Small Market Meetings: by Gabi Logan

Laurel Highlands

An hour east of Pittsburgh, within convenient driving distance of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Cleveland; Columbus, Ohio; Washington, D.C.; and Baltimore, Laurel Highlands is a prime place for groups looking for a glamping meeting.

“As a major outdoor destination, we’re a good place to incorporate team building,” said Anna Weltz, director of public relations for the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau. “We’re a year-round destination. There’s world-class golf courses, hiking and biking on the Great Allegheny Passage, one of the top sites for whitewater rafting and the most [snow] accumulation in southeastern Pennsylvania, which makes for great skiing.”

One of Laurel Highland’s most popular venues is the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, which caters to groups of all sizes and budgets, with its range of accommodations from Forbes Four Star, AAA Five Diamond Falling Rock to a recreational vehicle camping area. The year-round resort is known for its on-site French-style chateau, 124-room Chateau Lafayette, based on the Ritz Hotel in Paris. In addition to 35,000 square feet of meeting space, the Nemacolin includes opportunities for ziplining, fly-fishing, four-wheel-drive off-road driving and team building on a ropes adventure course.

Latrobe, known as home to Arnold Palmer, Mr. Rogers and the Pittsburgh Steelers summer training camp, has several of the region’s top meeting venues, including the performing arts center and the Fred M. Rogers Conference Center, a LEED gold-certified building, at St. Vincent College.

“Arnold Palmer is alive and kicking, and it’s not uncommon to see him walking around [Latrobe,]” said Weltz. The new SpringHill Suites Pittsburgh Latrobe has been developed in collaboration with Palmer and offers packages that allow groups to golf at his private country club.

Weltz warned that “summer is very busy, especially because of the uniqueness of these facilities. Destination weddings are huge here, and a lot of times you can be competing with a very large wedding.”

Read More