Coming off a record year in 2019, Pinehurst Resort’s Group Meetings and Events team was primed for another stellar year in 2020. With recent renovations, updates and additions to its event spaces and a new pavilion debuting at Lake Pinehurst, 2020 had the makings of another year of big groups enjoying big moments.
We all know what happened next.
“Pinehurst is not so much just adapting to a new convention climate, rather it is creatively customizing experiences that serve the many needs of our guests while at the same time being safe.”
When many of our corporate and association clients had to cancel their large events this fall, we understood their concern. Personal safety and well-being, of course, are most important, and with our Pinehurst Promise, we continue to take our guests’ safety very seriously. But we also wanted to help them in any way we could. And we found that many of our business clientele didn’t want to completely cancel their experience. They simply repurposed those dollars and, working together, we went about curating smaller, responsible experiences for those clients still wanting to travel. Still productive and still enjoyable meetings, only without the large event components.
Even before Covid, “smaller” for Pinehurst has always been about 10-to-15 people per group, so we are uniquely well-situated for this trend going forward. When you couple this trend with the 18 different outdoor options we can offer a group, Pinehurst is not so much just adapting to a new convention climate, rather it is creatively customizing experiences that serve the many needs of our guests while at the same time being safe.
And then, of course, there is golf.
The sport that is known for driving business relationships, golf, as a leisurely outdoor activity that is amendable to appropriate social distancing, has been a fantastic fit for these challenging times. Golf didn’t have to change, but when faced with fewer options and more time, people had the opportunity to fall in love with the game again. As a result, Pinehurst – the Cradle of American Golf – is seeing an uptick in the use of golf for events.
We all hope for a return to some sense of normalcy again, back to a time when our biggest concern seemed only to be how long of a wait we might have to endure at airport security. For the foreseeable future we figure smaller groups from within a reasonable drive will likely be our focus for the group side of our business.
While the popularity of Zoom and other online conferencing platforms have been productive, there’s no substitute for that surge of excitement you get from being somewhere. You can’t Zoom the sense of tranquility you get when you drive down Carolina Vista toward the stately Carolina Hotel, ready to begin anew and filled with fresh ideas. Beyond a digital background, Zoom doesn’t offer the view, the jolt of anticipation or the camaraderie felt on the first tee of Pinehurst No. 2 with your most valued clients.
Pinehurst still does. And we’re here to welcome your group when you’re ready.