• Municipal waterparks offer great amenities
• Urban cabanas and local beaches
When it comes time to plan a meeting, most professionals turn to their trusted partners in the hotel and convention center realm. But, where else can you look when trying to find unique places for people to meet, network, and get things done?
Planners, look no further, local Parks and Recreation areas across the Midwest are offering fun and innovative options beyond the traditional meeting room.
In Greenwood, IN, the new Freedom Springs Aquatics Park is proving to be a big hit, only in its second year of operation. Offering fun for community members and buyouts for companies, organizations, and groups, it is an unusual space with a variety of amenities.
Rob Taggart, Director of Parks and Recreation in the city of Greenwood, shared that when designing the park, they kept the amenities in mind that would appeal to groups and also offer a way to generate revenue. Everything from their aquatics park to their permanent shelters and plenty of grass areas for people to relax and meet. Taggart notes, “How often can you go to a public venue like ours, fully staffed with lifeguards, with one of the tallest water slides in the state, plus have a pool, lazy river, cabanas, and shelters all to yourself?” From home owner associations to corporations, groups are taking advantage of the private buyout option to entertain and meet.
It’s not just Indiana offering great alternatives, Emily Burgess, Special Projects Coordinator, City of Omaha Parks and Recreation, has helped organizations find the perfect spot at their location for those looking to add an outdoor aspect to their meetings and events. With options to rent any or all spaces for a very low cost, attendees are able to enjoy fun activities before or after a meeting or rent one of the many pools available throughout the city, several featuring slides and splash pads to cool off and relax.
Seeking a water feature even more out of the norm? Kari Felkamp, CPRP, Director of Marketing & Public Relations, Batavia Park District has just the location in IL. With its unique beach area and long history, Hall Quarry Beach offers a great out of the ordinary experience for your participants. Hall Quarry Beach occupies a former stone quarry owned by the Batavia Park District. It has been used as a swimming facility since 1920 featuring a sand bottom swimming area covering 60,000 sq. ft. that includes islands, slides, and a diving area. Private rentals are available in the evenings on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday and include exclusive use of the beach, including water features, sand volleyball courts, and a large picnic area.
• Can you bring in offsite catering companies (some facilities may have a preferred catering list you need to choose from or get special approval)?
• Do you need an alcohol permit?
• Do you have exhibitors? If so, ask about related fees.
• Will people be selling items? If so, you may need to purchase merchandising permits.
• Do you need audiovisual equipment? Find out if they offer any services so you know what you need to provide.
Whether planners are looking for a unique board retreat, strategic planning, or teambuilding event, investigate some of the incredible parks and recreation facilities available. It’s a great way to support the local community and offer a different and fun atmosphere for your attendees!