 - 2011. His articles also appear in business travel publications and travel sites internationally.