A Gold Mine of Planning Tips from the Pros
By: Lauren Reiniger
Group leaders, here are some valuable nuggets of inside advice that will come in handy when planning your next trip.
- In the early planning stages, connect with local resources. Making the right connections will bridge the gap between the trip leader and the destination, resulting in a well-rounded itinerary. “It takes a village to host a ski club,” says Ann Cook, group services manager at Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort in Oregon, who points out exactly who to connect with and why.Resort representatives are the first place to start as they can get you in contact with their local partners and provide trip planning information. For example, Mt. Bachelor hosts a website for trip leaders with necessary information and materials. Visitors bureaus are another vital resource. A “must-do” for groups visiting Mt. Bachelor is the Bend Ale Trail, created by Visit Bend to guide visitors to local breweries. Tour companies enhance the trip by adding a discovery twist. Wanderlust Tours takes Mt. Bachelor guests to the only national park in Oregon, Crater Lake.
- Build out your trip to create a memorable experience. Think back to a trip you still reminisce about. Odds are you didn’t do the same thing over and over, nor should you on a ski trip. Mary E. Manning, senior national sales manager at Aspen Snowmass in Colorado, tells how to create a memorable experience for your group.Plan a trip around an event. “Look at the calendar to see all the different events coming up,” says Manning. “It enhances the trip—events are an added value; they are already set up without you having to pay into them.” Events are often free and on-site. Aspen Snowmass has a variety of events throughout the season, including Bud Light Hi-Fi Concert Series, X Games Aspen and the Snowmass Mammoth Festival. Organize a group meal. Meals bring people together, not to mention it’s a great way to unwind and share all your stories from the day. Get into alternative activities. The list never ends when it comes to what you can add to your ski itinerary: snowmobiling, cross country skiing, ice skating, helicopter tours, mountain biking, horseback riding, etc. Aspen Snowmass has outfitters who can organize day trips for groups year-round.