Meeting MPI Toronto - January/February 2015 - (Page 14)
HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT:
By Paula Racher,
Niagara Falls Tourism
THE NEW NIAGARA
ome of my favourite site inspections are with
individuals who live somewhere in the Niagara
Region and have been deemed the "local expert"
by a conference committee. I brace myself for the
inevitable proclamation that they know all there is to know
about our lovely destination. After all, they have been coming
to the Falls their entire lives! They grew up here. While this
may be true, they have typically been schlepping relatives to
tourist hotspots; they haven't been viewing Niagara from a
meetings and conference perspective, and they certainly aren't
retreats. They certainly wouldn't know that the Men's
Sanctuary is just as lush and serene as the Women's, or that
groups of 20 to 25 can rotate through mini facials, mani/pedis
and massage experiences.
They may event think that there's something different about
the façade of the Best Western PLUS Cairn Croft. Where does
that black door bordered in bold red lead to? It wasn't there
last summer - Doc Magilligan's Irish Pub and Restaurant, of
course! Doc's warm wood, reflective tin ceiling and richly
coloured interior was hand-crafted in Ireland and assembled
on top of all the recent additions to our product offerings.
These individuals have likely travelled along Niagara
Stone Road into Niagara-on-the-Lake to perhaps attend the
Shaw Festival Theatre, stroll historic Queen Street, or enjoy
a wine tasting or two at any of the fine wineries along that
road. They will likely tell you that the quaint red barn on the
left houses antiques ... oh wait a second ... Niagara Oast
House Brewers have converted this once popular antique
store into a craft brewery that pays tribute to traditional
European farm-based brewers. The Hayloft of the barn is
home to new event space, accommodating a 72-person
meal or 120-person reception, and offers a new spin on a
traditional winemaker's dinner. It is highly unlikely that these
local experts have experienced a Brew Tour or sampled the
seasonal Country Bumpkin beer (think toasted pumpkin and
all the pie spices) or any of Chef Hynam-Smith's culinary
experiences, such as The Great Oast BBQ (an exciting twist
on southern classics) or the The Beer Hall (think Oktoberfest).
If they imagine themselves as an oenophile (fancy word for
wine expert), they may not have experienced the best of both
worlds with Swirls, Sips and Hops, a joint venture between
the neighbouring Stratus Vineyards.
While escorting relatives to some of the iconic Niagara
Falls experiences, these individuals may pass by two hidden
gems on Lundy's Lane - Senses Spa within the Americana
Conference Resort, and Doc Magilligan's Irish Pub and
Restaurant at the Best Western PLUS Cairn Croft.
The local experts may have attended a meeting at the
Americana, but they have likely never stepped inside their
Senses Spa - one of the area's finest relaxation and wellness
onsite. Open for almost one year, we can't fault individuals for
not knowing that 200-person corporate groups have enjoyed
Gaelic Kitchen Party experiences with live music and Irish
Dancers or that the Reubin Bites are delish!
After stopping to view the Falls or perhaps escort relatives
on a Hornblower Niagara Cruise fireworks edition, our local
experts have likely helped relatives lighten their pockets at the
Fallsview Casino Resort. Unknown to the group, they could all
have been enjoying quiet conversation and a beverage in R5,
the Fallsview's uber contemporary second floor lounge that
commands a stunning view of the Falls. They could opt to sit
on R5's patio or enjoying a seat by the fireplace while taking
the evening skies with the ever present backdrop of the falls.
Spyce Lounge ... nope, doesn't sound familiar to our local
experts. The floor-to-ceiling windows roll up to invite people in
to the Hilton Hotel & Suite's newest street level space. Sounds
of local performers waft along Fallsview Boulevard with
aromas of appetizers and casual meals just behind. Groups are
surprised by the elegance of the newly found Spyce Lounge
and wonder what more there is to discover. All of the above is
just a small sampling of what is new and exciting.
I feel gratified when I have helped guide our so called
"local experts" become aware that Niagara is constantly
improving to accommodate the meetings industry. With this
new knowledge in hand, individuals can truly become just
that - local experts - and they can be our hidden gems in
assisting our meetings market grow to its full potential.
14 * ME ETING | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2015
Paula Racher is a Manager at Niagara Falls Tourism and can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meeting MPI Toronto - January/February 2015
Welcome, New Members!
Discovering Toronto’s Best Kept Secrets – A Venue Guide
Entertainment Trend Forecast 2015
Inside the Chapter: MPI Toronto’s Hidden Gems
Canada’s Hidden Gems: Ready to Welcome and Delight Groups of All Sizes
Hiding in Plain Sight: The New Niagara
Secrets for Effective Negotiation and Getting What You Want
Attendee Engagement – Try Something New!
The Rise of Restaurant-Inspired Events
I Spy MPI
Advertisers’ Index & Advertisers.com
Meeting MPI Toronto - January/February 2015