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KENNEBUNKPORT

SMALL-TOWN CHARM, BIG-CITY AMENITIES

SPREAD THE WORD

RESEARCH SHOWS MEETINGS ARE SAFE & ESSENTIAL

MEETINGSMAGS.COM

COCKTAIL COOL

THE ENDURING CACHET OF SPEAKEASIES

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FALL

Awe-Inspiring! R E CO N N E C T A N D R E C H A R G E A M I D T H E A D I R O N DAC KS ’ B E AU T Y {20}

2021

WINTER

2022


THE PERFEC T MEETING PL ACE

Mount Airy Casino Resort offers a AAA Four-Diamond experience in the pristine scenery of the Pocono Mountains. With 30,000 square feet of meeting space, over 1,000 acres of resort amenities, and the most exciting dining and entertainment in Northeast Pennsylvania, we’ve got everything you need to make your next meeting extraordinAIRY. For more information, visit mountairycasino.com/meetings-weddings or call 570-243-5173.

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Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.


LOCATED IN THE CATSKILL MOUNTAINS

WE DO MEETINGS DIFFERENTLY. BOOK NOW FOR NO ATTRITION AND LENIENT CANCELLATION POLICY thekartrite.com

DANIELLE SCHWARTZ T +1 845.397.2734 DSCHWARTZ@THEKARTRITE.COM

Break the norm. And head outside of the box. You want a think tank, boutique resort with a fully dedicated team building program - a place to work, laugh and bond together like nowhere else. Suites with a flair for fun. Signature eateries showcasing local cuisine. Flexible meeting spaces that inspire creativity. A brand new, exciting indoor waterpark and Hi Tech adventure zone. And it’s all just down the road from New York’s newest and hottest casino - Resorts World Catskills. Yep - this is different and way above the norm. The Kartrite is airport close with direct flights in and out of Newburgh (SWF) airport - just 40 minutes away.

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Contents

FAL L 20 21 WIN TER 2 02 2

Hurricane Mountain, Lake Placid Region

20 Adirondacks Allure

Retreat, recharge and re-engage amid the breathtaking beauty of the Adirondacks. This year-round destination offers opportunities for team-building that are as vast as the spectacular views.

In Every Issue //

4 Editor’s Note

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12 Destination

Beloved by vacationers, Kennebunkport, Maine is also an idyllic setting for smaller meetings and retreats.

16 Meet + Eat

Once illegal, speakeasies impart legit cool to cozy gatherings.

32 People Profile Martha J. Sheridan, head of the Greater Boston CVB, brings passion and sturdy walking shoes to her mission.

Meeting Notes //

6 Signature Drink

Boston’s Godfrey Hotel is honoring its colorful past with the Fanne Fox.

9 Team-Building

Bar None trivia contests are a festive way to get into the holiday spirit and unite far-flung celebrants.

10 Open Mic

Planners can play a key role in spreading the word that meetings and events are both safe and essential.

8 New Venue

The Greens at the Seaport is an innovative, verdant space born out of a desire to help New Yorkers gather during the pandemic.

KENNEBUNKPORT

SMALL-TOWN CHARM, BIG-CITY AMENITIES

SPREAD THE WORD

RESEARCH SHOWS MEETINGS ARE SAFE & ESSENTIAL

MEETINGSMAGS.COM

COCKTAIL COOL

THE ENDURING CACHET OF SPEAKEASIES

//

FALL

2021

WINTER

2022

Awe-Inspiring! RECONNECT AND RECHARGE AMID T H E A D I R O N DAC KS ’ B E AU T Y {20}

Industry Update //

26 Infographic

A mix of optimism and staffing concerns in MPI’s recent Meetings Outlook.

On the Cover Mirror Lake in Lake Placid.

PHOTO COURTESY REGIONAL OFFICE

28 Regional News Awards, venue and people news, association updates and more.

OF SUSTAINABLE TOURISM

P H O T O : R E G I O N A L O F F I C E O F S U S TA I N A B L E T O U R I S M

Feature //


FA L L 2 0 2 1 W I N T E R 2 0 2 2

ne.meetingsmags.com

EDITOR SHELLEY LEVITT MANAGING EDITOR BETH BUEHLER COPY EDITOR SHERRI HILDEBRANDT CONTRIBUTING WRITERS IRENE LEVY BAKER, TORI EMERSON BARNES, KEITH LORIA

ART DIRECTOR TRACI ZELLMANN

PRINT PRODUCTION DIRECTOR BRITTNI DYE DIGITAL PRODUCTION DIRECTOR DEIDRA ANDERSON PRODUCTION COORDINATORS LISA STONE, ADRIANNA BLACK BULL PRODUCTION DESIGNER HANNAH BRAUSEN CIRCULATION DIRECTOR KATIE RINGHAND

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE / ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE SPECIALIST ALYZABETH OUTCELT CREDIT MANAGER APRIL MCCAULEY CONTROLLER BILL NELSON

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REPRINTS For high-quality reprints of 500 or more, call 1.800.637.0334 or email reprints@tigeroak.com.

MEETINGS WITH A SIDE OF VITAMIN SEA From corporate retreats to big time concerts to antique car shows, and everything in between, it’s no wonder year after year meeting and event planners choose the Wildwoods Convention Center! • 75K square foot exhibit arena, a 12K square foot Ballroom and 10-Meeting Rooms • 380 – 10’ x 10’ exhibit booth space or seating for up to 7,500 • Modern amenities / State-of-the-art communication systems • Full in-house Catering/Concession services • Adjacent to the world-famous Wildwoods Boardwalk and 5 miles of FREE white sand beaches • On-site parking for over 700 vehicles • 30K square feet of pre-function space

For address changes, ordering single copies, cancellations, or general questions about your subscription please contact customer service at 1.800.637.033 or customerservice@tigeroak.com

• Free Wi-Fi for attendees

Northeast Meetings + Events accepts no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or artwork; they will not be returned unless accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

TIGER OAK MEDIA

CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER & GROUP PUBLISHER SUSAN ISAY 9877 Airport Rd. NE, Blaine, MN 55449 Phone: 612.548.3180 Fax: 612.548.3181 Northeast Meetings + Events is published semi-annually © 2021 Tiger Oak Media. All rights reserved. PRINTED IN THE U.S.A.

To schedule your next meeting or event,

800-992-9732 | WildwoodsCC.com NE.MEETINGSMAGS.COM 3


E DITOR ’ S N OTE

Greetings From a Native

ne.meetingsmags.com nemeetingsmags

» I’M DELIGHTED TO BE TAKING the editorial reins of Northeast Meetings + Events. Wherever I travel, I’m always thrilled to return to the region I call home. I was born in Brooklyn, moved to Manhattan after college, spent summer weekends and vacations at Fire Island and in the Hamptons, with excursions to Martha’s Vineyard, Cape May, the lobster shacks of Maine and the cobblestone streets of Boston. It’s especially gratifying to be your editor now, as we approach what appears to be the easing up of the pandemic. There’s good news to share on several fronts. As you’ll read in the Regional News section, we’re seeing significant improvements in infrastructure that will make it easier for attendees to travel to meetings. These improvements include expansions and enhancements at LaGuardia, Newark Liberty International and Pittsburgh International airports. There are also more spaces for those attendees to gather, including expanded venues at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center and the Javits Center and new hotels—two in Providence alone— opening throughout the region. The ingenuity that was required to keep people connected during the pandemic has led to some innovations that will outlast COVID-19. On page 8, for example, you’ll read about The Greens at the Seaport, which transformed a rooftop concert venue into 14-foot squares of verdant turf where New Yorkers without a backyard could safely socialize. As the temperature drops, those mini lawns will be transformed again, this time into heated, miniature ski chalets. Event planners can book The Greens for private events, as some top streaming networks have done already. In the best news of all, groups are beginning to gather again. As we document in these pages and on our website, bookings are up at convention centers in Atlantic City, Pittsburgh and New York and at properties of all sizes. In this issue we offer two destinations that are especially fitting for reconnecting after more than 18 months apart: the spectacular Adirondacks, with wide-open spaces and endless options for recreation and team-building, and Kennebunkport, with its small-town charm, rich history and modern amenities. One thing I know about the Northeast is that it always offers new destinations to discover. I hope you’ll share some of your favorites with me, along with news and photos of the events you’re producing. There’s no place better than the Northeast to experience autumnal beauty and winter fun.

