As Devin James sought to expand his portfolio of businesses (www.devinjamesgroup.com), the native of Memphis, Tennessee, saw St. Louis as a larger, more centralized base in which to build up his clientele. "Louisville, Indianapolis, Chicago, and Kansas City are all just a drive or quick plane ride away," explains the 28-year-old entrepreneur, whose companies focus on marketing, public relations, and brand and product development. James, who used Linkedin to connect with civic and industry leaders throughout the region, quickly learned that the Gateway to the West, a growing hub for biotech research and headquarters to 19 major firms, would also be supportive of his entrepreneurial efforts.
"I found the business community very welcoming to new faces and new ideas," he says. "They aren't afraid to roll up their sleeves and help you along. It's not a big city, but it has a lot of big-city offerings--a public rail system, three pro teams, museums, and rich architectural beauty. And it's a very pretty city."
HERE'S A ROUNDUP OF CITY HIGHLIGHTS:
Moonrise Hotel (6177 Delmar in the Loop; 314-721-1111; www.moonrisehotel.com) is perfect for business and leisure travelers and has a rooftop terrace. Its Eclipse restaurant is rated one of the best in the city, and the hotel is centrally located in the Loop, St. Louis' charming shopping district. [4,5]
Crowne plaza St. Louis--Downtown (200 N. Fourth St.; 314-621-8200; www. ichotelsgoup.com) provides 16,000 square feet of meeting room space including the Promenade Deck. Guest rooms are spacious, and dining options include the...