NOV 2015

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 5 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 14 GOLF, RECREATION & RELATIONSHIPS Orlando World Center Marriott Expands Recreational Options team events and pottery tours in Seagrove. The Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club and Spa in Point Clear, Ala., has been offering team-building activities for decades with its 36 holes of golf and 10 tennis courts, according to Kevin Hellmich, vice president of sales for PCH Resorts. Responding to expectations for more unique offerings, the organization has put a dif- ferent twist on golf, offering night golf with food stations and glow-in-the-dark golf balls, as well as FootGolf, a new offering that's a combina- tion of soccer and golf, introduced about six months ago. The resort's full-service recreation department also works with the culinary team to design food and beverage academy offerings, in which groups prepare their own meals. Other unique of- ferings include team boat building, in which final designs are tested in Mobile Bay, and historic scavenger hunts across the property. Mixing Traditional With Non-Traditional While groups will continue to expect more recreation offerings from destinations, meeting planners and suppliers agree that golf will remain a focal point of relationship-building. "It's hard to avoid golf as a mechanism to build business relationships," Kuester emphasized. "We try to market ourselves as more than golf, but Pine- hurst is the center of the golf universe right now. For B2B and networking, you can accomplish your goals so much better on a golf course." Carter agreed, adding that "we are seeing groups gravitate back to golf and take advantage of the face-to-face time it provides with all their attendees they have coming to conferences." Chen pointed out that by booking a world- renowned golf location such as Pinehurst and other top-of-class recreational activity provid- ers such as King Fisher Society, BMO Capital Markets is able to blend traditional with new to "lure our clients in by offering a once-in-a-life- time experience." Specifically, the organization recently hosted an industry conference at Pine- hurst Resort featuring two half-days of one-on- one meetings and recreation activities. "Our industry is highly competitive. Simply promising high-quality meetings to C-suite clients and top investors is not enough of a draw," she said. "It was truly a great fit for companies like ours that want to enjoy the best of both worlds: recreation and business." n Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina is famous for its golf courses, but world-class bass fishing and hunting activ- ities are also available for group activities, through the resort's relationship with the King Fischer Society. FootGolf, one of the fastest growing recreational activities in the United States, was recently added to the recreational options at the Orlando World Center Marriott, home of the award-winning Hawk's Landing Golf Club. Recently named an official U.S. sport, FootGolf pulls elements from both soccer and golf to create an entertaining game for guests of all ages, from the golf or soccer enthusiast to a first-time player. The emerging sport of FootGolf is played with a soccer ball on the golf course, but scored by traditional golf rules of stroke. During the round of FootGolf, team members attempt to kick the soccer ball from tee-to-green into a 21-inch hole, while making sure to avoid water hazards and sand bunkers. Hawk's Landing Golf Club features water on 15 holes, closely mown fairways and more than 80 bunkers, as well as generous landing areas which make it playable for golfers on all levels. From start to finish, guests are surrounded by manicured, emerald green fairways, first-class amenities and a scenic blend of native wildlife and tropical vegetation. n A view of the Orlando World Marriott from the 18th hole of Hawk's Landing Golf Club.

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