Basic Principles of Back-Road Cruising (circa 1973); Drive (in a direction). Randomly choose a smaller road and drive that way. Do that again. Make sure you have no idea where you are. Find a suitable field in which to throw a frisbee. Continue. Other rules: Eat well at local eateries (preferably called “Mom’s” or at least have a sign that says “Eat”. Drink local beer (i.e. “Colonel Drummond: A Light Libation of Extraordinary Character”), and if the weather is good, sleep outside. If not, sleep in the car. Do that until you run out of money and then return.
Modification of Basic Principles (circa 2018); If the frisbee does not come directly to you, don’t even try to run after it. Stay in four and five star hotels. Write about them. Take photographs of America. Other principles remain the same.
So let’s talk about Oregon. Land of Many Things To Do (I have to work on that). Started in Portland, drove to the coast and circled back to Bend. That sounds simple except there were lots of twists and turns as Bill (one of my original back road cruising buddies) and I decided the theme of the trip was “Tributaries”, and so we randomly chose roads that paralleled rivers and continually ended up in the middle of nowhere. Our rental Jeep came in handy. :) Good times.
Here are three great places we stayed in and if you have any reason to have your meeting in Oregon (there are a lot of reasons), I strongly suggest you put all three of these into your consideration set.
The Nines, Portland, OR. www.thenines.com
Located in the middle of everything, this 331 guest-room Starwood Luxury Collection hotel offers 13,478 square feet of meeting space (almost all of which is located on one floor… a good thing). The original 15 story building, built in 1909, was a flagship Portland department store, and was always (and still is) a place to be seen. As an aside, Clark Gable used to work there. Because of its original department store design, the 8th Floor lobby is exceptional, an art-filled naturally lit atrium divided into “environments” conducive to private conversations and/or people watching. Great staff and good food too. Check it out.
Salishan Spa & Golf Resort, Gleneden Beach, OR www.salishan.com
I should say the “New” Salishan because although it has been an institution on the Oregon Coast for decades, it has recently been re-conceived, re-done and re-launched. Yes, it still is on 750 acres overlooking Siletz Bay, it still offers 205 rooms, 13k square feet of meeting space, 18 holes of golf, and a full-service Spa. But also consider it your Base Camp for exploring and team-building on the Oregon Coast. Just a few ideas… Kayaking, Fishing, Horseback Riding, Guided art and photography walks, Forest Yoga (yes, I said forest yoga)… and a lot of other “stuff”.
Another thing that makes it new… their new owner is some super-rich investor guy who wants to make the world a better place and re-develop Salishan to have a zero environmental footprint and promote all of that good health and wellness stuff, and be family friendly at the same time. So that’s good too.
One thing to add… it’s 2 hours and 15 minutes from Portland so you have to want to be here. But once you are here, you will be glad you came.
Sunriver Resort, Sunriver, OR (near Bend). www.sunriver-resort.com
Yes, you also have to want to be there, but once there, Sunriver is a world unto itself (and close to a lot of other great year-round stuff). The stats; 211 Lodge guestrooms and over 300 vacation homes and condos, over 44k square feet of indoor meeting space plus a seemingly infinite amount of outdoor space, an average of 300 sunny days a year (so yes, it is feasible in the winter that you can golf and ski on the same day), four (!) golf courses, fishing, kayaking and canoeing, a marina, horseback riding stables, 45 miles of bike trails, a private airport, a full-service Spa, and about a million team building ideas (the use of the word “million” is called poetic license).
And one other cool thing… due to the amazing lack of light pollution at the resort (yes, that is a thing), the resort is home to the independently operated Oregon Observatory… and those folks are happy to bring some of their telescopes to your night-time events and show your attendees what the stars really look like.
The gist of all of this… consider it. :)
So… obviously there many other great places in Oregon, and many more things to see and do… but these three are a great start. I will keep adding ideas to the Resource Library over time so keep checking it… not only for Oregon but for everywhere… and click on everything.
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