Prevue July-August 2017 - 41
Altos de Chavon, Casa de Campo
The Opus Group's 17th Annual Leadership Summit reveals
the DR's latest & greatest
[ON LOCATION] JESSIE FETTERLING
tanding in waist-high Caribbean waters in the Dominican
Republic, refreshment in hand and more being passed
around on a flotation device, we realized this was the
quintessential island networking experience. The glassbottom boat tour with Marinarium that culminated with drinks a
la ocean was just one of the many experiences at the Summit that
highlighted the DR's latest offerings for groups.
"There are exciting updates happening in the Dominican
Republic, and we wanted to highlight some of these in the
program," says Lisa Cherry, VP, partner at The Opus Group.
"What makes each Summit different is the unique qualities in each
destination and the wonderful hosts that are a part of the program."
SECRETS UNFOLD IN THE DR
The host property, Secrets Cap Cana Resort & Spa, was the initial
testament to some of these developments. The recently opened 457room adults-only resort, located in the exclusive gated community
of Cap Cana, brought a luxury vibe to the all-inclusive experience
that only continued throughout the event. While a couple days of the
Summit included one-on-one appointments between the roughly
60 meeting planners and suppliers at BIZ-NET, the rest of the time
introduced attendees to a slew of activities groups can experience
locally that were executed with the help of Amstar DMC.
The first day was spent exploring Casa de Campo, a
7,000-acre resort in La Ramona known for its extensive sports
activities. Golf on Teeth of the Dog and Dye Fore courses was just
the beginning. For those attendees who didn't golf, there was also
horseback riding and donkey polo, kayaking and even a shooting
center (with skeet and clay pigeons). A tour of Altos de Chavon, an
artisan village with boutique shops and galleries of artwork, offered
much entertainment and shopportunities.
A trip to Scape Park the next day took groups to explore
some of the country's natural limestone topography via zip line. The
1.5-hour zip through the trees concluded with a dip in one of the
park's cenotes, or fresh-water pools formed beneath caves. That
night took attendees to Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana,
where a beach dinner was set up. As attendees finished up their
meal of surf-and-turf options, original videos of Queen's Freddie
Mercury started playing. Before we knew it, a group of about 15 of
us were dancing to a Freddie Mercury impersonator backed by a
Queen cover band playing on the stage in front of us. As our group
sang along to some of Queen's greatest hits, fireworks were set off
to conclude the concert-like experience.
The closing-night gala at Secrets had its own performance
by local musicians and dancers on stilts during the seated dinner.
Needless to say, attendees left feeling like they had a better
understanding of all the DR had to offer. "The feedback has been
extremely positive," says Cherry. "The destination and resort
showcased everything beautifully."
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