Small Market Meetings

FEB 2017

The Newspaper for Smaller Cities, Facilities and Planners.

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Page 35 of 47 36 Southern Meeting Guide The Waterfront South Courtesy Westin Savannah Harbor The Westin Savannah Harbor is adjacent to the city's convention center on the banks of the Savannah River. Waterfront real estate is always at a premium, and similarly, planners know that putting people on or near the water is always a smart move for meetings. History museums, lavish resorts or municipal parks: Any kind of venue can be waterfront, and in the South, being near the water usually means fun leisure activities for groups as well. S t o n e w a l l R e s o r t Stonewall Resort R o a n o k e , W e s t V i r g i n i a Roanoke, West Virginia Stonewall Resort sits on a crescent-moon-shaped peninsula that juts out into the waters of Stonewall Jackson Lake, a man-made lake on the West Fork River. The resort is in Stonewall Jackson State Park near the town of Roanoke, West Virginia, nearly equidistant from Morgantown and Charleston. With 2,000 acres of state park land and a marina, the resort is an outdoor- lover's paradise that also offers a 15,000-square-foot conference center. "The tranquility of being on the lake, it transports you to a different world," said sales manager Robin Poling. Because it is nearly surrounded by water, "really all of our rooms are lake view." The conference center is IACC-certified, so many of T h e r e ' s s o m e - t h i n g about being on the water that is almost univer- sally appealing. For whatever reason, people respond to look- ing out over rip- pling rivers, lis- tening to crash- ing waves and smelling salt air. the meeting spaces are interior, including the nearly 4,200-square-foot divisible ballroom, but the 760-square-foot Oak Boardroom has "wonderful win- dows and views of the lake," Poling said. Outdoor space includes patios, event lawns and a fire pit where guests can make s'mores. At the resort's marina, groups can rent canoes, kay- aks, paddleboats, paddleboards and aqua cycles to get on the water. The resort also has an excursion boat that goes out for an hourlong scenic cruise every evening from April through October. Meeting attendees can hop on the evening cruise to enjoy the scenery, or planners can reserve the boat for private cruises and receptions for up to 100 people. Resort staff also take advantage of the outdoors for team building. The Build a Boat challenge is a popular activity that uses the lake; teams must build a boat out of cardboard and hope it floats. Vendors can also set up obstacle courses or do corporate Olympics at the resort. A staff naturalist will lead group hikes along the resort's 16 miles of hiking and biking trails, including a walk along the lakeshore trail or a full-moon hike. By Rachel Carter

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