For companies looking to add some excitement to their meetings or an event planner who wants to liven things up from the typical dinner/dance ballroom, the winter months in the Northeast provide the perfect opportunity to do so.
With some great mountain ranges ideal for skiing and a host of winter activities that meeting participants and event guests can be a part of, the region is the perfect place to marry some fun along with any corporate meeting or event.
Hunter, New York
Chris Vitale, corporate sales manager for Hunter Mountain, notes the difference between an exciting, energizing meeting and one that falls flat depends on where it takes place.
“Hunter Mountain is located in the beautiful Catskill Mountains, only 2.5 hours from New York City,” he says. “We offer luxury ski-in, ski-out accommodations, conference/ meeting rooms, a variety of meal and break options, audio-visual equipment, and a variety of activities with group discounts.”
The resort features 17 different meeting and event space options and styles, consisting of more than 25,000 square feet—perfect for trade shows, banquets, receptions and meetings of all sizes. There’s also a full range of A/V support, including Wi-Fi internet, wireless, multichannel sound reinforcement, LCD projection and screens, video players and monitors.
“Each offers generous windows, plenty of light and beautiful views of the mountains and slopes,” Vitale says. “Skiing and winter activities can be easily added into any event or meeting, including such winter activities as snow tubing, winter rock climbing and repelling, and the winter zip line and adventure tower.”
New Hartford, Connecticut
With miles of freestyle terrain available on its mountain, Ski Sundown features jumps, hits, ramps, fun boxes, jibs, rails, quarter pipes, mogul terrain and an assortment of great skiing trails.
In addition to the terrific activities on the mountain, the resort also is the perfect place to host a corporate meeting or event. “Companies love to come out and hold a meeting and then let their employees spend the rest of the day skiing,” says Patty Dionne, base operations manager.
Ski Sundown’s 5,000-square-foot Banquet Center features large windows with picturesque views of the mountain. Its 2,300-squarefoot Pondview Room holds nearly 200 guests and is recommended for small corporate meetings, while its 3,000-square-foot Pondside Room holds 230 and boasts panoramic mountain views. It also offers a mezzanine level with limited seating capacity, perfect for a smaller gathering.
Ski Sundown is available to corporate groups and banquets Monday through Thursday up until 2 p.m. during the ski season, with groups of 20 or more receiving discounted rates on lift tickets, group lessons, equipment rentals and lift/lesson/rental packages. During the off-season, the facilities are available day and night.
“Corporate meetings historically would be a meeting followed by golf, but I think more companies are finding the value of doing skiing instead,” Dionne says. “It appeals to more people, it can be done later in the year for end-of-year corporate retreats and it’s just something fun to do in the winter months, letting people get out of the office.”
Lake Placid, New York
With an extraordinary setting in the High Peaks region of Lake Placid, Whiteface Lodge is the only all-suite resort in the Adirondacks.
“With a prime location near both Lake Placid and the mountains, groups can tailor each visit to their own set of selected experiences, like a day on the ski slopes, world-class spa services or high-octane Olympic experiences like bobsledding,” says Elissa Fornasiero, director of sales and marketing. “Back at the resort, groups love taking advantage of Whiteface Lodge’s many amenities that are complimentary to guests.”
For example, the resort boasts a two-lane bowling alley, a game room with shuffleboard, a 54-seat surround sound movie theater and a boathouse with kayaks. Groups can also opt to rent from a fleet of boats that come with a captain—great for a dusk sunset cruise or daytime retreat.
A year-round destination, Whiteface Lodge’s facilities are great for conferences, business retreats and social gatherings for up to 200 guests.
“We offer indoor and outdoor event and meeting space of all shapes and settings, including dedicated corporate meeting room with a luxury rustic ambiance and a threestory Great Room with large stone fireplaces ideal for fine dining,” Fornasiero says. “We can create custom catering menus to suit the needs of each event or meeting and offer on-site event assistance to ensure all details exceed the client’s expectations. Audio-visual packages are provided to suit any group needs for a turnkey experience.”
Whiteface Mountain is an obvious draw for winter sports fans as it has hosted two Winter Olympics. It also features the largest vertical drop east of the Rocky Mountains. Whiteface Lodge works closely with the Olympic Regional Development Authority, which is the state organization that runs the Olympic Venues in Lake Placid. Guests can be shuttled to the venues to experience various winter activities like the Olympic bobsled and skeleton run, extreme tubing or curling on ice.
“All experiences are highly recommended for groups looking to do team-building exercises or just create a lasting memory of their group trip,” Fornasiero says. “The winter activities appeal to groups looking to add some ‘wow’ factor to the business experience.”
BEAR CREEK MOUNTAIN RESORT & CONFERENCE CENTER
Situated in the heart of the Mid-Atlantic, Bear Creek Mountain Resort & Conference Center offers skiing or snowboarding on more than 86 acres of slopes, trails and terrain parks, as well as a lodge with a 116-bed hotel, two restaurants and a spa, making it a premier “learn to ski and ride” area in the region.
“We have three different ballrooms and more than 26,000 square feet of banquet space on 330 wooded acres,” says Gary Kline, events and activities manager. “It’s a beautiful property, and it feels like you are at a true country resort because of the setting of the property, and who wouldn’t want to hold a meeting in a place this beautiful? We offer discounted rates for anyone who brings their meeting here, whether it’s a skiing package or tubing package and enjoy sometime out in the snow.”
Bear Creek offers the 6,640-square-foot Mountain Ballroom, which accommodates up to 450. It features high ceilings and large windows offering breathtaking mountain views. Then there’s the 5,170-square-foot Woodland Ballroom, which accommodates 400 and offers scenic views from the outdoor deck overlooking the heated outdoor pool. There are also two executive ballrooms that hold up to 14 guests and offer slope-side views.
“We can handle any audio or video needs that any corporate guest would want,” Kline says. “We do a lot of corporate events and handle more than 130 weddings a year, so we have a very large catering staff that can do anything needed.”