large retreat venues
October 23, 2013 8:16 AM   Subscribe

I'm planning a retreat for my team for 2015, and I'm seeking venue suggestions across the continental US.

Requirements:

* continental US
* easy to get to from Boston or San Francisco (either driving or flying or both)
* capacity for 450, including overnight accommodations
* staff to handle arrangements and logistics
* not insanely expensive (i.e., room rates under $200pp)

Nice-to-haves:

* beautiful setting with fun stuff to do
* slightly removed/isolated to encourage in-group activities, rather than small groups going out on the town
* potential to grow the event to up to 1000 people over upcoming years
posted by spindrifter to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total)
 
Boyne Mountain in Michigan meets this critera. Well, they only have 450 guest rooms, but they are associated with other venues that would provide additional rooms, assuming you want everyone to have their own room. If you fly to traverse city (boston or SFO to Detroit or Chicago; then to TC), it's about an hour away.

Frankenmuth Michigan also has meeting space for groups that large. There's plenty to do. Reasonably close to DTW.

Shanty Creek is another Michigan option.
posted by dpx.mfx at 8:43 AM on October 23, 2013


I've not been, but just read an article in Time about Big Cedar Lodge that made me want to go - it looks like a beautiful setting.
posted by vignettist at 8:45 AM on October 23, 2013


The Chaminade in Santa Cruz, CA.

At Chaminade Resort & Spa we are dedicated to creating unique, memorable events for team building, corporate meetings, management retreats, leadership trainings and more. We facilitate programs to challenge, impress and grow your team. For more information, please contact Group Sales at 831.465.3421 or click here to email us.

No one from SF will have to fly (you can bus them down there.) The Boston Folks can fly into San Jose (on American) and be bused down. Santa Cruz rocks! The resort is in a beautiful setting, and they actually have a setup and a team that can assist you with everything.

We stayed there on our honeymoon and I can't say enough nice things about it.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:02 AM on October 23, 2013


OMG! Did you see this page specifically about team building?

They have GEOCACHING!

Can I come to your retreat?


Also, Dog Friendly!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:05 AM on October 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


My organization regularly has retreats at Asilomar in Monterrey, CA and I love it. It's on the rustic side, but still pretty comfortable, it's right on the water, and there's a ton to do in the area. I don't know the exact costs, but we're a non-profit, so it can't be too expensive (and I know that other nonprofits have retreats there as well). Should be able to accommodate 450 people.
posted by lunasol at 10:04 AM on October 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: Awesome suggestions so far, thanks! Ruthless Bunny, you can come if you get hired into my team, OR someone could hire me to organize a MeFi retreat! That would be awesome.
posted by spindrifter at 11:04 AM on October 23, 2013


I came here to suggest Asilomar. We stayed there on a family trip and it looks ideal for your purposes. And it's absolutely gorgeous.
posted by chowflap at 11:28 AM on October 23, 2013


Regarding your capacity numbers...is this 450 people in separate rooms or is there expected to be sharing involved. I ask because 450 rooms (and not to mention 1000) out somewhere isolated and bucolic is actually quite a big place. This is especially true if you are aiming for a "nice" place rather than a place with barracks that accommodates say a giant boy scout jamboree. The Asilomar as listed above has only 313 rooms although its event space can accommodate 650.
posted by mmascolino at 11:58 AM on October 23, 2013


How about Coeur D'Alene?

It is 40 minutes outside of Spokane, WA and it is remote enough that your folks won't leave the resort during down time. There's golf, fishing, boating and plenty of meeting and room space. You can usually negotiate lower room rates if you book in a less busy time of year, or by scheduling lots of activities through the venue.
posted by jacindahb at 12:51 PM on October 23, 2013


The Asilomar as listed above has only 313 rooms although its event space can accommodate 650.

Interesting. We had about 500 people the last time I was there, but most were sharing.
posted by lunasol at 1:37 PM on October 23, 2013


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