Monterey County CVB
By Renee Brincks
MEET ME IN MONTEREY
Monterey County’s Update for Meeting Professionals & Group Tour Providers – Autumn 2006 – A publication of the Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau – www.monterey.travel – In partnership with the County of Monterey, and the cities of Carmel-by-the-Sea, Del Rey Oaks, Marina, Monterey, Salinas, Sand City, Seaside
Headline News: Hotels
Tucked among oaks, pines and vineyards in the sun drenched Carmel Valley, the luxurious Bernardus Lodge offers indulgence in a quiet, country setting. Ideal for board meetings, formal events or creative retreats, the property features more than 4,000 square feet of flexible indoor facilities and 5,000 square feet of landscaped gardens and outdoor space. Fifty-seven guestrooms pamper with private balconies or patios, stone fireplaces, Internet access and a “wine grotto” mini-bar complete with Bernardus wine.
Extraordinary service and attention to detail are hallmark at Embassy Suites Monterey Bay-Seaside. Just blocks from the beach and minutes from Monterey area attractions, golf courses and restaurants, the all-suite hotel treats guests to complimentary cooked to order breakfast and nightly manager’s reception. Amenities include a business center, high-speed Internet, indoor pool and fitness facility. The on-site Pacifica Café brings the beauty of the bay inside with a 1,000-gallon saltwater aquarium.
Taking advantage of a spectacular natural setting, meeting and event rooms at Highlands Inn, Park Hyatt Carmel offer uninterrupted glass-walled views of the rugged
Pacific coast. Hand-detailed millwork, custom-woven carpets, private entrances and audiovisual and Internet services are among highlights of 2,500 square feet of space accommodating small groups, receptions and executive retreats of up to 40 people.
Elegant guestroom features include garden and ocean views, kitchenettes and wood-burning fireplaces. Groups looking for historic charm and great location will find the ideal mix at Monterey’s Hotel Pacific. Just steps from the Monterey Conference Center and downtown Monterey, the property’s design reflects the adobes and gardens situated along the adjacent Path of History. Distinctive meeting rooms accommodate up to 40 guests; outdoor fountain courtyards provide a picturesque backdrop for receptions. Wireless Internet access, continental breakfast and catered meals featuring regional cuisine are among available group amenities.
New Sales Staff Join the Monterey County CVB
Kelli Hughes and Summer Emmons have joined the Monterey County CVB Group Sales department. As remote account executive, Hughes will partner with bureau members to conduct ongoing personal sales calls in the San Francisco Bay Area. She will also coordinate sales blitzes and work with conference and group professionals as they plan Monterey County meetings and events. An MPI Northern California member based in San Jose, Hughes’ extensive meeting planning experience includes work at Google and Tupperware and in the pharmaceutical industry.
Emmons, the bureau’s new sales manager, will actively lead site inspections and assist potential clients. A native of Carmel, her hospitality experience includes more than ten years as sales and banquet manager, reservations manager and retail supervisor at the Apple Farm Inn in San Luis Obispo, California.
Enticing Offsites & Awe-Inspiring Venues
A Taste of Monterey – Meritage Mission
Enjoy a grape escape into the world of winemaking with A Taste of Monterey’s Meritage Mission event. As they compete to create the best Bordeaux-type blend, teams design labels, generate slogans and present sales points for their vintage. Prizes are awarded for the tastiest blend, best sales pitch and most creative label, and winning team members receive a bottle of Monterey County Meritage. A Taste of Monterey provides all wine, materials and direction for the Meritage Mission, which lasts 1 – 1 1/2 hours and accommodates groups of 20-200.
The National Steinbeck Center – Rabobank Valley of the World Ag Wing –
When writing "East of Eden," Nobel Prize-winner John Steinbeck called the fertile Salinas Valley the "valley of the world." The National Steinbeck Center dedicated the Rabobank Valley of the World Agriculture Wing to showcase the region's rich agricultural heritage. Interactive displays display technological developments, produce marketing and local farm families, and the exhibit also explores issues like labor relations and conservation. In the demonstration kitchen, area chefs blend the valley's bounty into distinctive dishes and supply guests with take-home recipes. The Valley of the World Exhibition Hall accommodates 60 for seated events and 145 for standing receptions; the National Steinbeck Center's additional facilities can host groups of 25-600.
The Bountiful Basket – Olive Oil Tasting
Blackberry ginger. Grapeseed and basil. Italian lemon agrumato. More than 100 flavors of oil and vinegar tempt tasters at The Bountiful Basket in The Barnyard Shopping Village, Carmel. Delicious selections from Spain, Greece, France and beyond delight individual guests and groups of 5-40, who can arrange daytime tastings, parties and evening events in the store or at the off-site location of their choice. The Bountiful Basket can also coordinate catering services and bring in winemakers for tastings and special celebrations. The shop is planning to launch a cheese counter in the upcoming year.
Book Now for New Off-Season Incentives
Fifteen hotels, wineries, golf courses and attractions will provide off-season group incentives during this winter’s new Monterey’s Meetings Made Easy promotion.
“We’re providing another compelling reason to book a Monterey County event this season,” said Kathryn Carlton, MCCVB director of sales. “Participants enjoy both low winter rates and enticing offers from top properties and attractions.”