SHELLEY LEVITT

Editor shelley.levitt@tigeroak.com

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MEET SAFE IN BOSTON

THE BEST CONNECTIONS ARE MADE IN PERSON.

BOSTONUSA.COM/MEETSAFE CONTACT US: SALES@BOSTONUSA.COM


M E E TI N G N OTES Products, Places & Inspiration

Signature Drink //

Fanne Fox

» THE GODFREY HOTEL

is located in Boston’s bustling Downtown Crossing neighborhood, but before this neighborhood was filled with restaurants, swanky hotels and condo towers, it was affectionately known as “The Combat Zone” and was the city’s very seedy red-light district. One of the best-known denizens of the neighborhood was Fanne Foxe, aka The Argentine Firecracker. Foxe was a popular local stripper and “B-girl.” Like other B-girls, Foxe would sit at local bars drinking colorful cocktails, a way to break the ice with men and strike up conversations. Foxe gained fame when she set off one of the biggest sex scandals of the 1970s, involving Congressman Wilbur Mills. This beautiful cocktail is an homage to the intoxicating Ms. Foxe.

DIRECTIONS Pour all ingredients over ice into a shaker. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Pour over an ice sphere.

godfreyhotelboston.com

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P H OTO : T H E G O D F R E Y

INGREDIENTS —1.5 ounces Rouge Farms Oregon Rye Whiskey —1 ounce Lillet Blanc infused with rosemary —.5 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice —.75 ounce strawberry syrup


NE.MEETINGSMAGS.COM 7


M E E TI N G N OTES Products, Places & Inspiration

New Venue//

The Beatrice (top), Aloft Providence Downtown

Hotels //

PROVIDENCE PUMPS UP ITS ROOM COUNT

Providence is confident about the return of meetings and conventions to the city. To meet the anticipated increase in group business, two new hotels are opening this fall, adding 222 rooms to the city’s inventory and bringing the total to more than 3,000 rooms within one mile of the Rhode Island Convention Center. The Beatrice, a boutique hotel in downtown Providence’s bustling historic district, opened Sept. 1, 2021. Set in the 1887 Exchange Building, the 47-room hotel includes a world-class culinary hotspot with the debut of Ignazio Cipriani’s first Bellini Restaurant and a private rooftop club. The Beatrice also has a private dining room and upper lobby that are ideal for intimate gatherings. thebeatrice.com

NEW PROVIDENCE PROPERTY LAUNCHES

Aloft Providence Downtown, opened in November 2021, is located in the Innovation and Design District on the Providence River, within walking distance of Brown University and Johnson & Wales University. The 175-room property has a lobby bar, along with Elevation, a rooftop lounge with indoor and outdoor seating that can accommodate 100 guests for a private event. In addition, two event rooms, with just under 700 square feet combined, are available for small board meetings and brainstorming sessions. marriott.com/ hotels/travel/pvdal-aloft-providence-downtown

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The pandemic has inspired some creative ways to host events that will likely outlast COVID-19. Consider The Greens at the Seaport, the brainchild of Andrew Schwartz, a senior vice president for Howard Hughes Corporation who oversees strategic partnerships, marketing, creative and rootfop events within the historic Seaport and Pier 17 in lower Manhattan. In spring 2020, Schwartz took a look at the Rooftop at Pier 17, which had been home to an outdoor concert venue, and realized it could be put to better use as an experiential dining concept. By summer, Schwartz and his team had divided the venue into 14-foot squares of well-manicured turf and rebranded it as The Greens, a place where New Yorkers without a backyard could gather. Guests were able to reserve their slice of paradise, with each mini lawn seating up to eight guests and complete with love seat and lounge chairs, sun umbrella and on-site contactless food and beverage purchasing for lunch, brunch or dinner. Upon opening, the waitlist for The Greens grew to 20,000 people. When winter arrived, Schwartz reinvented The Greens as a series of heated cabins fitted with air filters and décor reminiscent of a ski chalet. Today, The Greens at The Rooftop at Pier 17 can be rented for private events, too, and holds up to 250. “The Greens concept has really resonated with event planners and production companies as health and safety are at the forefront of the design,” says Lisa Rubin, director of event sales and venue logistics at The Seaport/ Howard Hughes Corporation. “The Greens provides ease for event producers with our thoughtfully laid-out site plan, sleek in-house furniture and pre-existing stage with turnkey A/V capabilities. Also, the mini lawns were designed to be portable and, therefore, production designers can utilize them to create custom layouts. Private screenings for top streaming networks, intimate corporate celebrations with A-list musical performances and health and wellness retreats are just some of the functions The Greens has hosted this past year.” thegreens.pier17ny.com

P H O T O S : P R O V I D E N C E ; R YA N M U I R O N B E H A L F O F H O WA R D H U G H E S C O R P. ; ( O P P O S I T E ) B A R N O N E

THE GREENS MAKES A PANDEMIC PIVOT IN LOWER MANHATTAN


Some will encourage their employees to have a festive cocktail on hand, and others will have their company CEO give a thank you speech at the beginning of the event. In terms of format, in the nearly 1,500 events that we’ve hosted, we’ve had groups of all types join in: employees that are inperson in the same office, in-person spread across different office locations, fully remote, as well as hybrid combinations between in-office and at-home. Because of how we run our events, we’re able to accommodate groups of all types and make everyone feel included.

Is there an ideal number of players?

LC: While our average group is 20 people, we have done groups as small as four and as large as 1,000. We utilize breakout rooms so even for larger groups there is still time spent in smaller group settings. We know that not everyone feels comfortable speaking out in a large group setting, so when we split players up into teams to compete, this gives those players opportunities to speak up and collaborate with their team in a smaller setting.

Team-Building //

Bar None:

A HOLIDAY GAME THAT BRINGS SCATTERED TEAM MEMBERS TOGETHER Q&A WITH LILIAN CHEN, CO-FOUNDER & COO

» THINK OF BAR NONE GAMES as those rollicking trivia contests at your favorite local bar but without the bar. Lilian Chen and Spencer Fertig launched the company in summer 2020 as a way to connect people, especially employees, when the pandemic was forcing them apart. Bar None combines creative rounds of trivia and mini games led by entertaining hosts into a lively 60-minute team event. With another holiday approaching where employees are likely to be scattered, Northeast Meetings + Events spoke to Chen

about how Bar None can create a festive feeling of unity.

How can companies incorporate Bar None into their holiday celebrations?

LC: Last year, we hosted over 200 virtual holiday parties, and we’re excited to celebrate with even more companies this year. We encourage companies to add their own creative spin. Some companies have their employees dress up in ugly holiday sweaters and give out prizes for the ugliest sweater.

Can questions be customized?

LC: Definitely! First, we always gather your group’s preferences and information so that we can match you up with the perfect content from our 250-plus rounds of trivia. This includes age range, geographic location and areas of interest. From there, we pull out content that we’ve specially written and designed just for groups. Additionally, if you have questions of your own that you’d like to include, we’re happy to include those for a small service fee. We’ve had many groups include custom questions about their company, a specific person or a topic area that’s unique to their own company. barnonegames.com

NE.MEETINGSMAGS.COM 9


M E E TI N G N OTES Products, Places & Inspiration

Open Mic //

Let’s Bring Meetings Back Tori Emerson Barnes serves as executive vice president of public affairs and policy at the U.S. Travel Association.

