groups combine their skills and strategy to
see who will come out on top,” says Terrie
Birkel, director of marketing and communications at the Jefferson CVB.
Events include Grand Prix- and Le
Decked Out, St. Tammany Parish
Mans-inspired races, during which teams
compete to complete the most laps during
an allotted time. The venue also accommo-
dates corporate parties as well as the more
expensive Xtreme Xperience, during which
attendees may choose to drive a Ferrari,
Lamborghini or Porsche.
Among the group-friendly dining options that mingle the great outdoors with
fabulous Louisiana dishes is Slidell-based
Palmettos on the Bayou ( www.palmettos
restaurant.com), which is situated between
three national wildlife refuges.
According to Renee Kientz, vice president of communications, marketing and
public relations at the St. Tammany Parish
Tourist and Convention Commission,
groups dining on the 5,000-square-foot
deck appreciate the views as much as the
restaurant’s crab cakes and Bloody Marys.
“Dine on fresh gulf seafood and other
local specialties as you relax on the sprawling, shaded deck overlooking historic
Bayou Bonfouca,” she says.
Other delicious specialties here include
shrimp and grits, blackened catfish and
Challenging Course, Baton Rouge
Groups can make like LSU Tigers during a
challenging on-campus UREC, or
University Recreation ( www.lsuuniversityrec.
com) teambuilding activity.
“Experience the vibrant culture of Louisiana State University while completing
the UREC Challenge Program,” says Christy
Chachere, communications coordinator at
Visit Baton Rouge.
Comprised of both a low and a high
course, attendees will have to tap into
physical and mental strength to succeed at
reaching group goals.
Tasks along the way include a swinging
vine, a spider’s web, swinging bridges and
tandem hydraulic ziplines.
Gone Fishing, Lake Charles
“A great outdoor adventure would be to
book a guided fishing trip in Calcasieu
Lake, referred to locally as ‘Big Lake,’”
says William Precht, media relations
specialist at the Lake Charles/Southwest
He adds there are plenty of knowledgeable guides that will lead a group to “
ac-tion-packed fishing spots,” including Big
Lake Guide Service ( www.biglakeguide
service.com), an area favorite.
“They have a small fleet of boats, as
well as picturesque lakefront lodging that
can sleep upwards of 12 guests at a time,”
Rosy Outlook, Shreveport
Groups meeting in Shreveport can travel 10
minutes west of downtown to experience a
beautiful garden of roses at the American
Rose Center ( www.rose.org).
“Engage your senses and learn about one
of the world’s most popular flowers,” says
FISHING WITH BIG
LAKE GUIDE SERVICE
BATON ROUGE ZOO
What are the top three group-friendly outdoor activities you recommend
for visiting groups?
1Airboating on the Bayou: We are surrounded by a truly unique and beautiful eco- system that can’t be found anywhere else in North America, so it’s one of our greatest joys to share this with our corporate meeting groups. Our favorite activity is to take a
ride on the wild side by touring local marshes and swamps on airboats. Luxuriant cypress,
swamp willow and iris, sassafras and palmetto frame the verdant realm of egret, pelican,
eagle, alligator, raccoon, blue heron, muskrat and nutria.
We love to add an outdoor seafood boil for our guests on the banks of a bayou. Crawfish,
crab and shrimp, right from the bayou, is complemented by locally produced smoked sausage, corn, potatoes and, of course, ice-cold Abita beer.
2The Muskrat Scramble: Muskrat Ramble, a favorite jazz standard, is the inspira- tion for this fun and challenging activity in the French Quarter. The Muskrat Scram- ble, a DNO original, is a combination of the traditional French Quarter treasure hunt
and the hit TV reality show Amazing Race.
Each team is given only one clue to begin with and they must discover the French Quarter location alluded to, get there and accomplish the given task before receiving the next
clue. The finish line can be as simple as a meeting room in the host hotel or as elaborate
as a French Quarter balcony party overlooking the Mississippi River.
3Paint Fest & Bead Fest: The beauty, art and healing qualities of nature is the inspiration for this teambuilding activity, which is mainly held in outdoor locations uch as a park or sculpture garden. By using recycled Mardi Gras beads, your group
can create spectacular murals with a distinctly New Orleans flavor. It’s all really quite
simple and a whole lot of fun!
First, scenes are drawn on multiple canvases much like a giant puzzle. Then they are
color-coded for participants to paint or to fill in by gluing Mardi Gras beads in place. And
finally the canvases come together to form a mural depicting a spectacular scene from
nature, such as a blooming garden or an underwater scene.
By partnering with other organizations such as the Foundation for Hospital Art, your
company can sponsor the teambuilding event, featuring spectacular cuisine and live
entertainment. Not to mention, positive media attention will enhance the public perception
of your organization as a good corporate citizen committed to the welfare of those in need
either in your own community or right here in New Orleans.
Nancy Trosclair, DMCP
Destination New Orleans (DNO)