Exploring the West’s national parks
and major cities, diving into its oceans,
swooshing down its mountains, enjoying
its amusement parks and saddling up
at its dude ranches are all possible for
attendees and their families during or after
The waterfront destinations lining the
Western U.S. mainland, Hawaii and Mexico
are among the most popular places in the
country for meetings. Planners can count
on record attendance, while attendees will
find plenty of fun for the whole family.
If the meeting is held at Park Shore Hotel
in Waikiki or at Turtle Bay Resort on the
North Shore of Oahu, attendees and their
kids can make like Hawaiians and learn
to “hang 10” with Hans Hedemann Surf
School ( www.hhsurf.com).
While a surf lesson promotes par-
ent-child bonding, sessions with surf dogs
Hina and Kahuna are extra fun for kids,
who get to ride in tandem with the dogs,
according to Bobby Balouskus, operations
manager for Hans Hedemann Surf Inc.
In San Diego, groups can arrange surf or
stand-up paddleboarding lessons with Surf
Diva Surf School ( www.surfdiva.com).
“When parents are in meetings, kids can
enjoy half- or full-day camps during the
week,” said Izzy Tihanyi, Surf Diva’s found-
er and co-owner.
Among the many whale-watching
destinations and outfitters throughout the
West is Baja, Mexico’s O.A.R.S. (www.oars.
com/mexico), which offers 10-day outings
for those interested in a kid-friendly trip,
according to according Mindy Gleason, the
company’s reservations manager.
“Families can explore the dunes, beach-comb the western shore and kayak the
mangrove areas,” she said.
The West’s beautiful mountain destinations
also attract meetings year-round, and attendees with young skiers and outdoor lovers in the family should bring them along.
Sun Valley ( www.sunvalley.com) in
Idaho is one such destination.
“Parents can attend meetings while
their kids are in our Playschool/Adventure
Camps in the summer or SnowSports Ski
School in the winter,” said Brent Gillette,
Sun Valley’s director of sales. “After the
meetings, families have a wide variety
of activities they can do together, from
bowling in the renovated Sun Valley Lodge
to enjoying the year-round outdoor ice-
According to Sarah Morden, public
relations coordinator at Whistler Black-
comb ( www.whistlerblackcomb.com) in
British Columbia, Canada, the mountain’s
family-certified ski routes accommodate all
“Skiing or snowboarding as a family is
one of the most rewarding mountain expe-
riences,” she said, adding that families also
have a great time at Coca-Cola Tube Park.
One of the many meetings-friendly
mountain properties in Colorado is St. Regis Aspen ( www.stregisaspen.com), which
according to Tobias Rimkus, the resort’s director of catering and events, is encouraging families to explore the parks and fields
The same iconic Western experiences that are magnets for families from
around the world also
attract meeting groups
with spouses and children
WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER,
WHITE SANDS NATIONAL MONUMENT, NEW MEXICO
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD
The West has standout adventures in store for attendees, spouses and kids
We Are Family