» FALL IS UPON US, and with that, a time to get back to routines and back to business. Yet daily news reports regarding the Delta variant threaten the nascent recovery of a critical segment of the U.S. economy that typically receives a boost in these autumn months: business travel and professional meetings and events (PMEs). The recovery of business travel and PMEs lags far behind that of leisure travel. According to a report from Tourism Economics, this critically important sector won’t fully recover until 2024 at the earliest, leaving millions of workers—particularly women and historically underrepresented groups—left behind as we begin to rebuild following the devastation inflicted by the pandemic. PMEs have been slower to recover than leisure travel due to early gathering restrictions and confusion as they have been regulated in the same vein as other large gatherings. As those in the meetings and events industry know, this is an unnecessary delay. Science has shown that PMEs are safe, and many large, in-person meetings and trade shows are taking place with no issue. Organizers of PMEs can implement layers of safety measures such as facial coverings, pandemic-curated food and beverage services, and well-ventilated physical spaces which, when paired with temperature checks and physical distancing, drastically reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. And considering that business event participants are typically a well-vaccinated group with a vaccination rate above 80 percent, the risk of transmission is all but eliminated. With states reopening and gathering restrictions being lifted, outdated corporate policies and lingering fear are the primary factors keeping travel budgets frozen and delaying the full return of PMEs. This hesitation to return to business travel may bring short-term savings, but it will certainly result in long-term costs in the form of damage to employees, companies, communities and the U.S. economy. The economic importance of the meetings and events industry cannot be overstated. Contributing more to our national GDP than the air transportation, motion picture

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and spectator sports industries, this segment creates hundreds of thousands of jobs, generates billions of dollars in revenue and supports local communities across the country. The economic importance of these meetings to companies themselves is also worth noting. According to research by Tourism Economics, following the Great Recession we saw a strong correlation between business travel spending and productivity. Those who increased spending on business travel increased profits as well; conversely, those who tightened travel budgets experienced a decline. Those at the forefront of meeting planning can positively affect the return of business travel and PMEs by spreading the good news that these irreplaceable meetings are safe. Reassure clients that the travel and meetings industries put the highest priority on the health and safety of their guests and explain the protocols in place to ensure the safety of everyone from those staffing PMEs to those attending them. Meeting planners are in a unique position to tout the success stories of post-pandemic PMEs. Share your anecdotes and best practices on social media using the hashtag #meetsafemeetnow and on the MeetSafe platform (meetsafe.travel) that showcases meetings that have adhered to multilayered safety protocols. We are in this business for the human connection, the aha moments, and the game-changing ideas that are generated when people gather in person. We know the value of PMEs and the relationship-building opportunities offered at these events. In addition to planning and hosting these meetings, it is now our job to remind businesses of the value of in-person meetings and to reassure them that it can be done safely. The health of our economy depends upon the return of business travel and professional meetings and events. To learn more about the national initiative to restore meetings and events across the country, visit letsmeetthere.travel.com.

P H O T O S : ( O P P O S I T E ) B I A S A M PA I O ; C E D A R L A K E S E S TAT E S

Planners can play a key role in spreading the word that professional gatherings are both safe and essential. BY TORI EMERSON BARNES


Venue Spotlight //

RUSTIC-CHIC CORPORATE RETREATS ON THE HUDSON

» CEDAR LAKES ESTATES, a 500acre former Olympic training facility turned rustic-chic getaway, has relaunched its WFB—Work from Barn—and corporate retreats program. Located in the rolling green hills of New York’s Hudson Valley, 70 miles from Manhattan, the property offers the collaborative vibe of sleepaway camp with the amenities of a five-star hotel, like craft cocktails, seasonal menus prepared with ingredients grown in the on-site organic garden, steaming rain showers and feather-down beds. Lodging ranges from 18 luxury cottages that can accommodate up to 64 guests, camp-style houses (capacity 38) or camper cabins with shared bathrooms, sleeping and living spaces (capacity 116). The heart of the meeting space is the temperature-controlled and restored 6,200-square-foot barn that overlooks the grand lakes. Other indoor meeting space includes the chic Treehouse, Treehouse Conference Room and Hayden Hall. Perched on a hill, the 100-year-old barn is 3,000 square feet with 30-foot ceilings and an oversized working stone fireplace. Outdoor space includes the amphitheater, great lawn, mountaintop clearing, dining pavilion, and 3,000-square-foot barn patio. Group activities are completely customizable and wide-ranging, including yoga, mixology classes, ziplining, guided hikes, a shelter-building survival challenge, oldschool camp crafts (friendship bracelets, popsicle stick frames, dreamcatchers and more), drive-in movies, lawn games, and, in the winter, sledding, ice skating, snowshoeing and ice fishing. Cedar Lakes Estates appeals to energetic, innovative groups. Hinge and Red Bull are two of the companies that have booked upcoming retreats. cedarlakesestate.com

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DE STI NATION Kennebunkport

The Many Charms of Kennebunkport In keeping with its history, this Maine town knows how to reel in meeting planners.

The Lodge on the Cove.

» AN ORIGINAL FISHERMAN’S VILLAGE, the town of Kennebunkport, situated on the southwestern coast of Maine about 25 miles south of Portland and 90 miles north of Boston, is a beloved spot thanks to its majestic beaches, vibrant village life and historic charm. The late President George H. W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush certainly thought so, enjoying a summer home on Walker’s Point for decades. Tours of the home, which is still owned by the Bushes, aren’t

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offered, but visitors can view the estate from a scenic park overlook. Town historian Joyce Butler explains that the name Kennebunk means “long cut bank” and is likely a reference to Great Hill at the mouth of the Mousam River, an important landmark to Native Americans traveling along the coast in their ocean-going canoes. Today, convenient to Boston, Connecticut and New York City, Kennebunkport is an idyllic setting for smaller meetings and retreats.

P H OTO S : K E N N E B U N K P O R T R E S O R T CO L L E C T I O N

BY KEITH LORIA


Accommodations at Hidden Pond include luxurious cottages and bungalows.

“We have a traditional New England town, yet have sophisticated businesses with hightech options,” says Laura Dolce, executive director for the Kennebunk-KennebunkportArundel Chamber of Commerce. “The opportunity for side trips or team bonding experiences are endless, with lobster trapping, high-speed rigid inflatable boat (RIB) rides, beachfront lobster fests and clambakes, brewery tours, whiskey tastings and more.” Another factor that makes Kennebunkport appealing as a meetings destination is that unlike other beach towns, it’s very much a year-round community. WHERE TO STAY AND MEET While there aren’t any mammoth-sized hotels here, cozy bed and breakfasts, historic inns and charming resorts and smaller hotels give meeting planners plenty of lodging options. Perched at the top of Kennebunkport’s Dock Square, Kennebunkport Inn is a renovated tea merchant’s mansion that includes 33 rooms with elegant furnishings and sophisticated décor. Its views overlooking the Kennebunk River are breathtaking. The second-floor Thompson Meeting Room

can accommodate up to 24 attendees for board meetings and brainstorming sessions. Just a skip away from sandy beaches and bustling shops, Yachtsman Hotel & Marina Club is one of the newer places to stay in Kennebunkport. Each of the 30 bungalows features its own patio on the water’s edge, and the property can host meetings for several dozen. The stately 136-year-old waterfront Nonantum Resort roosts along a bend in the Kennebunk River where lobster boats are moored between trips out to sea. The 109-room property has 6,000 square feet of meeting space, including a ballroom that can host 200 guests. Software and data company V12, headquartered in Matawan, New Jersey, held a gathering here last May. “Our senior leadership team met at The Nonantum for a twoday offsite,” says Anne Kurzenberger, V12’s chief people person. “The location was so beautiful, but the real delight was the staff. They went out of their way to ensure our event was a success. And you couldn’t ask for a lovelier place.” Spread over 60 acres of birch groves and balsam fir, the 56-room Hidden Pond was

designed for privacy and luxury. Amenities include two outdoor swimming pools, a three-room treetop spa and organic dining at the award-winning Earth at Hidden Pond restaurant. The 1,200-square-foot Event Barn at Hidden Pond accommodates 80 guests. Team-building activities include stand up paddle boarding, guided nature walks, mixology classes and nightly campfires with s’mores The Lodge on the Cove offers 30 guest rooms and a lovely, secluded location that encourages creative thinking for company retreats. Its Coveside Meeting Room can accommodate up to 40 guests, while an expansive patio overlooks the Kennebunk River. Amenities include complimentary beach cruiser bikes, and downtown Kennebunkport is just a few minutes away for an easy ride. WHAT TO DO AFTER THE MEETING When the meetings are over, attendees at most properties can walk over to Dock Square. Considered the heart of Kennebunkport, Dock Square is full of shops, galleries, restaurants, cafés and cof-

