Thursday, March 26, 2009

Georgia State Park Lodges Offer Businesses an Affordable Alternative for Meetings in Tough Times

/PRNewswire/ -- In today's challenging economic times, cutting corporate budgets doesn't have to mean giving up the annual executive golf outing or sales retreat. It just might mean rethinking the venue. Georgia State Park's seven lodges are ideal venues for meetings and corporate retreats. The modern accommodations, scenic environments and unparalleled recreational opportunities provide groups the perfect blend of business and pleasure at an affordable cost.

"Many businesses don't realize the tremendous resources our state parks offer in terms of corporate meetings, retreats and team building," said Vickie Slack, regional director of sales for Georgia State Park Lodges. "Our seven lodge facilities located throughout the state are the perfect blend of technology and nature, which is ideal for planning a relaxing and productive meeting."

Diverse Facilities & Recreational Offerings for Custom Experiences

Facilities for group meetings at Georgia State Park Lodges range from cozy lodge meeting rooms perfect for small groups of 5 to 28, to larger meeting room and convention space to accommodate up to 475 people. And, each of the lodges features wireless Internet service and the latest audiovisual equipment necessary for conducting successful meetings.

After the business of the day is done, the parks offer boundless recreational opportunities to fit every interest and fitness level. For hiking and biking enthusiasts there are miles of secluded trails with breathtaking views of mountainous peaks, waterfalls, and secluded lakes and streams. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy championship golf and fishing enthusiasts will appreciate some of the finest trout steams in the Southeast. The on-site coordinators are also available at each lodge to customize retreats to include special workshops, nature programs, entertainment and team-building exercises designed to challenge participants by taking advantage of the natural environment.

Convenient Locations and Packages Makes Planning a Breeze

Georgia State Park Lodges offer seven locations from the north Georgia mountains to secluded coastal areas; there is a lodge convenient to all major southeastern cities.

The "Breath of Fresh Air" meeting package includes overnight guest room, meeting facilities, meals (dinner upon arrival, breakfast the next morning and lunch the day of departure), morning and afternoon breaks, basic audio/visual equipment and all gratuities. Package prices range from $130 to $170 per night, based on time of year. Rates are based on single occupancy, with a 2-night minimum stay required on weekends. Taxes are applicable. This package is available at all of the lodges except The Lodge at Smithgall Woods and The Reynolds Mansion on Sapelo Island, due to the intimate setting of these properties.

Georgia State Park Lodges include the following:

Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge, Dawsonville, Georgia

Inspiration and environment go hand-in-hand at Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge, a 56-room mountain retreat within earshot of one the Southeast's highest waterfall. Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge offers an ideal meeting facility for up to 200, along with all the unique amenities of an Appalachian location - miles of hiking trails, trout streams, and one of the seven wonders of Georgia, Amicalola Falls. The lodge features 3,074 square feet of meeting space that includes four spacious conference rooms and ballroom capabilities. For pre-function gatherings, receptions and other group activities, guests enjoy the conference lobby with its huge stone fireplace and stone verandah overlooking the mountain valley more than 1,000 feet below.

Red Top Mountain State Park & Lodge, Cartersville, Georgia

Located on the shores of Lake Allatoona, Red Top Mountain State Park & Lodge incorporates the best of business and recreation, including hiking on 12 miles of trails, swimming, tennis, boating, fishing and interpretive programs. The 33-room lodge features four meeting rooms totaling 2,500 square feet of functional space. Additional space is also available in the two group shelters that accommodate from 100 to 250 attendees.

The Lodge at Smithgall Woods, Helen, Georgia

Nestled on 5,600 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains, The Lodge at Smithgall Woods is the centerpiece of this upscale Georgia Heritage Preserve and executive retreat, which provides corporate and private groups extensive outdoor recreation, elegant accommodations and exquisite culinary delights. All of these amenities are offered with the rustic charm only the secluded Blue Ridge Mountains can provide. Amidst melodious songbird calls, rustling leaves and complete privacy, groups of up to 28 guests may reserve The Lodge at Smithgall Woods for exclusive-use. Exclusive-use reservations require a 10-room minimum and include accommodations, three delicious meals per day and all on-site activities.

Unicoi State Park & Lodge, Helen, Georgia

Perched high in the Blue Ridge Mountains just two miles northeast of the Alpine Village of Helen, Unicoi State Park & Lodge offers groups the perfect rustic retreat to test those important team-building skills. With team building programming, guests may participate in their choice of activities designed especially for their group. The lodge features spacious meeting rooms, which accommodate 5 to 475 people. The exclusive Beach House, overlooking a 53-acre lake, offers a relaxed atmosphere for meetings and events.

George T. Bagby State Park & Lodge, Fort Gaines, Georgia

Surrounded by 700 acres of quiet forest, a 48,000-acre lake and a Willard Byrd designed, links-style golf course, George T. Bagby State Park & Lodge in southwest Georgia is the perfect location for conferences, receptions and other group functions. An expanded 3,867-square-foot conference center has meeting and banquet space for up to 200 guests. The 60-room lodge also features a full-service restaurant with lake view and catering for meals and receptions.

Little Ocmulgee State Park & Lodge, McRae, Georgia

Showcasing 1,277 acres of natural grandeur within Georgia's inland coastal region, Little Ocmulgee State Park & Lodge is ideal for group getaways. The 60-room lodge features a 3,867-square-foot conference center that will accommodate up to 210 people. Guests can enjoy nature's wonders as the park offers miles of hiking and nature trails, 18 holes of championship golf and a 265-acre lake.

The Reynolds Mansion on Sapelo Island, Georgia

The Reynolds Mansion on Sapelo Island is a charming 6,110-acre getaway accessible only by ferry for uniquely successful retreats. Accommodating up to 29 guests in 13 bedrooms, the mansion brims with turn-of-the-century ambiance, architecture and art. Meetings and retreats are the house specialty at The Reynolds Mansion. Groups will enjoy the ornately decorated Circus Room that features the wild animal murals of famed artist, Athos Meneboni, whose work appears throughout the house.

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