by Jeanette Hurt
• Easy, engaging entertainment
• Make the most of area activities
When planning your next meeting or event, think strategically about your entertainment while making decisions about your facility. Consider resorts and lodges, as many are created around and near the entertainment you already love.
When you think of Wisconsin, what comes to mind? Beer? Cheese? Football? The new LODGE KOHLER in Green Bay opened this past July with a AAA Four-Diamond rating. As the first luxury boutique hotel to open in this Northeast Wisconsin city, it is also the only one with a front row seat to Lambeau Field. It’s also an anchor of the city’s new Titletown District, which boasts heated sidewalks (no slippage here), a modern ice rink, a kiddie football field and playground, along with the local Hinterland Brewery and Pub and another restaurant, 46 Below.
That close relationship also allows LODGE KOHLER to bring in special amenities to groups, from cheese curds and football-shaped cheese boards to Packers paraphernalia and even visits from Packers players. Packers players, along with visiting NFL team players, have frequently stayed, dined, and just hung out at the hotel. The hotel’s subtle green and gold color scheme makes them feel right at home, as does all of the Packers art, including photos of muddy players in each hotel room bathroom.
For meetings participants – and regular hotel guests – the Lodge offers free shuttles anywhere in the city. “In inclement weather, the shuttles have been used even to transport groups to their meetings across the street at Lambeau Field,” Schultz says.
Green Bay isn’t the only city in Midwest that offers great meeting space surrounded by entertainment opportunities. Situated amidst the Kansas Speedway, Children’s Mercy Park, and Legends Outlets Kansas City you will find Great Wolf Lodge Kansas City, KS. For race lovers, sporting event fans, or attendees looking to travel with family there are many options both within the walls of the lodge and out. The indoor waterpark and mini-golf are just a few lodge amenities, while those looking to get out can enjoy shopping and a movie at Legends Outlet.
Planners can utilize unique meeting and event spaces within this area. Host your event at Children’s Mercy Park with breakouts within the VIP boxes or enjoy a cocktail reception on the roof of Dave & Buster’s at Legends Outlet. Use Topsy’s popcorn for centerpiece treats during keynotes or rent out a theater at AMC Legends 14 to give your group a private viewing of an A-list movie.
Does your group want to gather among the lights and bells of a casino floor? Cadillac Jack’s Gaming Resort, in Deadwood, SD could be a winning bet. Participants will enjoy the comfortable lodging and onsite dining, as well as the casino floor all in close proximity to the meeting space. For those looking for a little more adventure, Deadwood is full of entertainment, gambling, dining, and tours, all within walking distance. Create a gambling crawl and allow participants to experience multiple gaming facilities all within a few blocks.
Some participants are drawn to the idea of a getaway while working. Entice them with a resort and spa, like Chateau on the Lake Resort & Spa, in Branson, MO. Provide spa discounts or schedule down time for your group to enjoy the outdoor Roman bath and the 14,000-sq.-ft., full-service spa. If you have boating enthusiasts consider a lake cruise or utilizing the marina. Nature lovers will enjoy the trails and with the beauty of the area. You could even incorporate an amateur photography contest to display and vote on during a closing ceremony.
Wherever you go in the Midwest, a great resort or lodge is almost always near by. Find your participants’ entertainment flare and choose a resort or lodge within close proximity for added engagement value.
Jeanette Hurt is an award-winning writer and author of nine books, including the critically acclaimed Drink Like a Woman. She specializes in travel, food and spirits writing, and, when she’s not checking out a new property or experiencing a new travel adventure, she can be found in her Milwaukee kitchen, experimenting with all things food and drink.