NE.MEETINGSMAGS.COM 13


DE STI NATION Kennebunkport

federaljacks.com/kbchome 207.967.4322 gokennebunks.com 207.967.0857 hiddenpondmaine.com 800.406.3856 kennebunkportinn.com 207.967.2621 lodgeonthecove.com 800.549.1248 mainemeadworks.com 207.773.6323 nonantumresort.com 207.967.4050 trolleymuseum.org

feehouses. It’s this buzz and energy that draws people here. Many of the houses in the area were built back in the 1800s and while they have been renovated, most still have the original structure, providing an old coastal charm. Seashore Trolley Museum, the first and largest electric railway museum in the world, is a must stop. Visitors can take a ride on a heritage railroad in a vintage trolley from the 1900s and explore three carhouses filled with restored trolleys and other transit artifacts. The renowned collection includes vehicles from almost every major city in the U.S. that had a streetcar system, as well as from cities across the globe. The museum also can host indoor events for up to 75 guests and outdoor gatherings for up to 250. Outdoor activities abound in Maine, of course. There are countless ways to get out on the water, including sailing charters, lobster boat tours and kayak rentals. Plus, the hiking trails here are aweinspiring, and golfers will find several courses to play, including Cape Arundel Golf Club. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the

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(Top) Visitors will encounter Kennebunkport’s charm on every street and waterway. (Bottom) The Kennebunport Inn.

18-hole, par 69 course has been played by four U.S. presidents and sports greats that include Babe Ruth. After a busy day, people can drop into the Kennebunkport Brewing Co., known as the birthplace of Shipyard Ale, for their house special brew, or stop at Maine Mead Works for unique HoneyMaker mead drinks. Maine Mead Works can host corporate events, up to 50 people indoors for a cocktail reception and more with additional seating on a tented outdoor patio. Meeting in Maine has never been more intoxicating!

P H OTO S : 1 3 : 1 6 P H OTO G R A P H Y; D O U G L A S M E R R I A M / K E N N E B U N K P O R T R E S O R T CO L L E C T I O N

yachtsmanlodge.com 207.967.2511


Make a Plan. Make it Boise. Centrally located in the heart of vibrant downtown Boise, the recently expanded Boise Centre has a variety of customizable meeting spaces, modern amenities, exceptional culinary services and a friendly and dedicated staff ready to make your next event an unforgettable experience. Explore Idaho’s premier convention center for yourself.

• Centralized, downtown location • Only seven minutes from Boise airport • Over 25 direct flights to and from Boise • Closely surrounded by more than 100 restaurants • Over 1,300 hotel rooms within walking distance • Close to outdoor recreation, including the The Boise Greenbelt

LEARN MORE: boisecentre.com

OUR E-NEWSLETTER

AT YOUR FINGERTIPS. + CALENDAR EVENTS + LATEST INDUSTRY NEWS + PEOPLE NEWS + MONTHLY UPDATES SUBSCRIBE for FREE at

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M E E T + EAT Speakeasies

Drink in the Atmosphere at a Secret Speakeasy

These retro-style bars bring legit cool to cozy gatherings. BY IRENE LEVY BAKER

» IF YOU’RE TRYING TO HELP your team bond, impress a client or show your colleagues that you’re still cool, hold your next intimate gathering at a secret speakeasy. Some of these establishments have been around since Prohibition and others replicate the illegal bars from the 1920s. Speakeasies are known for their highend cocktails, unique atmosphere and secrecy. While they’re no longer illegal, often you can only get in if you’re clued into the discreet location (sometimes with an unmarked entrance), the rules or the password. And, speaking of rules, it’s a good idea to check current COVID protocol before venturing out. HOP SING LAUNDROMAT

Philadelphia

BLIND BARBER

Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles

Hop Sing Laundromat

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Get a cut, a cocktail and a sense of community at Blind Barber, a barbershop and speakeasy. The first one opened in New York City’s East Village in 2010. In the decade since, more have opened in Moxy NYC Times Square (barbershop only), as well as in Philadelphia, Chicago and two in Los Angeles. No two are the same but each offers a drink and more with a haircut at the attached speakeasy. The concept is a real hit, even for those who don’t know

P H OTO S : R O B E R T N E R O N I ; (O P P O S I T E ) B L I N D B A R B E R

There’s no sign at this mysterious Chinatown speakeasy, just an iron gate and a doorbell. Finding it and getting in are tough, and staying in can be challenging, too. Guests who pull out a phone get banned for life. The dimly lit bar has widely spaced tables topped with elaborate candelabras, brick-exposed walls, a nickel-topped bar and a wall of hard-to-find liquors. Le, the single-named proprietor, will occasionally do buyouts for up to 50. Bring a group of up to 10, but if anyone doesn’t follow the dress code (no flip flops, baseball caps or shorts) you’ll all be turned away. No reservations. You’ll have to wait in line, but it’s worth it.


Blind Barber

that Phillies star athlete and uber groomer Bryce Harper is a partial owner. Full and partial buyouts are available. Book just the barbershop, only the bar or both for the full Blind Barber experience. The two-story Philadelphia bar can hold up to 200, while the East Village location has space for up to 100. For groups of 10 or more, make reservations for a table and bottle service. Walk-ins welcome.

gate with a Lower East Side Toy Company sign. On Mondays, there’s live jazz, but guests need a password (which is found on the bar’s Facebook or Instagram page). Reservations are available for drinks (there’s no food). The entire lounge, which holds up to 150, is available for a full buyout. Groups of 20 to 30 can rent the smaller private room with an open bar, which is behind a bookcase door.

THE BACK ROOM

ORDINARY

New York City

The Back Room on the Lower East Side is one of only two speakeasies in New York City that actually operated during Prohibition and are still in existence. In the 1920s it was known as “The Back of Ratner’s” and was frequented by actors and gangsters. The Back Room continues to attract celebrities, and it still serves cocktails in teacups, as it did when Bugsy Siegel and his cronies drank there. To find it, look for a waist-high

New Haven

The building that houses Ordinary in New Haven’s historic downtown has reportedly been a bar since the 1600s. Its extraordinary history includes an overnight by George Washington. The building was converted into a hotel in the early 1900s and is now apartments. The current owners spent nine months renovating the space and preserving the carved woodwork, intricate plaster ceiling and fire-

place, which is topped with Gunther, a mounted moose head gifted by the owner of a bar formerly located at the property. Enter through the intimate cocktail museum to learn about Jerry Thomas, a New Haven native known as the “Godfather of Cocktails,” and to see antique bitters bottles and Prohibition-era prescriptions for alcohol. Then ring the bell of the inner door, which looks like a bookcase. Ordinary takes reservations and walkins. Full buyouts for up to 80 are available, as are partial buyouts of the back room for up to 50. THIRTY3

Towaco

There’s a steakhouse with a speakeasy tucked beneath it just 20 minutes from Newark Airport and 30 minutes from New York City. The New Jersey establishment is three stories; while all stories share a menu, they have dramatically different

NE.MEETINGSMAGS.COM 17


M E E T + EAT Speakeasies

backroomnyc.com 212.228.5098 blindbarber.com 215.528.9485 (Philadelphia) 212.228.2123 (NYC, East Village) 646.609.1772 (Times Square) hopsinglaundromat.com 215.390.8888 omnihotels.com/hotels/pittsburghwilliam-penn/dining/the-speakeasy 412.281.7100 ordinarynewhaven.com 203.907.0238 railssteakhouse.com/thirty3_speakeasy 973.335.0006

Thirty3 is available for buyouts and can hold 40 for a seated meal or up to 100 for a cocktail party. THE SPEAKEASY AT OMNI WILLIAM PENN HOTEL

(Top) The Speakeasy at Omni William Penn Hotel. (Bottom) Thirty3 at Rails Steakhouse.

vibes, offering lots of flexibility for business gatherings. Rails Steakhouse has a wine list that has won accolades from Wine Spectator and is on the main floor. It’s topped by Rafters, which has a more casual lodge feel. And beneath

18 NEM+E » FALL 2021 WINTER 2022

them both is Thirty3. The lower-level bar is reminiscent of a cozy Prohibition-style bar specializing in cocktails that are made with hand-squeezed juices, fresh herbs, housespiked single barrel bourbons and single malt scotches.

