The Emerson Resort & Spa’s location in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York gives groups the perfect setting for a variety of outdoor teambuilding activities. The most popular: skiing.
Tony Lanza, the resort’s COO, says the ski program is available for about 25 to 30 attendees, providing instruction to skiers of all levels. Attendees will learn at their own pace. They will start on flat ground and then start to ski on different grade levels that are matched to the success the skiers are having.
“In the old days, people went to the top of the mountain and about 90 percent never came back,” says Lanza. “This is the perfect mountain that has quaint trails that we can have your folks enjoying on their first day.”
Lanza parallels the way that groups work together on the mountain to how they can work together in the workplace. The goal is to introduce the sport to those who have never skied before and then empower them to be better so that, by the end of the day, everyone has a sense of accomplishment that’s gratifying and that they can build on.
“The upper level skiers are training the lower level skiers just like you would in a business situation,” Lanza says. “The lower level skiers are developing certain skills while the trainers are being trained by the resort’s ski instructors. After about an hour, the accomplished skiers have learned four basic skills in regard to teaching that they can use to help the lower level skiers have a breakthrough. That breakthrough will not only be enjoyed by that new skier, but the people who were experienced skiers that actually brought them to that point.”
Lanza adds that by working together, skiing becomes a real teambuilding experience, and the value attendees gain from the experience can be used back in the workplace.
“When you expand, not only is it better for your own career, but it makes you feel good about your job,” he says. “People often get afraid that if they do something such as make a decision, they’ll get penalized when in fact it’s often that they’ll be penalized if they don’t make a decision. Getting on a mountain and working with similar elements amplifies that philosophy.”
The property offers more than 5,000 sf of meeting space, as well as a variety of other outdoor activities such as hiking, foraging, kayaking and ice climbing.