Prevue May/June 2016 - (Page 82)

Alberta What a winter-wonderland experience should be for groups [ON LOCATION] JESSIE FETTERLING W ith fairytale-like castle hotels, ski resorts and ice bars situated in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, this alpine setting offers a complete sense of escape in winter and summer months. This was certainly the case this past February at The Gathering brand-marketing event, which included 800 people-with speakers from the top brands in the world-from over 500 marketing organizations, held at the Fairmont Banff Springs. Our group hobnobbed with conference attendees to get a feel for what hosting an event here would be like. The answer: "This environment is spectacular," says Jonathan Mildenhall, CMO for Airbnb and a speaker at the event. "I genuinely feel that this place is an inspiration and spectacular space to have your imagination stimulated. There's something about looking at the view and walking around these grounds that gave me such a positive energy before getting on stage." The 764-room Fairmont Banff Springs, built to look like a Scottish baronial castle, spotlighted the tourism potential of the Canadian west in the late 19th century. Groups meeting at the property can choose between the on-site conference center and grand banquet halls, such as Mount Stephen Hall, whose massive ceilings, stained-glass windows and glazed stone floors make it ideal for Medieval-themed events. There are 10 restaurants available (six during the winter season) at the property, but Executive Chef JW Foster can work with groups on creative dining settings. For example, there's a demonstration kitchen located in the Authentically Local Wine Store, where the chef 76 | can cook in front of attendees or provide culinary classes for groups. For a little R&R, attendees won't want to miss the hotel's Willow Stream Spa, created to mimic the hot springs that attracted travelers more than 100 years ago. Three waterfalls, a mineral pool and an outdoor hot tub provide the ultimate sanctuary. The nearby 343-room Rimrock Resort Hotel is built into the mountain, with the lobby entrance located on the seventh floor. Much of the 18,000 sf of meeting space offers expansive mountain views-the outdoor pool terrace entices attendees into the mountain atmosphere during the summer. About a 45-minute drive from downtown Banff stands the massive 548-room Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. What was originally just a one-story log cabin was turned into a retreat that Cornelius Van Horne envisioned for the outdoor adventurer, especially with its location on the lake's shore. Known as the birthplace of Canadian mountaineering, the retreat quickly became an ideal stomping ground for climbers to come and take guided tours into the towering summits. Today, the property still offers groups guided cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and hiking day and night. In the summer, the emerald waters of Lake Louise provide a picturesque setting, while in the winter, groups can don ice skates from the hotel and glide atop the lake. Meeting planners will also love the ice bar for hosting opening receptions. Positioned along the lake, attendees can bundle up and drink mulled wine and hot buttered rum here. Taking the group inside, the hotel offers innovative culinary experiences such as the Vinyl Diner, the brainchild of Executive

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Prevue May/June 2016

Planner’s Pick: Milwaukee
Fresh Meets: Marriott’s Big Plans for 2016
Bureau Buzz: Quebec City Business Destination
Good Business: Carbon Conscience
Sea Shores: New Luxury Cruise Options Debut
The New VIP
On Location: Miami Beach Visionary Summit
On Location: South Africa
On Location: Branson
On Location: Alberta
On Location: Atlantis Paradise Island
Checkout: Hilton West Palm Beach

Prevue May/June 2016