If the walls at the century-old Omni William Penn Hotel could talk, they’d tell of being the birthplace of Lawrence Welk’s original bubble machine, the founder’s grandfather distilling whiskey for the hotel five years before the grand opening, and a speakeasy nestled beneath the lobby during Prohibition. Over the decades, the speakeasy became storage space. Then in 2012, 79 years after Prohibition was repealed, it reopened. Today, it’s a dark, sexy lounge with plush scarlet seating, a tin roof reminiscent of the 1920s and historical artifacts such as Prohibition-era prescriptions for whiskey that were discovered at a local pharmacy and whiskey brewed by the grandfather of Henry Clay Frick, the American industrialist who built the hotel. The speakeasy is walk-in only, and buyouts are available with a food and drink minimum. The room can hold up to 45 people, and the meeting space next door can be used for overflow.

P H OTO S : E D M A S S E RY; R A I L S S T E A K H O U S E

Pittsburgh


p plea leas su ur re e doing business business It’s where everything comes together. Where meetings are conducted with rhythm and grace. Where even before you meet and shake hands, you all begin to realize that you’re in a pretty great place.

NE.MEETINGSMAGS.COM 19

TraverseCity.com


ADIRONDACKS

e r u l l A

WITH ITS ASTOUNDING BEAUTY, LOW-KEY CHARM AND ENDLESS WAYS TO ENJOY THE OUTDOORS, THERE’S NO BETTER ANTIDOTE TO A STRESSFUL COUPLE OF YEARS THAN THIS NORTHERN

By Keith Loria

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P H OTO : L A K E P L AC I D.CO M

NEW YORK DESTINATION.


hen people think about the Adirondacks, they likely imagine a place with aweinspiring beauty: rolling mountain ranges, sparkling lakes, majestic waterfalls, breathtaking views. The same attributes that make the Adirondacks a perfect vacation getaway— fresh mountain air, endless activities, a setting to detox from urban stress—also make the region appealing to meeting planners for corporate gatherings and conferences.

“It’s a small town but with a big infrastructure, meaning it has the charm and gives the feeling that you’ve gotten away to a secluded area, but there’s plenty of opportunities for meetings of all sizes, thanks to the large-town capacity,” says Mimi Wacholder, owner and principal planner of Lake Placid-based Juniper Events and Design, who has been planning corporate meetings of all kinds here for 18 years. “There are endless opportunities for hiking, skiing and snowshoeing—secondary activities that have become the forefront of meetings and conventions here.” Though the Adirondacks feel worlds away from the big city, getting here is relatively easy. Amtrak train service leaves from Penn Station and heads directly to Adirondack Park, winding its way through the lush wine country of the Hudson Valley. Meeting attendees departing from most points in New England and Upstate New York can make the drive on a single tank of gas. It’s a two-hour drive from Burlington, 2 1/2 hours from Albany, four hours from Syracuse, five hours from Boston and six hours from Buffalo. The drive is just as easy from Canada: 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 hours from Montreal and Ottawa, respectively. There are also two regional airports, making the destination accessible for those traveling from farther distances. There’s a lot to do in the Adirondacks, exploring villages like Saranac Lake, browsing regional craft galleries, or learning about the region’s history at Adirondack Museum. And, of course, you’re never far from a tree-lined hiking trail. For those travelers who have a bit more time on their hands, a visit to Whiteface Mountain’s Atmospheric Sciences Center, reached via a memorable journey up Whiteface Veteran’s Memorial Highway, is about an hour from Lake Placid and two to three hours from Lake George. OLYMPIC DREAMS IN LAKE PLACID Lake Placid’s tagline promises “Inspired Meetings. Unique Experiences.” It’s easy to see how the town can deliver on that claim. Aside from

its magnificent mountains, pristine waterways and relaxing nature trails, Lake Placid is one of the few two-time Olympic host cities in the world, the site of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympic Games. The latter is famous for the “Miracle on Ice” hockey game between the United States and Soviet Union, where the American team was widely recognized as the underdog yet emerged triumphant to win the gold medal. All of the Olympic venues are open to the public for viewing and for participation in the activities they offer. Ride down the Olympic bobsled track, take the elevator to the top of the 120meter ski jump, and access the summit of Whiteface Mountain by either the Cloudsplitter Gondola or the scenic Veterans Memorial Highway. With more than 90,000 square feet of conference space, The Conference Center at Lake Placid can accommodate conferences, conventions, trade shows and meetings of any size. And the Gold LEED certified center has a prime location on Main Street, next to the Olympic Oval and across from Mirror Lake. “The conference center is centrally located right in the Village of Lake Placid, so unique shopping and restaurants along Lake Placid’s quaint Main Street are just steps away,” says Buzzy Rickard, conference coordinator. “It offers state-of-theart A/V as well as world-class, in-house catering service to meet all needs.” Around the venue, there are three museums, multiple art galleries, guided boat tours on Lake Placid Lake, several day spas in the village, four 18-hole golf courses and many nearby hiking/skiing trails. High Peaks Resort offers 10,000 square feet of recently renovated meeting and banquet spaces and can accommodate small board meetings and groups of up to 250 . “We elevate meetings, conventions, retreats, ski group getaways and fam-

NE.MEETINGSMAGS.COM 21


ily reunions to the next level by creating an experience to uniquely meet their needs,” says Katrina Lauber, sales manager for the resort. “As you wake to the view of the mountains and Mirror Lake, guests can relax and enjoy the peace of being surrounded by the beautiful natural setting.” The resort offers three unique hotels for inspiring meetings and retreats: the 44-room Lake House, an inn on the lake that can be bought out by a group with a personalized cocktail hour and activities planned; 28 rooms in the Waterfront Collection, offering immediate access to Main Street and Mirror Lake activities; and 105 guest rooms in the main resort, close to on-site dining, a relaxing spa and salon, and multiple pools to lounge around and brainstorm new ideas. Crowne Plaza Lake Placid, located adjacent to the Olympic Center, adds up as a venue for large meetings with 1,000 acres, 30,000 square feet of function space, 245 guest rooms, and 45 holes of championship

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golf at the 100-year-old Lake Placid Club. Activities and amenities include a private trout reserve, tours of Lake Placid aboard covered pontoon boats, a private beach club and indoor pool, and a wide variety of dining options, including lobster feasts and BBQs at Lake Placid Club. EXPLORING LAKE GEORGE Close by in Lake George, those attending meetings can enjoy an array of water activities such as kayaking, paddle boarding, whitewater rafting and cruises, offered by the Lake George Steamboat Company. Clients with larger blocks of time can venture out to more adventurous attractions such as Adirondack Extreme, which is a high ropes and zipline course in the treetops. Thrill seekers who have brought along the kids might want to check out Six Flags Great Escape. Those who like their feet to stay on the ground when they’re enjoying activities will have plenty to do, too. Their options include

visiting Fort William Henry (a historic fort with ties to the French and Indian War), strolling through local art galleries, and taking in a few races at the nearby Saratoga Race Track and Casino. There’s venue space, too, at this 80-year-old race track, with options that include a 3,200-squarefoot ballroom and a trackside restaurant. Nestled in the Adirondack Mountains, The Sagamore Resort has been around since 1883 and is considered one of the most memorable places to stay in the area. With 375 guestrooms offering views of the gardens of Green Island and more than 35,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, including a 10,000-square-foot ballroom and an 11,000-square-foot exhibit hall, it’s a popular destination for corporate meetings and events. Amenities abound on the 70-acre property, including a 95,000-gallon outdoor pool, seven dining outlets, tennis and basketball courts, a soccer field and The Morgan, a 72-foot replica of a 19th century

