By Shelby Rowe Moyer | Photo courtesy of Sundara Inn & Spa
Meetings will look different for the foreseeable future. Group sizes will be smaller and there will be a greater emphasis on social distancing and spacing at venues. However, it will be important to continue to bring people together for networking, sharing knowledge and training. Here are five places perfect for small groups, where activities center on the great outdoors.
Be sure to contact the establishment you’re interested in to see how they’re accommodating groups during the pandemic.
Far from ordinary, Woodside Ranch in central Wisconsin — just 20 miles northwest of Wisconsin Dells — is a 100-year-old dude ranch that’s serving up plenty of Midwest hospitality.
It features an onsite conference center with A/V equipment and seating can be configured in a variety of ways to suit your group. It’s an ideal location for an experiential meeting — one that can include horseback riding, archery and other outdoor activities, as well as overnight lodging in one of dozens of log cabins located on site.
Plus, the onsite culinary team is there to provide breakfast, lunch and dinner. While there’s certainly enough to keep your group busy on the ranch, you can find additional options for dining and entertainment in nearby Mauston or Wisconsin Dells. www.woodsideranch.com
Once again, Sundara Inn & Spa has been honored by Travel + Leisure Magazine, procuring a spot on its “World’s Best Awards,” as one of the top resort hotels in the Midwest this year. After a visit, you’ll understand why.
For meetings and events, Sundara offers several packages, from corporate retreats to small group gathering and, better yet, its staff can work out all the details for you. Sundara is all about “tranquility, natural beauty and wellness” — making it a great option to reinvigorate your team or show appreciation for your clients. It offers numerous wellness services and activities, and an onsite restaurant features a full menu. www.sundaraspa.com
Meetings with a view of massive copper brewing kettles is an amenity you didn’t know you needed. At Brewhouse Inn & Suites, Milwaukee’s brewing history takes front and center. Located in the original Pabst Brewery and part of the renovated Pabst Brewing Complex just north of downtown Milwaukee, you’ll find much of the original building’s interior still intact. The property offers three meeting rooms, plus a reception area that can accommodate up to 100.
On-site dining is available, but there are additional options nearby. www.brewhousesuites.com
Wildlife and fresh air abound at Canoe Bay in Chetek, about 40 miles north of Eau Claire. Located on 300 acres, in the midst of forest and lakes, this luxurious boutique resort has a variety of outdoor-centric lodging and activities with an on-site garden maintained by a master gardener with fresh produce plucked for chef-made meals. Guests can enjoy use of the resort’s canoes, kayaks and paddleboards. Local fishing guides are available to help your group maximize their chances of reeling in “the big one.” Airy cottages with plenty of living space make for a great casual meeting place, or take your group outside. We guarantee your group will leave feeling restored and inspired. www.canoebay.com
Sequestered amongst a 500-acre wildlife preserve, Edenwood Ranch offers luxury in a rustic setting. Edenwood is ideal for a laidback meeting in its modest conference room or on its expansive patio. Or plan a team-building exercise in its pavilion.
Once your business itinerary is out of the way, your team can enjoy nature trails, photo safaris, mountain biking, yoga, target shooting and more. A private chef will cater your meals, and cabins and glamping tents will offer a unique experience for your group. www.edenwoodranch.com