Destination Small Meetings Find Northwest Arkansas’ Eureka Springs
(EUREKA SPRINGS, AR) — Eureka Springs, long seen as a vacation destination, is enjoying somewhat of a rebirth as a destination meeting location. Surprisingly convenient, Eureka Springs is less than 35 miles east of the I-49 corridor of Northwest Arkansas -home to Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville and Bella Vista- and boasts easy access from both Northwest Arkansas Regional (XNA) and Branson (BKG) airports.
“In Eureka Springs, we found ourselves at full occupancy on the weekends and soft during the week. As the senior, family and bus markets have lessened we realized that we needed to enhance our weekday trade through diversification. By combining our talented chefs, service team, spas and activities with our technology upgrades and high quality meeting space, the corporate meeting was a perfect fit,” stated Jack Moyer, General Manager of Eureka’s 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa. “Most important is that small meetings of 75 attendees or less may get lost in a typically large convention hotel, where at our place with 82 rooms including cottages, a small meeting becomes the big meeting.”
Interviews with meeting planners reveal that there are other enticing elements of a small destination meeting in Eureka Springs.
Value Dates – As Eureka Springs is primarily a tourism destination rates tend to tick upwards on Friday and Saturday nights. Rates commonly dip 30 percent Sunday through Thursday nights with group rates occasionally seeing an even greater margin of discount. These same weekday rates are oftentimes available on weekends should meeting dates follow major holidays or are in the off-season from November 15 to March 15.
Shoulder Seasons – By booking during shoulder seasons (March through April and November through December) crowds are often less and special group pricing is often available at off-site attractions such as the Ozark Ziplines, day spas, a “behind the scenes tour” of The Great Passion Play, and others. Also during these seasons, wait times at such primary dining locations such as Ermilio’s or Local Flavor are short or non-existent.
After Hours – Eureka Springs’ downtown hotels partner with more than twenty bars and lounges through the “21 & Fun” program. This makes the challenges that go along with the “hospitality room” one less thing about which to be concerned as well as providing savings to the meeting sponsors.
Things to Do – In Eureka Springs there is more to your meeting than just your agenda. A classic destination for meetings to include spouses, Eureka Springs is fortunate to sit neatly between three lakes and two rivers, plentiful trails and parks, a collection of more than 100 shops and galleries, dozens of quality restaurants, and more than a dozen day spas. Golf is nearby, located only 10 minutes to the north, and more than 30 local attractions adorn the landscape from The Great Passion Play to the remarkable illusions of the world-renowned Intrigue Theater.
Eureka Springs has two traditional historic hotels that actively welcome destination meetings to this village in the Arkansas Ozarks: 1905 Basin Park Hotel and 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa.
The 1905 Basin Park Hotel – One site that is most favored for corporate retreats is the 1905 Basin Park Hotel, located in the heart of Eureka Springs’ downtown historic district. Initially providing housing for health seekers and the business trade for a new, bustling nineteenth century community, this second-generation 1905 building replaced the luxurious Perry House that perished in the great fire of 1888. Today, The Basin Park Hotel is back with a vigorous approach to hospitality. Experiencing its greatest period of growth since the county sheriff removed liquor by the drink and slot machines in 1951, The Basin Park Hotel is alive with weddings, weekend travel, and corporate meetings and retreats. The hotel is an ideal location for meeting planners wishing to add something more to their meeting than just the agenda points. The Basin Park offers turn of the century Mission-style décor, renovated guest rooms and suites, Rooftop Billiards & Bar, Balcony Restaurant & Bar, and Spa1905. All these in-hotel offerings sit in a location whose front doors open to the nineteenth century buildings that house shopping, dining, and the ever so popular entertainment district.
The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa - This mountaintop spa resort, a prestigious award-winning member of Historic Hotels of America, is the leader in the Eureka Springs’ market for destination meetings. Focusing on meeting groups of 75 attendees and less, The Crescent Hotel has been sought nationwide as a highly productive business environment with a destination spa, adjacency to the Harmon Park Loop trail, and several outstanding places to dine, eat, nibble and sip like the Crystal Dining Room Restaurant, and the new SkyBar Gourmet Pizza; it is considered the headquarters hotel to the resort destination that is Eureka Springs. The Crescent Hotel has been fully-restored, offers black-tie catering, VIP meeting services, advanced high-tech technology and is a sought-after destination to bring spouses.
The two most often asked questions about a destination meeting in Eureka Springs are “How do we get there?” and “Will my group fit?”
Getting to Eureka Springs – Eureka Springs is located in Northwest Arkansas at the junction of U.S. Highway 62 and State Highway 23. Eureka Springs, by automobile, is 4 hours from Little Rock, 3 hours from Tulsa, 2 Hours from Springfield and 1 hour from most points along Northwest Arkansas’ I-49 corridor. The destination is also just 54 miles from both the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA) and the Branson Airport (BKG).
Meeting Size – Meetings in Eureka Springs usually focus on groups of less than 400 with a primary focus on meetings that bring 50 to 100 attendees. “One thing for sure,” Moyer tenaciously concluded, “attendance at meetings held in Eureka Springs is strong. If planners need everyone to adjust their schedules to attend, we are the place because attendees jump at the chance to adjust and attend. Eureka Springs turns meeting planners into heroes.”
For more info go to basinpark.com/eurekaspringsmeetingsgrouptravel.shtml -and/or- crescent-hotel.com/meetings.shtml
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Eureka Springs’ Historic Hotels Meeting Room Capacities
The Basin Park Hotel
Hotel Guest Rooms: 60 Total… including 14 Jacuzzi Suites
Atrium Room 880 Sq Ft 5 – 40 attendees
Ozark Room 1,180 Sq Ft 15 – 115 attendees
Grand Ballroom 2,300 Sq Ft 50 – 200 attendees
The Crescent Hotel and Spa
Hotel Guest Rooms: 76 Total including… 7 Jacuzzi and/or Premium Suites plus 4 Cottages
Roenigk Board Room 8 attendees
Conservatory 1,180 Sq Feet 25 – 125 attendees
Crystal Dining Room 3,200 Sq Feet 75 – 300 attendees