My Greenbrier experience, part I
The Greenbrier Resort in Lewisburg, W.Va. is something to behold. Upon first glance it reminded me of The White House — except it’s surrounded by mountains, millions of trees and miles of winding roadway.
I spent last week at ‘America’s Resort’, working at the Certified Angus Beef ® Annual Conference. The yearly event is an occasion to invite 600 of our partners and friends to a grand venue where we celebrate their successes and plan for the future. A team of worker bees arrived on Monday to set up. See … there’s my hubby unloading the truck. He Big Hoss drove the truck from Wooster to West Virginia.
And then we unloaded. Isn’t it funny how women all assume the same stance when waiting on a man to complete a task so they can hurry up and get on with things?
Here it is … my West Virginia office: the GoRare.com Lounge. It was a place to showcase the brand’s blog and social media endeavors. It was a bright and cheery space that opened onto a gorgeous patio. And also … there were curtains.
Have you ever seen anything like them?! Those huge bows drove me batty when trying to plan the space, but after awhile I just ignored them. The funniest thing happened, too. By the end of the week we started referring to the decor as ‘charming’. What else could we do?
Anyway … the goal of this space was to showcase our social media efforts and get story ideas, newsworthy items and fresh ideas from our customers. And how do you get people to want to come and talk to you? It’s a cinch, really. You just offer them as much of a good thing as they can handle … and I’m not talking about beef.
I’m fluent in the universal language of love.
You can’t go wrong with M&Ms. Oh, sure, fancy chefs and decadent beef dishes are all well and good, but I’m not above exploiting sweet tooth(s) for soundbites and interviews. I called this area, “Sweets for Tweets” — see my little bluebird hiding in the hedges? I called him Twitter.
Day two was a misty mountain morning at The Greenbrier Golf Club.
Those carts are parked there for our partners. And just FYI … if, like me, you find golf to be a foreign concept, please remember one thing: do not get in the way of a man, a golf cart and a shotgun start.
Anyway. I did not golf. I was there for the sole purpose of photographing the experience. And it was beautiful.
In more ways than one.
After the golfers headed off into the morning mist, I high-tailed it back to the hotel. Another group boarded a shuttle for Kate’s Mountain and The Greenbrier Gun Club.
And here’s what I have to say about it. It’s beautiful. It’s fabulous. It was a welcome reprieve from the fancy world within the hotel walls. And also …
It’s really hard to watch and photograph other people shooting really great guns on a really wonderful course all morning when you, yourself cannot participate. Shooting a camera just doesn’t have the same big bang factor.
When my shutterbug challenge was complete, I boarded a bus and headed back to the grand hotel for a change of clothes and a fresh camera battery. It was time for the Opening Reception.
Food, music and conversation on an autumn evening surrounded by natural splendor. It was lovely. There was a Certified Angus Beef ® carving station, brook trout and various sides including one of my favorites …
And for dessert? Well of course the hotel made some lovely little pastry items but … our guests had to walk through that GoRare.com Lounge to get in and out of the reception and we were there to gather information.
But don’t worry, we sweetened the deal …
Tell —where else can you get free M&Ms and free Hershey bars? Exactly.
Still to come: chocolate making in a crystal ballroom, a tour of The Greenbrier kitchens, exquisite dishes from celebrity chefs, a farm and pasture photo tour, and why you should ALWAYS wear knee socks with new boots.