P H OTO S : H I G H P E A K S R E S O R T; (O P P O S I T E ) T H E S AG A M O R E R E S O R T; R E G I O N A L O F F I C E O F S U S TA I N A B L E T O U R I S M

High Peaks Resort


touring vessel that groups of up to 75 can book for a private tour of Lake George. “Guests enter our lobby and look out the windows toward Lake George and immediately know they are in someplace special,” says Lori K. Rehm, director of sales for the Bolton Landing-based resort. “We have hosted both small and large meetings, and attendees love to take advantage of the area around us.” Large groups might want to consider the 193-room Fort William Henry Resort & Conference Center, which has 16,500

(Top) The Sagamore Resort (Bottom) Lake Placid

square feet of space and is large enough to accommodate a 300-person meeting or host a trade show. The venue also is open to hosting groups as small as 10 in one of its more intimate meeting spaces. Surfside on the Lake Resort is an independently owned property that feels especially welcoming and cozy. Mark Dawson, director of sales and marketing, ticks off some of the amenities. “We have 154 rooms and suites, two on-site restaurants, a private waterfront and beach, an outdoor heated pool and more,” he says. “We have

several meeting and banquet spaces that can accommodate many different-sized groups. In total, we have more than 8,000 square feet of event space with our largest space measuring approximately 3,000 square feet.” Dunham’s Bay Resort is especially well-suited for team-building. Several of its 21 hotel rooms and 20 cabins have a common kitchen and living room for communal time, as well as separate bedrooms with their own bathrooms for privacy. A private beach is across the street, and low-key, fun activities include a bocce ball court, horseshoe pit, shuffleboard, volleyball and badminton. “Our banquet dining space is very

QUICKcts Fa

The Adirondack Region is located in northern New York, about five hours north of New York City and less than three hours from Albany and Montreal. Sprawling across 6.1 million acres, Adirondack Park is a state park comprising 105 towns and villages, with Lake George and Lake Placid two of its most notable. There are no entrance fees. » 60 golf courses » 2,000 miles of hiking trails » More than 3,000 lakes and ponds » Nearly 12,000 campsites » Approximately 11,000 rental rooms in hotels, motels, inns, cabins and cottages » Larger than five national parks combined: Grand Canyon, Great Smoky, Yellowstone, Yosemite and Glacier » Biggest protected natural area in the lower 48

NE.MEETINGSMAGS.COM 23


1.

RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES FOR EVERY SEASON By Shelley Levitt

The Adirondacks Region is a year-round destination. Whenever groups visit, they’ll find plenty of ways to enjoy the area’s stunning beauty as a team, with their family or on their own.

FALL » Go leaf peeping (1). With millions of acres of technicolor forests and the longest foliage season on the East Coast, autumn in the Adirondacks is spectacular. Grab your camera or smartphone and a few colleagues and hit the trails. Keep it mellow or make it competitive—which team will win the award for capturing the best images? » Celebrate the season’s bounty. Pick apples, navigate a corn maze, or follow the Adirondack Coast Wine Trail by bike or car to the region’s welcoming wineries and cider mills. // visitadirondacks.com/fall

WINTER » Hit the slopes for skiing and snowboarding. Whiteface Mountain, also known as Olympic Mountain, has the greatest vertical drop east of the Rockies. Gore Mountain offers 121 trails, including 11 snowshoe loops, with expert-only, intermediate and beginner terrain.

SPRING Go whitewater rafting. As the sun hits the Adirondacks’ frozen waterways, rapids on the Hudson River reach a torrent, creating ideal Class IV and V rapids for the adventurous. Hang with the birds (3). Stash a pair of binoculars and a birding guidebook in your backpack and witness the spring migration when birds flock north from sunnier climes in the south. There are more than 100 species of Adirondack birds, including boreal birds, birds of prey, perching birds and waterfowl. Alpine areas such as Whiteface Mountain and Blue Mountain Lake provide ideal viewing spots. You’ll want to hike to nesting grounds in early morning. // visitadirondacks.com/spring

SUMMER » Hit the water (4). With more than 3,000 lakes and ponds and 1,500 miles of rivers, the Adirondacks are a water wonderland. Tour the scenic coastline by boat, learn how to waterski on Lake George, paddle in a kayak, try stand-up paddle boarding, or swim on a pristine lake, placid pond or flowing river. » Take a hike. With more than 2,000 miles of hiking trails and a sun that rises just after 5 a.m. and lingers until 9 p.m., the Adirondacks are a hiker’s paradise in the summer. For an experience that will take your breath away, try a waterfall hike. Most of these hikes are easy to moderate and all are spectacular. // visitadirondacks.com/summer

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P H O T O S : R E G I O N A L O F F I C E O F S U S TA I N A B L E T O U R I S M ; D M I T R Y B E LYA E V

» Enjoy cross-country skiing on miles of quiet trails (2). Traverse frozen lakes and forested glades and circle every town from Lake George to Star Lake. One of the easiest winter sports to learn, cross-country skiing is perfect for families and participants with various levels of athletic skills. // visitadirondacks.com/winter


2. 3.

accommodating, offering two separate dining areas for up to 50 people each and two banquet rooms for up to 100 people,” says Matt Taormino, Dunham’s general manager. “Being only minutes from downtown, the outlets and other Lake George attractions, guests are treated to a very secluded spot without much traveling.” It’s easy to combine productivity and after-hour fun at Roaring Brook Ranch Resort. The 135-room property has 17,000 square feet of meeting space and a horseback riding program that is available spring, summer and fall and takes riders of all skill levels through miles of scenic trails near Prospect Mountain. “The Adirondack region is an amazing place for meetings and retreats as you can separate yourself from the outside world and really concentrate as a group in some of our more rural areas,” says Katy Van Anden, coowner of VanBe and Co., which specializes in planning and producing corporate meetings and events in the Lake Placid area. “Or, people can choose to be in the heart of our villages with all of the amenities of a more metropolitan area.”

dunhamsbay.com |

518.656.9242

fortwilliamhenry.com |

518.668.3081

highpeaksresort.com |

518.523.6290

lakeplacid.com |

518.523.2445

lakeplacidcp.com |

518.523.2556

roaringbrookranch.com | surfsideonthelake.com | thesagamore.com |

518.668.5767 518.668.2442

518.743.6208

visitadirondacks.com/groups visitlakegeorge.com |

800.95.visit

4.

NE.MEETINGSMAGS.COM 25


I ND U STRY U PDATE Infographic

Optimism Returns

With the positive outlook come real challenges in luring back talent and training newcomers. RESEARCH COURTESY OF MEETING PROFESSIONALS INTERNATIONAL » MEETINGS PROFESSIONALS are anticipating major growth for the year to come in areas like hiring, budgets and attendance, according to the summer 2021 edition of Meeting Professionals International’s “Meetings Outlook.” Respondents to the Meetings Outlook survey also are taking getting vaccinated seriously, with more than 91 percent reporting being fully or partially vaccinated. Optimism and business expectations are the highest ever seen in Meetings Outlook, with 93 percent projecting favorable business conditions over the next year compared to only 36 percent reporting optimism the prior summer. In addition, more than 81 percent anticipated holding their next face-to-face event in 2021. With all this good news come real concerns, especially staffing challenges and getting teams back up and running to offer quality customer service as the meetings and events industry revs back up. Even with possible impact from coronavirus variants on the horizon, confidence remains high. Watch for upcoming Meetings Outlooks to keep up with the latest information. Here’s to positive outlooks! mpi.org |

MPI | » Download the full report at: mpi.org/docs/default-source/meetings-outlook/meetings-outlook-summer-2021.pdf

ATTENDANCE FORECASTS

Getting back to in-person meetings is definitely a priority, and the number of virtual meetings is dropping. Here’s what planners had to say about upcoming gatherings. In comparison, 87 percent of respondents in summer 2020 indicated favorable virtual attendance. That number has shifted to 36 percent.

