Friday, November 11, 2011

National Sales Meeting 2012: Lake Erie Shores? A wave of renovations and revitalized attractions make Northern Ohio a “shore thing”

Looking for a wealth of meeting-friendly hotel offerings, wineries, amusement parks, unique local attractions, and a plethora of fine dining? Enter Northern Ohio. No, really. With a relatively short drive from Chicago, Detroit, Columbus, and Cleveland, and a quick flight from numerous U.S. locations, Northern Ohio offers guests a year-round, first-class experience at a fraction of the cost of top tier destinations.

With today’s meeting budgets dwindling and client’s expectations mounting, planners are struggling to secure reasonable rates at high-end sites, encouraging them to explore hidden treasures nestled in the Midwest. Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores caters to the expansive needs of delegates with their recreationally rich, picturesque atmosphere showcasing diverse eateries and unique lodging options.

Upon completion in December, Sandusky’s African-themed Kalahari Resort solidifies its ranking as the largest hotel in the state of Ohio. It will boast a 38,000 square-foot ballroom and exposition center, a 12,000 square-foot junior ballroom, 14 meeting rooms, a 4,000 square-foot outdoor plaza and a an extra 30,000 square-feet of indoor function space. For those of you, keeping track: that will total 215,000 square-feet of convention space when combined with the existing venue. This $22 million expansion is situated on 256 acres and offers 884 guest rooms, an indoor water park, an outdoor adventure park, a mini-golf course, a spa, and a zoo-like park with African animals on display.

For the client seeking a slightly more enthralling meeting break, Cedar Point offers exceptional meeting space location directly at “Ohio’s Roller Coast”. Dubbed the “Roller Coaster Capital of the World”, Cedar Point not only showcases sky-high rides and an outdoor waterpark, but also an expansive beach, inviting guests to engage in various watersports. On site meeting-friendly hotels include the 650-room Hotel Breakers and the 237-room Castaway Bay.

Approximately 20 minutes east of Sandusky lies the town of Huron, the home of the Sawmill Creek Hotel Golf Resort. Located directly on Lake Erie, Sawmill Creek is a Tom Fazio championship golf course that also harbors 236 guest rooms, 50,000 square-feet of meeting space, and multiple restaurants.

For the more adventurous groups looking to be engulfed in the outdoors of the Midwest, Port Clinton and the Lake Erie islands offer a local escape from the everyday, requiring only a short Jet Express ride. High speed ferries and charter services are abundant in these areas, making transportation a breeze. East Wine Cellar Road in Port Clinton invites guests to relax at the Mon Ami Restaurant & Historic Winery during corporate receptions available both indoors and outdoors.

Island accommodations include the Put-in-Bay Resort and Conference Center, located on the popular South Bass Island, and is capable of hosting a few hundred delegates. The Islander Inn and the Grand Islander Hotel recently announced their newest addition, the Niagara Event Center which can house up to 600 for an event in their 14,000 square-foot venue. Smaller groups looking for a unique experience need not explore further than Kelleys Island, offering trails for hiking at the Island State Park along with their 1,600 square-foot meeting space facility, Kelleys Island Venture Resort.

Northern Ohio has numerous options for various meetings, and it on the short list of up-and-coming corporate meeting areas.

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Anonymous said...

Whoa, that place in Ohio really does sound like the perfect place to host annual sales meetings, especially for workers with families! I'll have to show his to my boss and hope he takes the hint!

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