Groups booking at least 50 midweek rooms (Sunday-Thursday nights) at a participating property for a stay between November 2006 and February 2007 are eligible. Offers include:
- Group golf packages at Rancho Cañada Golf Club
- Discount group tickets, gift store values and evening event enhancements from the Monterey Bay Aquarium
- Barrel tasting and meeting space discounts at Chateau Julien Wine Estate
- Additional perks, such as complimentary meeting space and conference room Internet access
Monterey’s Meetings Made Easy packages are not available during the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro Am, February 5-11, 2007, and offers are based on individual property availability at the time of booking. To learn more, contact Kathryn Carlton, 831-657-6414 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Featured 5: Remarkable Restaurants
Ripe with culinary excellence, Monterey County is where fresh ingredients, prominent chefs and distinctive dining options mix. Many of the region’s restaurants are recognized worldwide, and these five lead in both cuisine and character. For complete local restaurant listings, visit www.monterey.travel.
1. Casanova Restaurant
Inspired by the culinary traditions of southern France and Northern Italy, Casanova is renowned as one of Carmel’s most romantic restaurants. Welcoming guests in cozy interior dining rooms and a charming al fresco area, the award-winning Casanova also features a hand-dug wine cellar holding some 30,000 bottles of local and international wines.
2. Club XIX
Overlooking Carmel Bay and the 18th green of Pebble Beach Golf Links, Club XIX pampers guests with indulgent cuisine and sophisticated ambiance. Connoisseurs appreciate rare wines and beverages, such as Hardy’s Perfection cognac selling for $525 a glass, and an impressive inventory of fine cigars that includes six different Opus X selections.
Housed in a historic Monterey firehouse, Montrio presents European and American-influenced cuisine and boasts big city energy with flawless service. Two banquet rooms, including one with a fashionable mahogany bar and views of downtown Monterey, accommodate up to 80 for sit-down meals and 120 for cocktail and standing receptions.
4. Nepenthe Restaurant
A favorite among travelers, artists and locals, Nepenthe enchants with its legendary ocean vistas, wine list and ambrosia burgers. Perched on the edge of the Pacific and once the property of Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth, the restaurant and adjacent Café Kevah are still run by the same family that started it all in 1949.
5. The Sardine Factory
Boasting three elegant dining rooms, including the glass domed garden setting of The Conservatory and the historic Captain’s Room, the Sardine Factory accommodates groups of 12-220. White glove service is available in the Wine Cellar, home to art and antiques, a table crafted from a 1,000 year-old redwood, and more than 30,000 bottles of wine.
MCCVB Services Spotlight: Dine-Around Services
Give meeting attendees a true taste of all Monterey has to offer with dine-around services from the Monterey County CVB. A fresh alternative to on-site dining, the service makes it easy for delegates to savor delectable Monterey Bay seafood, Salinas Valley vegetables and award winning local wines. As delegates browse menus from top area restaurants at the dine-around desk, an on-site bureau information specialist will make restaurant reservations, confirm seating arrangements and times, and provide directions.
View a directory of Monterey County restaurants, searchable by location or cuisine type, plus meeting facility facts, conference services listings and an online RFP form at www.monterey.travel. For more on dine-around options, or to schedule a Monterey County meeting, contact Kathryn Carlton at 831-657-6414 or email@example.com.
Save the Date: Upcoming Events in Monterey County
Mild, sunny days make autumn one of Monterey County’s most inviting seasons, and exciting celebrations offer extra incentive to visit. See a list of nearly 300 events at www.monterey.travel.
World War II warbirds and contemporary aircraft will be among displays at the Marina Air Faire (Oct. 14), also featuring aviation booths, model plane exhibitions and airplane rides for the public. www.marina-airfaire.com
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca wraps up its 50th season with the Monterey Sports Car Championships (Oct. 20-22), including an afternoon-into-evening race with Le Mans prototypes and GT cars. www.laguna-seca.com
A parade of classic cars, local dignitaries and even dressed up dogs headline Carmel's 90th Annual Birthday Party (Oct. 28), followed by a barbeque celebrating the charming city by the sea. www.carmelcalifornia.com
The 10th Great Wine Escape Weekend (Nov. 9-12), Monterey County’s biggest wine weekend, includes private reserve tastings, seminars, winery tours and opportunities to visit with vintners at winemaker dinners. www.montereywines.org
Rocco Mediate, Kirk Triplett and others tee off on Del Monte and Spyglass Hill Golf Courses and Pebble Beach Golf Links during the Callaway Golf Pebble Beach Invitational (Nov. 14-19). www.pebblebeach.com
Christmas in the Adobes (Dec. 8-9) is the one time each year many of Monterey’s historic adobes, lit by candles and exquisitely decorated for the holidays, open to the public. www.historicmonterey.org
Save Time: Fly Monterey
Conference attendees heading to Monterey County will not waste a minute of meeting time, with more than 40 direct daily flights linking the Monterey Peninsula Airport to Los Angeles, Denver, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Phoenix and Las Vegas. Landing three miles from downtown Monterey, guests are just a short taxi journey or rental car ride from hotels, meeting facilities and area attractions.
Why spend time in transit? For efficient meetings, fly Monterey. Visit www.monterey.travel for airline information and flight schedules.