Live Attendance Projections

Virtual Attendance Projections

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77% 4% 19% 36% 16% 47%

WELLNESS CONTENT

As the industry builds back to former levels, the pandemic has focused a spotlight on the importance of wellness being part of the conversation and most meeting and event agendas. Sixty-three percent expressed a greater interest in wellness-specific content, while only 4 percent indicated less interest in onsite wellness programming. It’s not only physical health but mental health as well.

As the meetings and events industry transitions back to more “normal” levels, it will require understanding and patience from every direction … planners, suppliers and attendees. Everyone is doing their best and juggling unique challenges. Thank you to MPI for providing helpful insights into what’s happening during what has been one huge rollercoaster ride.


BUSINESS CONDITIONS

There has been a big leveling out of the buyer’s and seller’s market landscape in just a quarter as things begin to settle. The numbers speak for themselves, but it’s important to note that planners weren’t able to leverage the advantage much due to limited numbers of in-person events from fall 2020 through spring 2021. As more gatherings return and venues deal with hiring challenges, the limited supply likely will continue to swing the pendulum to a seller’s market.

FALL WINTER SPRING SUMMER 2020 2021 2021 2021

Buyer’s Market

73% 76% 67% 44%

Balanced Market

14% 13% 19% 18%

Seller’s Market

13% 12% 14% 38%

Pricing Movement

It’s also interesting to look at how pricing has changed, as respondents indicated that costs for many meeting/event-related expenses increased in 2021. The price tags that seem to be least affected are office space, speakers/presenters, on-site security and entertainment. According to respondents, prices for many meeting/event-related expenses have risen this year. How much have they increased?

+1%-5% +6%-10% +11%-25% >25% No change

AIRFARE

12% 24% 19% 13% 20%

AUDIOVISUAL

11% 20% 17% 9% 32%

ENTERTAINMENT

11% 23% 7% 3% 39%

F&B

16% 32% 22% 5% 16%

GUEST ROOMS

17% 17% 19% 7% 29%

OFFICE SPACE

14% 10% 2% 2% 50%

ON-SITE SECURITY

10% 12% 9% 4% 44%

RENTAL CARS

7% 15% 13% 24% 26%

SPACE RENTAL

16% 23% 12% 6% 33%

SPEAKERS/PRESENTERS

12% 17% 9% 2% 45%

THE TALENT CHALLENGE

Much of the summer 2021 edition of MPI’s Meetings Outlook was dedicated to the biggest elephant in the room: a shortage of industry talent. Lengthy furloughs and job loss due to the pandemic drove many in the meetings/events and hospitality industries to find new jobs or new career paths. Women have accounted for nearly 80 percent of people who left the workforce during the pandemic, according to 2021 U.S. Census Bureau statistics, and women make up approximately 77 percent of the meetings and events workforce, noted one source. As venues and hotels have started ramping up the meetings and events side of their businesses again, the amount of qualified staff hasn’t necessarily been available, which has required looking at new and more diverse pools of people to hire and adding new skills to employees’ repertoires. Companies in the industry also are becoming more open to hiring contract employees and freelancers to address the ebbs and flows of business levels.

NE.MEETINGSMAGS.COM 27


IN DUSTRY U PDAT E Regional News

(Clockwise) National Aviary Garden Room; David L. Lawrence Convention Center; The Industrialist Hotel; Pittsburgh International Airport rendering.

WHAT’S NEW IN PITTSBURGH There are several new developments you’ll want to know about in the Steel City. Located in the 18-story Arrott Building on Wood Street, The Industrialist Hotel, Pittsburgh, Autograph Collection, has opened its doors. The 124-room downtown property is located just steps away from Market Square and boasts a vibrant lobby lounge, 1,200 square feet of meeting space and The Rebel Room, a bar-centric restaurant. marriott.com The National Aviary, the nation’s only indoor bird zoo, has unveiled The Garden Room, a stunning space with large, bird-

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friendly glass windows, two stone fireplaces and a grand lobby area. Meeting planners will enjoy the functionality of the space that holds up to 200, including windows that allow for open-air access to the garden,or can remain closed for comfort in the winter. aviary.org/plan-your-event

Construction has resumed on The Landing Hotel, a luxurious property that connects directly to Rivers Casino on the North Shore. Once completed, the sevenstory hotel is expected to have 219 guest rooms attached to the casino’s east façade, facing the Carnegie Science Center. View the live construction cam for progress. thelandinghotelpgh.com/construction-cam

The Platinum LEED certified David L. Lawrence Convention Center recently opened the Rooftop Boulevard, a $3 million renovated outdoor feature located on the building’s fourth level. The sleek, modern space can host up to 300 people depending on the event setup. Among its breathtaking features are teak seating fixtures, innovative uplighting and plants native to western Pennsylvania. In addition, organizations looking to make the most of their meetings and events can now utilize The Confluence, an event studio that provides the opportunity to live-stream, pre-record presentations and host hybrid events. pittsburghcc.com

P H O T O S : E L L I O T C R A M E R P H O T O G R A P H Y ; J U S T I N O G R O S K Y ; TA G G A R T S O R E N S E N ; P I T T S B U R G H I N T E R N AT I O N A L A I R P O R T ; ( O P P O S I T E ) S T E V E N S E R G E P H O T O G R A P H Y

Openings & Updates //


Venue Spotlight //

MAKING A SPLASH IN THE CATSKILLS

Pittsburgh International Airport’s $1.4-billion Terminal Modernization Program is underway and will be the first in the United States designed and constructed for a post-pandemic world. Key design details for the 700,000-square-foot terminal, including large outdoor terraces and touchless processes, will allow for increased social distancing. Also, a commitment to sustainability will be evident throughout the facility. pittransformed.com Astrobotic’s Moonshot Museum is slated to open in spring 2022, and will likely become a popular local, regional, national and global attraction. The museum will feature a “clean room” window, which will allow visitors to watch real lunar landers and rovers being built and prepped for travel to the moon. Additionally, talks are underway to develop a Space Corridor between the museum’s location on the North Side and Carnegie Science Center on the North Shore, further ensuring that Pittsburgh will continue to play a significant role in the space sector and provide meeting attendees with a full day of immersive activities. astrobiotic.com

Borscht Belt resorts are pretty much defunct and the Catskills have become a hip new destination. A growing number of companies are taking advantage of that cachet and the area’s proximity to New York City to hold meetings and leadership retreats at The Kartrite Resort & Indoor Waterpark. BMW of North America and PepsiCo are just two of the groups that have gathered at the modern-meets-mountain Monticello property. With 10 water slides and a not-so-lazy river, New York’s biggest indoor waterpark—heated to 84 degrees year-round—offers lots of opportunities for attendees’ inner child to emerge. Serious work can get done at this 324-suite property, too. The conference center has a separate entrance outside the splash zone and has 11,000-square feet of flexible function space to accommodate everything from an intimate board meeting to a 600-person reception. Custom teambuilding is available for groups of all sizes. Offerings include “Rest & Relaxation” activities like gourmet s’mores, painting classes and wine tastings; “Feel the Music” lip sync battles; “Think & Achieve” bike or boat building; beer-marketing challenges; and “Action & Athletics,” including mechanical bull riding, guided nature hikes and laser tag. This fall, The Kartrite plans to offer archery lessons and reopen Bixby’s Derby, its fine-dining restaurant, with a new menu and concept. thekartrite.com

Hotel News //

A GREEN ACHIEVEMENT FOR FOUR SEASONS HOTEL ONE DALTON STREET, BOSTON As a leader in the Boston community, Four Seasons Hotel One Dalton Street, Boston has made a commitment “to sustainability and improving the quality of life and overall health and wellness of hotel guests, residents and team members.” Now the 215-room luxury property is celebrating its achievement of LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. “We are delighted to have achieved this certification from the U.S. Green Building Council and truly value our partnership,” says General Manager Reed Kandalaft. “We are committed to practicing sustainability,

preserving our planet’s limited resources and enhancing the lives of all that enter our building including guests, residents and team members. We will strive to implement measures that continually propel us forward as a leader in sustainable practices and the Boston community overall.” The hotel is striving for LEED Gold and, ultimately, Platinum certification and has a concerted effort around recycling, eliminating single-use plastics and Styrofoam, and implementing the use of sustainable materials for meetings. The Four Seasons team also is committed to tracking and reporting hotel-specific energy data to measure carbon footprint, completing annual energy audits and collaborating with energy experts to be at the forefront of innovations. fourseasons.com/onedalton

NE.MEETINGSMAGS.COM 29


IN DUSTRY U PDAT E Regional News

Openings & Updates //

WHAT’S NEW IN NEW YORK There’s a lot going on in the city that never sleeps. “As New York City rebounds and visitors return to our vibrant neighborhoods across the five boroughs, an entire new slate of offerings awaits, underscoring our message to travelers: It’s Time for New York City,” says Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company, the city’s official destination marketing organization and convention and visitors bureau. “Keeping with NYC’s tradition of constant renewal and reinvention, new worldclass products and infrastructure join our best-known icons to keep NYC the most exhilarating and welcoming urban destination in the world.” Some very striking advances have been made to infrastructure, including the following.

