Planner: Allison Jones Executive Vice President National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants Collerville, TN
The 1,635-room Peppermill Resort Spa Casino has invested more than $500 million in expansions since 2008, with meetings and conventions in mind. In the past year, $15.8 million was spent to redesign the original Peppermill Tower, which included a $2.3 million executive boardroom.
Today, it is Reno’s only AAA 4-diamond hotel.
That boardroom and the 106,000 sf of meeting space lured Allison Jones, executive vp of the National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants. She planned a conference in January for 600 small business owners from four countries.
“The layout of the meeting space is a planner’s dream,” says Jones. “Peppermill’s expansive function space enabled everyone to be on one floor. Electronic boards posted our logo and constantly updated meeting information with a detailed map showing each session’s location. That made it easy for everyone.” The staff aided her on multiple occasions, from adding registration tables to expanding NAICC’s tradeshow space for 10 last-minute exhibitors.
The Executive Boardroom astounded her.
“We each had a leather blotter and beside it, controls for the overhead lights. If someone wanted to show what was on his computer, he’d flip a switch and it would appear on a large wall screen. At least another eight monitors circled the room. Light controls and curtains were controlled by an iPad.”
For post-meeting drinks, the Terrace Lounge features a large circular bar for networking, but with nine restaurants and 16 bars, Allison was unsure how many people would show up. So the Peppermill extended discounted prices to members wearing their name tags.
Lots of people showed up.
The varied cuisine, huge spa and luxurious guestrooms also elicited raves from the group.
“My staff loved the grilled chicken ciabatta sandwich. The coconut shrimp was so wonderful we had it at several group meals,” says Jones. “The guestrooms are huge and luxurious with a European soaking tub and marble floors in the bathroom. The furniture looked like what you’d pick for your own house if you had an unlimited budget.”
The 33,000-sf Mediterranean-style Spa & Salon Toscana was another big hit. The 24-room facility features mosaic-tiled floors, fountains, water features, and a Caldarium with an indoor pool, sun deck and secret garden.
“You could have a treatment early in the day and return to use the facilities until midnight,” she says. “That was amazing.” For offsite dining, Jones recommends Campo, which bets its fresh pasta and authentic Napoletana-style pizza cooked in wood-burning ovens direct from Naples can’t be duplicated.
Work off those calories with a tour through the National Automobile Museum, featuring four authentic street scenes, representing each quarter of the 20th century with facades, autos and artifacts from each era.