Within five years, the Omaha airport (OMA) will undergo a $500 million expansion that will modernize and reshape how the airport looks and operates. The project is in response to steady passenger growth and airline expansion. The airport surpassed five million passengers last year – a record. Since 2013, airlines have doubled the number of nonstop flights from Omaha to 34. Omaha’s airport is a quick four miles to the downtown area and convention district, which is also experiencing tremendous growth.
A $300 million riverfront revitalization is currently underway. This transformational 90-acre project includes many “wow” features that will make the area even more attractive for visitors and events throughout the year. Features of the project include a substantial sprawling green space in the middle of downtown with a performance pavilion, botanical gardens, cascading waterfalls, park-side cafés, a sculpture garden, a water cove, urban beach, boardwalk, and a promenade that leads to a cantilever overlook suspended over the river.
These waterfront enhancements will add to an already robust convention district that includes Omaha’s 346,000 square foot convention center with an attached 18,300-seat arena, and more than 3,000 of the city’s 15,000 hotel rooms. Two full-service hotel properties are located directly across the street from the convention center - one connected via glass-enclosed skywalk.
Within blocks of the convention center are two distinctive entertainment districts. The Capitol District, right across the street, provides an outdoor town square surrounded by pubs and restaurants. A few blocks away is Omaha’s Old Market Entertainment District, where locally owned restaurants, pubs and cafés line cobblestone streets. Performances by street musicians and artists add to the fun as you wander in and out of the many boutiques and galleries that make this district one of Omaha’s top attractions.
Another $500 million project is underway to better connect the Old Market Entertainment District to the Heartland of America Park. A new two-block-long plaza lined with retailers, restaurants, offices and green space is the centerpiece of the first phase of development. Visitors walking along the corridor will be able to shop, eat or relax on a sloping green lawn path that leads to the dock area where they can kayak in the water.