Potomac Memo - September/October 2013 - (Page 16)

feature MEETINGS AT THE Summit Mountain locales offer a spectacular landscape that will take your events to new heights By Amy Drew Thompson The mountains are beautiful, mysterious and wild and have long been symbolic of both inspiration and achievement, all of which makes them ideal destinations for meetings. “It’s opposite the hustle and bustle of the city,” says Linda Alloco, director of sales for Crystal Springs Resort in the borough of Hamburg, N.J. “Mountain resort destinations provide a tranquil setting for corporate meetings. The serenity of the landscape has a calming effect, allowing guests to focus on the business at hand.” Indeed, the mountains are spectacular and offer team-building activities and outdoor events that vary from season to season. The same venue, in fact, can seem like four different places for a quarterly event: winter snowshoeing to spring trail rides, summer canoeing to fall foliage treks. And whether your attendees are hardcore sports enthusiasts or lean more toward the low key, meetings in mountain regions draw the numbers because they’re set in locations that no one wants to miss. It’s something area meeting professionals understand. “Mountain destinations have packagers and adventure concierge teams with great working relationships with the best outfitters and established group discounts,” says Gordon Schultz, administrator of Canadian Rockies Golf. “For example, we work with Golf Canada’s West, which has already negotiated rates with area hotels, golf courses, fly-fishing guides, hiking experts and transportation companies. 16 PMPI POTOMAC MEMO Most larger hotels and resorts — such as the Fairmont, Banff Springs, Fairmont Jasper Lodge, Grand Rockies Resort, Delta Lodge and others — have inhouse teams that understand which activities will best fit within a meeting planner’s tight schedule.” And oh, those sweeping mountain vistas … “Views, views, views!” says Kristy Kennedy, group marketing specialist for the Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau, pointing out just one of the features mountains offer that you won’t find in an urban setting. “It just helps your attendees unplug. The mountains are a relaxing environment, away from the buzz of traditional life.” Serenity – along with wellappointed, state-of-the-art meeting spaces – helps people focus. Crystal Springs, for example, is less than an hour from New York City but worlds away from the fray, its versatile conference center equipped with suitable meeting spaces for corporate retreats of 10 or conventions for more than 2,000. “And when they leave the board room or convention floor, guests and groups can enjoy mountaintop hiking, canoeing, kayaking and horseback riding,” says Alloco. “Or delight in our seven premier golf courses and Mountain Creek’s 44 ski trails, 46 downhill mountain bike trails and a water park.” Planners don’t have to trade all the indoor team-building activities for all those mountain pursuits, however. At Crystal Springs, guests have a blast with some culinary options as well, themed www.pmpi.org on popular shows like “Iron Chef” and “Cupcake Wars.” On the other side of the continent, areas like the Canadian Rockies are truly singular. “They invite meetings in national parks,” says Schultz, “where animals typically have the right of way.” And you need not necessarily head for the trails to find them. You may have a meet-and-greet on the links! “Elk and deer are frequent visitors,” she notes. And, Kennedy points out, planners will enjoy partnering with professionals who make their jobs easier. “Quite often we’re a one-stop shop,” she says. “Many mountain destinations are allinclusive and planners will have just one contact for planning activities, meals and rooms.” Think of the outdoor dining and speaker-related experiences for your attendees — they’re as versatile as the terrains themselves. In locales such as Arizona and New Mexico, Native American heritage might play a role — inviting local historians to discuss tribal life while chefs prepare a themed menu. And the mountains bring you closer to the heavens — stargazing events, complete with telescopes and astronomer speakers — may well give birth to big ideas. Indeed, that aforementioned mountain inspiration really takes hold when attendees gain new perspectives. “Trams and helicopter tours near the mountaintops tap into a primal survivor instinct,” Schultz points out. “No other destination provides such an immediate connection with nature to inspire outof-the-box thinking.” http://www.pmpi.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Potomac Memo - September/October 2013

Calendar of Events
President’s Message
Legendary Service on the Horizon in 2014
What’s Wrong with Your Event Badge Design? More Than You Think By Dharmesh Dayabhai
Member Profiles
Old School Demands Meet New School Suppliers By Tom Michalisko, CMP
PMPI’s Mentor Me Program Kicks Off By Angelica Bravo
PMPI on Facebook
Full Circle Certification By Shannon Nelligan, CMP
Alexandria: A Capital Location for Meetings and Events
Meetings at the Summit By Amy Drew Thompson
Members on the Move
PMPI Dashboard
New Members
Index of Advertisers

Potomac Memo - September/October 2013

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