Finding a space to host a meeting or corporate retreat isn’t difficult. The trick is finding a beautiful space that ticks all the boxes.
It needs to be close to the city so that your team doesn’t spend more time driving than they do meeting. It needs to have flexible spaces for everything from large keynotes to intimate breakout sessions. It needs to be private so you’re not jostling with other groups in the common spaces.
Above all, it needs to invite focused attention and creative problem solving.
It’s no accident that Alpine Ski Club ticks all of those boxes and more. The ski club itself has been around for decades, but the clubhouse is less than a decade old. And, unusual for a ski clubhouse, it was designed with summer in mind as much as winter.
The first thing you notice when you walk into the great hall is the massive wall of windows offering a truly stunning view of the slopes. In summer, it’s a view of lush green forest. In autumn, it’s transformed into a carpet of fall colours.
A smaller meeting room offers an equally jaw-dropping view in the opposite direction, taking in the sweep of Georgian Bay.
Experienced event planners know that these kinds of views can turn a good event into a great one. Study after study has shown that our brains respond incredibly well to a natural landscape: the view helps us focus, calms us, reduces stress, and boosts creativity – all attributes that are vital in a conference or a corporate retreat.
Food is another important aspect of any good conference, and here Alpine continues to excel. Men With Knives operates the kitchen year-round, including catering green-season events. Forget any thoughts you may have of ski club cuisine: this is flexible, creative, and always superb, with an emphasis on fresh and local ingredients. It can mean white glove dinner service, or designer poutine stations, or a pho and ramen bar… whatever an event organizer would like, the answer is always “yes.”
Alpine only rents the facility to one group at a time, so participants have the entire property to explore. There are also all the region’s attributes to enjoy, so longer retreats can incorporate anything from sailing to cycling, golf to horseback riding.
With all of this within easy day trip distance of the city, it truly is the location that will make any event a triumph.
TEXT A. WAGNER-CHAZALON | PHOTOS ANDREW FEARMAN