Prevue May/June 2015 - (Page 65)

Left: Cava 15 wine lounge, Trump Ocean Club International Hotel & Tower Panama Right: Hiking through Red Rock Canyon Below: Sky & Earth hotels, Mohegan Sun and Director of Wine Harley Carbery dine with groups as they explain their wine and beer pairings for each course. Specialties might include seared duck fois gras served with pineapple chutney, paired with Double Jack beer or a glass of 2007 Whitehawk, or a Cod Brandade served with lemon, capers, brown butter, croutons and fried parsley, paired with Opal beer or a 2011 Encounters. Guests get to vote and share their opinions after each course. By the end of the evening, everyone has a new appreciation for beer as deserving a place in the fine dining experience. A striking contrast to the nearby Strip (just 17 miles away) is Red Rock Canyon. Activities there include a 13-mile scenic drive, hiking on more than 30 miles of trails, rock climbing, horseback riding and biking. Tom Kostoff, CMP, president of local DMC Sofisticado, says meeting planners looking for an excursion often think first of the Grand Canyon or Hoover Dam. "They aren't as familiar with the west side of Las Vegas," he says. "But then they realize that these other excursions take up a lot of time, and this is the perfect fit because you can do it in half a day." Extremely popular are the jeep tours, which are enclosed and air-conditioned in the summer but top-down in spring and fall when the weather is just right. The ideal group size is 40 to 60 people. A unique teambuilding idea for more active groups is "rock scrambling" in the canyon. Guides lead groups over, between and through huge boulder formations, rough terrain and steep slopes. The ideal group size is 6 to 8 people per guide, says guide Neil Sobelson of Hike This!, which is licensed to provide guides within the park. "The average age we get has been between 30 and 45," he says, "though that's not to say that people in their 50's couldn't do it." Panama City has seen a surge of new hotel development-including Trump, Starwood, Waldorf-Astoria and Hard Rock-over the past five years. CONNECTICUT With gaming taking hold in neighboring New York and Massachusetts, Mohegan Sun, a Connecticut gaming giant on the banks of the Thames River, has responded by starting construction on a new $120 million hotel. The 400-room Earth Hotel is expected to open in fall 2016 in Uncasville, adding to the 1,200 rooms in the casino's Sky Hotel. The design will reflects the Mohegan Tribe's sensitivity to the natural landscape. Most people don't realize that the world's largest Native American museum is also located in Conn., just a five-minute drive from Foxwoods Resort Casino. The Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center is a 308,000-sf complex open seasonally from May through November. Worlds away from the atmosphere of the casino, it offers several spaces for group events, including the Gathering Space, a glass-enclosed atrium with views of the cedar forest that accommodates up to 800 guests, a 327-seat auditorium and several meeting rooms. For an authentic experience, the museum's chefs offer Native-inspired menus. | 61 60-63_Gaming.indd 61 4/22/15 12:34 PM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Prevue May/June 2015

Planner’s Pick: South Africa
Fresh Meets: Sheraton Expands in China
Bureau Buzz: Meet Hawaii
Good Business: Accor on Gender Equality
Sea Shores: Windstar Cruises
Experience Luxury
On Location: Destination Resorts
On Location: Northeast Florida
On Location: Iberostar Playa Mita
On Location: Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego
Checkout: Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall & Zilara Rose Hall

Prevue May/June 2015