Successful Meetings - February 2008 - (Page 72)

02.08 &SPACES PLACES Thrill Ride It’s about performance, “like trying to find that fine line of pushing the envelope and taking calculated risks, but knowing your limitations so you keep from spinning out of control,“ says Marie Muller, a meeting planner for Meritage Home Builders, following a recent program for agents at the Bondurant School of High Performance Driving in Phoenix. Bob Bondurant, who won the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Dan Gurney in 1964, has taught race drivers such as Al Unser Jr. and Dale Earnhardt. The school features such top General Motors sports cars as the Corvette Z06 and a souped-up Pontiac Solstice. Programs are at the Firebird International Raceway, purpose-built for driver training. Inside Corporate programs include a timed > Destination Close Up: autocross—a mini-track of multiple tight Mystic, CT PAGE 76 turns, and a Le Mans-style “endurance” > Destination Close Up: Barcelona, Spain program in which teams choose their drivPAGE 78 ers and pit crew and devise the strategy for > Florida’s East Coast the most laps. The on-site auto museum is PAGE 108 a popular venue for an opening cocktail > Atlantic City party or closing banquet. And, yes, BonPAGE 120 durant will stop by to say hello. “All you > Maui, Kauai, & Lanai have to do is ask,” says Matt Williams, PAGE 124 director of corporate sales. > Aruba PAGE 129 Performance driving schools, some > MPI-PEC Show Special: operated by luxury brands and others by Houston PAGE 134 former professional race drivers, offer programs that begins with classroom time to review the latest automotive technology and how to use it. Sitdown sessions drift into vehicle dynamics and the most efficient “line” through a tight turn as well as how to anticipate emergencies—valuable for everyday driving experiences and the rest of the program schedule. The mantra of the Land Rover Experience is, “as slow as possible, as fast as necessary.” There are three programs in North America. One is in a forested corner of the 8,000-acre Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, near George Vanderbilt’s fabulously ornate 250-room mansion. The experience at the 850-acre Quail Lodge Resort, in California’s Carmel Valley, includes more sand tracks; the Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello, one hour north of Montreal, features snow and ice driving in winter and deeply forested trails other seasons. Drivers learn to negotiate narrow log bridges—driving over two parallel logs, nothing in between—over rocks, through mud, down steep slopes that would give an Olympic skier pause. One teambuilding exercise is to literally drive blind—the driver must depend on the instructions of a team member outside the car to negotiate an obstacle. The exercise builds trust, concentration, and communication and listening skills, says pro instructor Josh Williams. So does learning to trust Land Rover’s “hill descent control” system: by keeping your foot off both gas and brake and letting the SUV’s computer decide how slowly to crawl downhill, you learn to focus on steering and responding to almost imperceptible cues from the terrain. FEBRUARY 2008 SUCCESSFUL MEETINGS 72

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Successful Meetings - February 2008

Successful Meetings - February 2008
Editor's Note
Trade Shows
On the Record
Planner's Spotlight
Websites of the Month
Technology Talk
Personal Success
Food & Beverage
On Site
Tools of the Trade
The Rainbow Connection
The CVB in Your Backyard
Welcome to the Webolution
The Rail Deal
Spas with a Sense of Place
Places & Spaces
Mystic, CT.
Hong Kong
Florida’s East Coast
Atlantic City
Maui, Kauai, & Lanai

Successful Meetings - February 2008