The Javits Center completed its 1.2 million-square-foot expansion, including a 54,000-square-foot special event space, the largest of its kind in the Northeast; 90,000 square feet of exhibit space; a 200,000-square-foot rooftop event space, including a glass-enclosed pavilion, an outdoor terrace, a green roof that serves as a habitat for area wildlife, and a 1-acre working farm, which is expected to generate up to 40,000 pounds of produce each year.

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Javits Center’s green roof covers 6.75 acres.

LaGuardia Airport’s redesigned Terminal B features 35 new gates, along with retail, food and beverage, and amenities that more than double the previous offerings. With soaring ceilings and plenty of natural light, the new terminal has nearly 50 shops and restaurants including Shake Shack and FAO Schwarz. By mid-2022, with the completion of Delta’s new Terminal C, visitors will be greeted by an airport fit for the 21st century including two new terminals connected by a magnificent Central Hall, featuring the Orpheus and Apollo sculpture formerly at Lincoln Center. The AirTrain

project, scheduled for completion in 2025, will provide a convenient rail connection to the LIRR and NYC subway, offering travelers service from Manhattan to the airport in 30 minutes. Newark Liberty International Airport’s new Terminal A, a 1 million-squarefoot terminal that will be 20 percent larger than the existing Terminal A, will feature 33 new gates and cutting-edge design changes. The new terminal will be a “common use” terminal with all gates utilized by multiple carriers for increased flexibility and efficiency. As

P H O T O : N YC & C O M PA N Y

Opened earlier this year, Moynihan Train Hall is a spectacular 92-foot-high train hall with soaring skylights that transformed the landmark James A. Farley Post Office Building into a 21st-century transportation hub serving Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and Amtrak passengers. The new station features 50 percent more concourse space and is a welcome expansion of the Penn Station complex. Plans have been unveiled for a new pedestrian pathway that will link NYC’s High Line seamlessly to Moynihan Train Hall, scheduled to be completed by 2023.


CVB News //

NEW UNITY FOR RHODE ISLAND CONVENTION CENTER & PROVIDENCE WARWICK CVB In unity, there is strength … and a destination that’s appealing to meeting and event planners. That’s the thinking behind the “ONE TEAM initiative,” a joint effort that pulls the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau (PWCVB) and Rhode Island Convention Center (RICC) into a more well-defined sales and service team. With the addition of new staff at both PWCVB and RICC, the initiative is up and running, according to Thomas Riel, vice president of sales and services for PWCVB. “By acting as one team we are merging our strengths and areas of efficiency to create a more effective overall customer experience,” Riel says. Lawrence Lepore, general manager of both RICC and Dunkin’ Donuts Center, agrees. “The additions we have brought onto our team will add a revitalized energy into our organization,” Lepore says. “We have seen that consumers are excited to return to live events, and I feel confident in the team we have built to welcome back the fans of Providence.” The new and returning team members include:

part of the airport redevelopment project, construction is underway for a new jointuse, multilevel parking facility and consolidated car rental location (ConRac) directly connecting to the new Terminal A via a climate-controlled pedestrian bridge. The Port Authority continues to build momentum toward state-of-the-art mass rail transit systems that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion, including construction on a 2.5-mile elevated guideway train system, a Newark Liberty project scheduled to begin in mid-2022 and new service set to start in 2026. nycgo.com

Elizabeth Buckley, business development manager (PWCVB) // Buckley brings more than 20 years of experience engaging industry partners and creating events into this newly created role focused on uncovering new meeting and convention sales opportunities. This marks a return to PWCVB for Buckley, who previously spent six years with the organization in the early 2000s as a director of membership followed by director of national accounts handling the mid-Atlantic market. Prior to rejoining PWCVB, Buckley served as a board member

for Discover Newport and performed consulting services for Rhode Island PBS and New England Cable Television Association. Joanna Arrighie, senior sales manager (RICC) // Arrighie joins RICC after spending 15 years at the Providence Marriott Downtown, most recently serving as director of sales and marketing where her background in catering, business travel and group sales allowed her team to consistently exceed revenue targets. Throughout her career, Arrighie also has created long-lasting partnerships with local business associates; she is currently secretary on the board of directors for Rhode Island Hospitality Association Education Foundation. Veronica Van Jura, senior marketing manager (Dunkin’ Donuts Center and RICC) // Van Jura has worked in marketing and strategic branding for eight years. Most recently, she was the marketing lead at DCU Center Arena & Convention Center in Worcester, Massachusetts. Growing a brand, personifying internet presence, and community contributions are the pillars that drive Van Jura in her professional choices. Donna Wing, catering sales manager (RICC) // Wing is a seasoned professional with more than 30 years of hospitality experience and is known for her attention to detail, passion for creativity and customer service excellence. She previously served as director of convention and group sales for Twin River Casino. Prior to joining the Twin River team, she held a variety of management positions within the food and beverage department at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut.

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PE OPLE PROF I L E Martha Sheridan

» MARTHA J. SHERIDAN has worn a lot

of hats and earned a lot of accolades in her 30-year career. Currently president and CEO of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau (GBCVB) and a member of the U.S. Travel Association Board of Directors, she’s a former chair of Destination Marketing Association International and a recipient of both the MPI New England Chapter President’s Award and Supplier of the Year Award. During her 12 years heading the Providence/Warwick CVB, she was named Rhode Island Hospitality Association’s Woman of the Year, among countless other distinctions. “I love the mission that we’re tasked with, which is creating jobs and prosperity for the communities we represent,” Sheridan says, “and I have deep love for the people at every level of the hospitality industry.” Sheridan took over the reins of the GBCVB in early 2019 and soon was providing strategic leadership to the organization’s 1,200 members, a role made immeasurably more difficult by the emerging pandemic. “Dealing with the pandemic has been a roller-coaster ride, quite frankly,” Sheridan admits. “There’s been a lot of hard work and collaboration both with my team locally and my counterparts across the country to provide our constituents with clear communications and expectations to the extent that it’s possible.”

Walking the Talk

Greater Boston CVB head Martha J. Sheridan has found that staying in step with colleagues is the best way to navigate the pandemic. BY SHELLEY LEVITT

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The 100 days have ended but Sheridan is still walking almost daily, and she remains “bullish” on the future of the meetings industry. “More than ever,” she says, “I firmly believe that nothing can replace in-person meetings. Commerce is conducted more effectively and relationships are built stronger when you meet people in person.” bostonusa.com

I L L U S T R AT I O N : T R A C I Z E L L M A N N

To help keep herself and her colleagues grounded, Sheridan and Anissa Ladd, of the Providence CVB, formed “100 days of walking,” a virtual walking group. “We used the hashtag ‘walking together while apart’ and invited our Facebook group to join us in 100 consecutive days of walking outside, rain, snow, sun, whatever. We had challenges, like scavenger hunts where everyone had to post photos of themselves with, say, a hot pink object or something that begins with the letter P. It was an incredible lifeline.”


State Theatre New Jersey


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