MPI Perspective - October 2008 - (Page 25)

d e s t in a t io n s p o t li g h t – s o n o m a c o u n t r y Hot air ballooning through the vineyards of Sonoma wine country. Photo courtesy of Up & Away Ballooning. Sonoma Country, located 30 miles north of San Francisco, is America’s premier wine, spa and coastal destination, featuring more than 250 wineries, 40 spas and 20 golf courses in an area slightly larger than Rhode Island. The rugged mountains of western Sonoma Country, where the Russian River flows past redwood-topped ridges, stand over the 50 miles of Pacific Ocean coastline, offering stunning views along California’s famed Highway 1. Coastal towns like Bodega Bay entice seafood lovers with the bounty from the ocean, with Dungeness crab sold from the back of boats and salmon and cod appearing on local menus. Quirky small towns typify west Sonoma Country, with the Bohemian Connection encompassing bastions of freethinkers in Occidental, Freestone and Monte Rio. Excellent inns, small wineries, artisan foods and even a spa that has gone green are to be found along the Bohemian Highway. Of course, for the racing fans, there’s furious action at Infineon Raceway. NASCAR, Indy-Car, and motorcycle racing are huge draws as some of the biggest names come to compete on a road track with 11 challenging turns. Those wanting to experience racing on a more personal level can suit up and jump in a real race car at a driving school at the track. There is direct air service at the Charles M. Schulz – Sonoma Country Airport (named after the creator of the Peanuts comic strip), located four miles north of Santa Rosa. Direct flights to and from Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Portland and Seattle are offered daily on Horizon Air. Sonoma Country is also accessible from San Francisco International Airport and Oakland International Airport. Sonoma Country recently launched an incentive program to entice meeting and group tour planners to book business in the area. Those who plan a meeting in Sonoma Country receive a cash payment to the hotel master account of: • $1,000 for 50-100 actualized rooms • $2,000 for 101-200 actualized rooms • $3,000 for 201-300 actualized rooms • $4,000 for 301+ actualized rooms As a bonus incentive, attendees receive complimentary room amenities, and the meeting planner receives a Gourmet Sonoma Country Picnic Backpack at the time of the booking. Eligibility is based upon new proposals, originated by the Sonoma Country Tourism Bureau for multiple properties booked for one or more nights Sunday through Thursday. Cash incentives are paid to the master account within 30 days of the group departure. ● 393807_Personality.indd 1 MPINCCperspective | VOL. 27, NO. 2 | 1:02:52 PM 25 8/4/08

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MPI Perspective - October 2008

MPI Perspective - Ocotber 2008
President's Message
Spotlight on Audio-Visual
Connecting with - Mitchell Bakst, CMP
12 Technology Trends in the Meetings and Events Market
Corporate Social Responsibility - Good for Whom?
Member Pearls
Chapter Chatter
Destination Spotlight - Sonoma Country
Index to Advertisers

MPI Perspective - October 2008