NOV 2018

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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Page 32 of 67

N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 33 GOLF, RECREATION & RELATIONSHIPS A Fun Yet Challenging Place To Play Stonebridge Golf Course in Rome, Ga. When meeting in Rome, Ga., groups have a chance to hold tournaments on Stonebridge Golf Course, one of the top 100 public golf courses in the U.S. and among the Top 10 in Georgia. Since it opened in 1994, the 6,800-yard course has provided a fun, yet challenging experience for thousands of golfers each year. Arthur Davis designed Stonebridge to "wow" golfers of all skill levels, making it a great spot for groups of various golfing experience to enjoy friendly competitions. Additionally, the championship layout features a breathtaking view of the Appalachian Mountains, mature Georgia pines framing the course, Bermuda fairways and champion bermuda grass greens. Additional Rome venues for relationship building events include: Rome Tennis Center at Berry College, the nation's largest hard-court facility with 6o courts; walking & bike trails along Rome's three rivers; and Winshape Wilderness, which offers a Challenge ropes course. There are also many options for fishing, canoeing, boating, Skeet shooting and horseback riding. n Competitions and rivalries can be a great way to add some fun, excitement or even suspense to group events. In fact, according to Brian Morris, director of sales and marketing with the JW Mar- riott San Antonio (Texas) Hill Country Resort and Spa, many attendees now expect a higher level of engagement. "The most successful events have a strong interactive component, and introducing compe- tition is one of the best ways to keep attendees engaged," he said. "They are able to collaborate with their colleagues, win something – even if it's just bragging rights – and also have fun. Attend- ees generally walk away with a better overall feeling about the meeting when there is a compet- itive element somewhere in the programming." Eric Claxton, director of golf operations at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa, in San Antonio, Texas, added that friendly competition can help increase communication, problem-solving skills and, most importantly, workplace relationships. "Any team is made up of a number of people with different personalities and skill sets," he said. "When you get that team out of their comfort zone, it can challenge them to take on different roles." Competition comes in many shapes and sizes, and many hospitality groups are open to creating unique, engaging activities for groups. "Active competitions, build-its, culinary challenges, scav- enger hunts and events with a charitable com- ponent are just a few of the different options we offer," Morris said. "Our team listens to the goals and objectives of the planner and works diligently to find the best events for the group." Getting meeting goers outdoors is another important element of many relationship-build- ing activities. "We have worked with groups to coordinate team high speed go-karting races, personalized golf tournaments, guacamole mak- ing and scavenger hunts that encourage teams to get outside and enjoy our over 200 miles of hike and bike trails," said Josie Lewis, convention development manager at Visit The Woodlands Texas. "In addition, we have Bowlero, Top Golf, iFly and many more venues that can create ► Kayak the Colorado excursion offered by Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa near Austin, Texas

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