A corporate retreat can be a great way to have a company’s employees bond, network and relieve the stress of the job, but not all spaces are created equal. While some facilities offer only hotel and meeting space, there’s been a rise in places that include everything from golf to spas to adventure activities-all without ever having to leave the premises. Take a gander around Pennsylvania and discover a plethora of all-in-one lodging.
Skytop Lodge in picturesque Skytop offers a wide array of meeting space, including numerous breakout rooms, ballrooms and an executive conference center spanning more than 17,000 square feet.
In addition to the meeting space, Skytop Lodge has a number of activities and amenities for its corporate clients. Situated on 5,500 acres, it offers numerous hiking trails, indoor and outdoor pools, a beach, spa, golf courses, adventure center, zip line, skiing, rock climbing, laser tag, archery tag, a food truck, boating, shooting and more.
"In today’s environment, customers are looking for the easiest, hassle-free solution offering the maximum value to suit their needs," says Cara Federici, director of sales and marketing at Skytop Lodge. "In a one-stop shop, the ease of planning is done for them-and they can focus on their business objectives. Moreover, the resorts become more profitable by keeping customers on property to spend their dollars within the resort, rather than going off-site and spending it elsewhere."
Skytop Lodge focuses on its ability to deliver unplugged meetings, providing an escape from the hustle and bustle with the luxuries of modern day, state-of-the-art meeting facilities in a serene environment.
Location, Location, Location
Jeff Rudder, director of sales and marketing at Omni Bedford Springs Resort in Bedford, says its proximity to New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia and D.C., makes it an ideal spot for big corporations that want their entire team under one roof, where attendees can drive and get back to the field as quickly as possible.
"We host a number of partner retreats with great networking opportunities, and they really want their folks to get together and team-build, and that’s where our outdoor amenities come into play," Rudder says. "They will use our space for meetings in the morning and then devote the rest of the day to team-building activities."
The property offers 20,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, as well as an 18-hole golf course, spa and other activities run by its inhouse planners, Adventures in the Alleghenies.
Team-building events include a GPS scavenger hunt within the 10-mile trail system on the property and an Iron Chef competition in the resort’s ballroom.
"While you might not see value in incorporating 18 holes of golf as a group, we will incorporate it as an icebreaker, with golf pros coming to an opening-night reception and holding a putting or pitching contest for everyone," Rudder says. "It’s a lot of fun and laughs and opens everyone up."
Additionally, while it might be hard to justify employees using the spa during a retreat, the spa director holds mini-sessions on wellness and healthy eating, and technicians will come up during meeting breaks for short neck and shoulder massages.
A Round and a Massage
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington offers more than 32,000 square feet of meeting space, including an executive conference center, 25 meeting rooms, exhibit areas, a full-service business center, three ballrooms, 200-seat Lecture Hall and ample outdoor spaces.
"Time is a valuable asset; it always has been. Nemacolin respects a client’s time by having experts that are able to answer questions and provide solutions that will provide positive ROI from the meeting," says Tom Smith, the resort’s assistant VP & director of sales. "Companies need to justify expenditures, and we guarantee a positive experience that you can take to the bank."
Its most popular amenities are its 36 holes of championship golf on a Pete Dye-designed, PGA tour-tested Mystic Rock; its more traditional links course, the Woodlands Spa, which features more than 100 treatment options; and the Nemacolin Field Club, which offers sporting clays, fly-fishing and upland bird hunting.
"Our guests appreciate that our 2,000-acre property offers something for everyone, and because of our extensive list of amenities, our guests can very much customize their experience," says Ashli Mazer, director of marketing for Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. "We treasure each experience dearly and look forward to making every visit something people remember, something people enjoy and an experience they want to relive over and over again."
Accommodations at The Lodge at Glendorn in Bradford are unique and spacious. The venue features the Playhouse, a conference center complete with audio-visual equipment and a breakout room large enough for groups up to 55 people.
"The distractions of holding meetings at the corporate office can be overwhelming. Cellphones ring, assistants interrupt and attendees make the five o’clock dash home," says Stephanie Schafer, director of hotel operations of the lodge. "Glendorn offers privacy and escape with an uncomplicated setting that eliminates all distraction."
The property offers world-class activities on 1,500 acres, including trap and skeet shooting, fly-fishing, upland bird hunting, hiking, biking, Jeep tours, kayaking and canoeing, swimming, cooking classes, golf (nearby), cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing, snowmobiling, curling, ice skating and spa services.
Additionally, the property’s culinary team prepares enticing menus with regional favorites and fresh, local ingredients created specifically for each meeting’s group.
Awaken the Senses
The Lodge at Woodloch in Hawley offers a variety of flexible meeting and event spaces. In addition, it has the ability of using its two sister properties (Woodloch Pines and Woodloch Springs) for additional meeting space.
Large corporations can take advantage of the lodge’s Fireside Room, a versatile 1,350-square-foot space with sweeping views of the lake and state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment. Smaller companies can find more intimate space in its River Birch Board Room, complete with a beautiful mahogany table with padded executive chairs, a flatscreen television, bright beautiful windows offering natural light and a foyer area perfect for meeting breaks. There’s also a Garden View Room available.
"Typically, those searching for a unique location like ours are in search of something truly special. They want their meeting or event to take their associates away from it all and to truly get the most out of their time away from the office," says Lisa Marie Hugaboom, director of corporate sales for the Lodge at Woodloch Pines. "With inspiring windows at every turn, customized group packages and activities, it’s a place to recharge, be inspired and awaken the senses."
As an all-inclusive property, groups can find everything they need right under one roof, including daily cooking demonstrations, fitness and wellness classes, creative discovery classes, outdoor adventures and a 40,000-square-foot spa.