ConventionSouth

MAY 2017

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 ⎜ M A Y 2 0 1 7 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 28 RESORT MEETINGS resort staff that can flawlessly execute their client's needs," said Jackie Herbst, director of group sales for Margaritaville. "Key for groups of every type and size is the ability to easily keep their participants together for events and receptions." At the end of the day, Shelby Schuler, director of sales with St. Joe Club & Resorts, emphasizes that groups want "meeting space that is out- of-the-box and helps their guests open up for engaging meeting sessions, a variety of activities guests can easily walk to and a change from their day-to-day life. Otherwise, they would just stay in their corporate office at no charge." Option, Options, Options Resort properties across the South pull out all the stops to appeal to groups, offering some of the most expansive amenities and entertainment available. In tandem, resorts find ways to give their offerings a unique flair in the market. For instance, Schuler pointed out that The Pearl Hotel and WaterColor Inn & Resort — both St. Joe Club & Resorts properties — act as their own unique twists on resort communities. "Most resorts tend to be fully encompassed within the same management company or de- sign, while the towns of Rosemary Beach and Santa Rosa Beach offer an open variety of inde- pendent vendors and experiences for our guests," she said. Both resorts provide not only on-property casual and fine dining options but also unique amenities such as butler beach chair service, leisurely beach bicycles, and private pool and spa facilities. In addition, a full spectrum of recreation is available just steps from the hotel properties, including a variety of communities along Florida's Highway 30-A, nature parks and state forests, luxury golf courses, and a multitude of interactive artists and dining locations. Lisa Gilrane, regional associate director of sales with the Ocean Properties Treasure Coast collection, noted that beach destinations offer in- herent advantages and options. The collection's new Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa, slated to open this summer, will feature those advantages, she said. "Being a beach destination gives us an advantage here, as it is alluring to every age, and we will offer a wide array of amenities centered around our island location," she said, pointing to such offerings as paddleboarding, sunrise yoga on the beach, surfing and an oceanfront splash pool. Closing Generational Gaps Variety helps planners design meetings that will appeal to multiple generations attending the same event. In her experience, Schuler noted that generations more mature in age tend to lean toward cocktail hours and formal meals with leisurely schedules to enjoy golf and spas. "They value the quality of the relaxation and ease of planning with us," she said. In contrast, younger or millennial-led pro- grams want action-packed programs with ac- tivities. "They value the experiences that they can take home and share with their families. These are the guests that most crave the lifestyle branding, not just a luxury guest room," Schuler added. Sandestin's offerings ensure wide-ranging appeal for all ages. "After meetings, guests and families seeking adventure, sports or pure relaxation select from a full array of activities," said Brooke Scholl, manager of marketing and communications for the resort, noting options such as a round of golf, a tennis lesson with a The Henderson, a Salamander Beach & Spa Resort, opened November 2016 as the newest luxury resort in Destin, Fla. The resort features 170 spacious guestrooms and suites, a nature-inspired spa, Gulf-to-table cuisine, an octagonal bar with pan- oramic Gulf views, a rooftop terrace, two outdoor swimming pools, 30,000 square feet of flexible indoor and outdoor event space, and private beach access. Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa will deliver a magnificent location right on the beach in a quiet island destination. The resort will offer stunning ocean views from more than half of the guestrooms and the main dining room and bar, as well as an oceanfront pool and deck where guests can enjoy the ambiance or groups can hold oceanfront receptions with unparalleled views. The combination of resort amenities and the boutique feel of Hutchinson Shores will appeal to small groups who will be the focus of attention vs being one of multiple groups in a larger hotel or resort. Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort's Linkside Conference Center is undergoing a $2 million renovation that includes everything from the exterior of the building to the entire interior of the meeting spaces and hallways. Margaritaville Key West Resort & Marina just completed a suite renovation and has recently refreshed guestrooms with new soft goods and artwork. Plans are in place to roll out new group packages, team-building activities and a meeting planner incentive program this summer. The Pearl Hotel offers a newly renovated Havana Beach Rooftop Lounge over- looking the Gulf of Mexico. WaterColor Inn & Resort has renovated the front desk, lobby areas, the library, The Gathering Spot and all 60 of the guestrooms. Inspired by WaterColor Inn & Resort's natural setting of northwest Florida's white sand, cerulean water and endless sky, the updated spaces were given a more modern and fresh décor with the help of Holly Shipman, a local interior designer who has decorated all the St. Joe Club & Resorts properties. n Margaritaville Key West Resort & Marina NEW & RENOVATED Resort Options

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