What are your goals and objectives for your next off-site meeting?
Do you want to foster cohesion through team-building activities? Provide motivation and goal-setting objectives? Will you incorporate training and continued education? Does your group need to overcome obstacles or be open to new ideas? Do you need to remove daily distractions so your group can focus? Do you want an environment that facilitates learning and communication while providing a relaxing and re-energizing experience? Do you want to reward attendees and create an extended-stay vacation opportunity for them?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, it may be time to take your group to a beach resort. With many Southern resorts this time of year (September through February) is “shoulder season,” which means great deals on room rates and group activities.
Longboat Key, one of the quietest barrier islands in the Gulf of Mexico, is just off the coast of Sarasota, Fla. Its 12-mile shoreline, aquamarine water and sandy-white beaches provide a great background for a relaxing and rewarding group experience. Attendees can fly directly into Sarasota on JetBlue and Delta airlines, and find a plethora of activities and amenities at the family-friendly Longboat Key Club & Resort. The resort, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and its 29th consecutive year of four-diamond awards, lists its Hot Dates deals on its website.
With 218 renovated guest rooms, Longboat Key Club & Resort is ideal for groups of 20 to 100. Each room has a private balcony, full kitchen, and a washer and dryer, allowing for a comfortable extended-stay experience. The most popular room is the Club Suite; 80 front the beach. Meetings can be held throughout the resort, including outdoors, or in one of six restaurants. Recent renovations to the John Ringling Room and Library create additional meeting opportunities for conferences, receptions and banquets.
Longboat Key is a national wildlife and bird sanctuary. Being surrounded by nature is a great way to implement green practices with your group. The resort is Green Lodging certified, with a firm commitment to reducing its environmental impact through water conservation, waste reduction and energy efficiency.
Longboat Key Club’s beautiful shoreline is perfect for weddings, group receptions, gatherings, team-building and other networking functions. Boating enthusiasts will want to visit Longboat Key Club Moorings, the largest marina on Florida’s west coast, with 291 slips. Golfers will enjoy the resort’s Harbourside and Islandside courses, both named by Golf Digest as Best Places to Play. Tennis players can take to the 20-court Tennis Gardens, named the No. 1 tennis resort on Florida’s Gulf Coast and one of the Top Tennis Resorts in America by Tennis Magazine.
Don’t forget to organize extended stays for meeting attendees at the room rate you secured for the group. Longboat Key Club & Resort’s group rates generally include an option for guests to arrive two days before and stay two days after the meeting. Offering an extended vacation at a room rate they wouldn’t otherwise receive is a bonus your attendees will appreciate. You can organize indoor activities as well. The resort’s Island House Spa offers pampering services; a calendar of Wellness Events will give guests access to fitness and health activities.
For more about Sarasota and Longboat Key, please visit Plan Your Meetings’ Sarasota destination guide.
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