Located in Pennsylvania’s picturesque Alleghany Mountains, the 216-room Omni Bedford Springs comprises a gorgeous slice of Americana. Originally constructed in 1826, the hotel was brought up to date during a $120 million renovation four years ago, and the end result is a meeting hotel where groups can focus and feel free from the constraints of the daily grind. In other words, this is a perfect place to network in nature.
The “Bedford Springs” are eight freshwater springs that have been used for healing purposes dating back to the early settlers. In 1905, one of the nation’s first indoor pools was added, luring the rich and restless. As the springs are just two hours from D.C., politicians got wind of the place, which became known as the “Summer White House” for President James Buchanan. Today, the 30,000-sf Springs Eternal Spa features spring water in every one of its treatments.
For group business, there’s over 20,000 sf of dedicated meeting space divided among 13 rooms.
Linda Pasquale required space for a 4-day executive retreat for 26 senior level people from the Allegis Group, a staffing services network. She knew that the setting had to be relaxed, yet comfortably elegant, and that the execs had plenty of work to do.
For Linda, the location, just three hours from her home offices, was ideal. For others, the resort is 90 minutes from Pittsburgh and three hours from Philadelphia.
“You couldn’t ask for a better environment,” says Pasquale. “It was peaceful, professional and provided all the amenities we needed. And it was fall, so the crisp weather, the smell of the fireplace and the start of the foliage added to the beauty. The Omni is large but special. We had our ideal corporate meeting placed in a home-like setting.”
Linda, were there any dining experiences that really stood out for the group?
“On the very first evening we did a chef’s table in the kitchen, and that was probably our most memorable event,” enthuses Pasquale. “Their terrific chef, David Noto, involved the sous chef and pastry chef to make sure we learned about the local ingredients and the cooking process. They helped us cook our own wonderful meal, from the crab cake starters to beautiful dessert.”
So, was the homey vibe a big part of the overall group experience?
“David helped us sample wines and get the right match for each course,” says Pasquale. “When we sat in the kitchen and ate together, I felt like I was entertaining in my own home.”
For downtime, offsite activities, the group was joined by the resort’s outdoor DMC, Adventures in the Alleghenies. Pasquale worked with the DMC to create their own version of the Amazing Race. The event included a treasure hunt in cars, where they dashed around in teams of five in chauffeured SUVs to learn about the local history.