rooftop lounge and other draws. Looking for
something different? Manhattan has it all.
At the island’s southern tip, Pier A Harbor
House is a 28,000-square-foot dining and
event venue housed in the landmark former
headquarters for the New York Harbor Police
and Department of Docks, built in 1886.
There’s casual indoor and outdoor dining on
the first floor, fine-dining on the second floor
and special events on the third level.
On the energetic, revitalized Bowery,
Duane Park is a rave-reviewed live music and
burlesque venue hosting groups of up to 120
for private dinners and events. On the edge
of Central Park, the mighty Metropolitan
Museum of Art hosts an array of gatherings.
Groups can also tour the Met Cloisters, the
branch of the museum devoted to medieval
European art and architecture overlooking
the Hudson in northern Manhattan. What
can compare to Madison Square Garden,
with its dramatic new 430-seat Sky Bridge
level, or Radio City Music Hall, or Lincoln
Center? All offer truly world-class entertain-
ment and event spaces—and memories and
excitement like nowhere else.
In Brooklyn, the pioneering Brooklyn Marriott is nearing completion of a three-phase,
$43 million makeover, including the new M
Club lounge, 50,991 square feet of upgraded
space, and all 667 guest rooms. Just minutes
from LaGuardia and JFK airports in White-stone, Queens, The Center for Automotive
Education & Training, IACC’s latest New York
member, offers 45,000 square feet of sleek,
modern space for corporate conferences,
dinners and more.
Running 24 hours a day between Lower
Manhattan and St. George, the free Staten
Island Ferry is a scenic option for reaching
attractions like Richmond County Bank Ballpark, home of the Staten Island Yankees, and
the Staten Island Museum. The museum also
offers a brand-new LEED-certified building
at the group-capable Snug Harbor Cultural
Center & Botanical Garden.
Within convenient reach of the city, Long
Island and Westchester County extend the
flexibility in myriad ways.
Globally renowned for its wine region and
beaches, Long Island presents a broad canvas
Taking the view that “untraditional venues
stimulate creativity and produce better
opportunities for attendee engagement and
comradery,” Joan LaRosa, director of sales for
the Long Island CVB and Sports Commission,
described Long Island as “filled with fun and
exciting venues beyond the four walls of a
regular meeting room.”
History comes alive in Long Island’s collec-
tion of group-capable Gilded Age mansions
such as the Oheka Castle and institutions like
the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City.
At the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead, delegates can meet in the Shark Tunnel room—or
cage-dive with live sharks in the 120,000-gallon
LONG ISLAND’S OHEKA CASTLE, HUNTINGTON
It was, as IACC noted at the time, a “unique arrangement.” In 2000, a major pharmaceutical company opened a 110,000-square-foot sales
training facility in Rye Brook, N. Y., 30 miles
north of Manhattan. Distinguishing the $40
million project was its attachment to the Doral
Arrowwood ( www.doralarrowwood.com) hotel
and conference center.
Innovative conferencing is in Doral’s
lifeblood. Developed by Citibank in 1983, the
property, an original IACC member, is for memorable meetings—and especially in the summer
and fall, weddings, social events and families.
Set on 114 wooded acres, it stands as metropolitan New York’s only resort, and as I recently
experienced, an enclave apart for groups.
Following an ice-breaker from True North
Team Building, which coordinates experiential
programs on-site, our group enjoyed a Chef’s
Table Dinner in the resort’s kitchen, with a
nightcap in the pub.
Property tours included Doral’s 33 dedicated
function rooms and 6,500-square-foot ballroom.
The Doral Executive Center, the training facility
scenically overlooking Doral’s nine-hole golf
course, offers 10 meeting rooms, 11 breakout
rooms, an executive conference room, 174-seat
amphitheater, two 50-seat amphitheaters, 13
office spaces and upscale executive boardroom.
We also toured the Sports Center, which
includes tennis, a fitness center and indoor/
outdoor swimming pool, and dined in the
sunny Atrium restaurant.
After joining Benchmark Resorts & Hotels
last September, the property announced $4 mil-
lion in renovations this February, including ex-
panded Wi-Fi, enhanced operational software,
new A/V equipment, and conference room re-
furbishment. Upgrades to 200 of the property’s
363 guest rooms are slated for completion this
spring, with the balance by year’s end.
“Along with the requisite technology, custom-
ization and flexibility for today’s meetings, our
focus is on experience creation,” said Director
of Sales and Marketing Jack Meehan, who is
involved with the IACC Meeting Room of the
Future initiative. “With innovations including
chef-led dinners and F&B-inspired breakouts,
we create memories and stories to tell.”
In that regard alone, Doral Arrowwood hits
the bullseye—including service excellence,
which made the visit a flowing pleasure from
start to finish. m
By Jeff Heilman
DORAL ARROWWOOD, RYE BROOK, N. Y.
DISCOVERING THE ART OF CREATIVE CONFERENCING
ON the SCENE
CHEF’S TABLE DINNER ENTREE