30 years ago, Columbia Missouri’s population was 69,831. A growing small town without a clear trajectory of exactly where it was headed.
Fast forward 30 years, Columbia’s population has soared to 125,000 — nearly doubling their population in the last 30 years. Columbia’s growth trajectory is one of the fastest in the country for a mid-size town, and there is no end in sight for what is possible in this university town.
With increasing population comes a new demand for various types of services. And in Columbia, the need for a stand-alone event venue has never been greater.
Enter Greg DeLine and Ali Hamrah. Both familiar names in Mid-Missouri, but never together — before now. DeLine a well-known entrepreneur and philanthropist throughout Mid-Missouri. Hamrah known for owning and running Peachtree Banquet Center for more than 20 years.
DeLine and Hamrah are coming together for the opening of Port 131 — a new event venue unlike any other in the area. The name comes from its location — a beautiful space right off of I-70 at Exit 131. Designed to facilitate any type of event, from weddings to business conferences, Port 131 will utilize the latest technology paired with beautiful architecture and even more beautiful surroundings.
Port 131 will be a premier event destination for weddings, conferences and any small or large event with both indoor and outdoor settings and a full menu of resources at the disposal of our event partners.
Hamrah is excited for this next chapter in his career. “I can’t wait to introduce Port 131 to the public! The attention to detail and laser focus on building it based on the needs of the community is going to be something that I think is really going to turn some heads.”
FULFILLING A NEED IN MID-MISSOURI
Anyone who has hosted events in Mid-Missouri knows the need for a mid-size event venue has never been greater. Population growth and the growth of key entities (University of Missouri, Veterans United, Equipment Share and others) have increased the need for a flexible venue that can host smaller or larger groups in one space.
In addition, Port 131 isn’t cutting corners on technology. On the backend of COVID-19 and the rise in ZOOM meetings, Port 131 will include enhanced connectivity for ZOOM meetings, both in large and small setting opportunities.
Port 131 will also take advantage of a benefit it alone enjoys in Mid-Missouri — its location. Right off of I-70 and with free parking galore, Port 131 will allow regional and national event attendees to take in everything Columbia, Missouri has to offer without having to pay for downtown parking or having to walk multiple blocks to get to their event.
MID-MISSOURI GROWTH NOT SLOWING
For decades, growth around Columbia happened in phases. Growth in the northeast part of the city slowed in the late 90’s making way for booming growth in the southwest part of the city. In 2021, the city is effectively growing in every direction. The population growth means more jobs & businesses and generally more economic activity. All of this means an increased need for venues like Port 131.
The widely held view is that growth in Mid-Missouri will continue at a strong trajectory for the foreseeable future.
NOT JUST AN EVENT VENUE
In addition to the Port 131 event venue space, this new development will include a number of retail shops and nature spaces to enhance the feel of this unique space. Imagine bringing an event to Port 131, and your attendees being within walking distance of several restaurants/bars, as well as other needed amenities for a sort of “all inclusive” experience within the development. That is the vision of Port 131.
Greg DeLine, the mastermind behind Port 131, is thrilled for how the plans are developing. “Port 131 will be Columbia’s go-to event destination almost instantly after its opening. We think there’s a chance to enhance its regional viability and be an attractor of larger events and conferences that Columbia might not be in the running for otherwise.”
Construction on Port 131 will begin in the weeks to come and is scheduled for a January 2023 opening.