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269 Fontana Blvd

Fontana, Wisconsin 53125

(800) 709-1323

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Abbey Resort Blog

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Summer, Fall, Winter or Spring, The Abbey Resort on Lake Geneva, Wisconsin is the perfect destination for families, couples, business travelers, or people looking for a relaxing getaway. Follow our blog for ideas and tips to get the most out of your next visit to The Abbey.

What Do Meetings Look Like in 2021 & 2022?

Skip What Do Meetings Look Like in 2021 & 2022?

What do meetings look like in 2021 and 2022? By Dan Dolan, Abbey Resort Director of Sales and Marketing Try to recall there was a time, although it may seem oh so long ago, when meeting in person was the norm. “Oh, I am heading to another meeting, hope it’s not boring,” you may have mused. We just might jump at the chance to join a “boring” meeting these days if it meant travelling and seeing colleagues or mixing with industry folks.

Of course, it would be better if, when in person meetings return, they are actually better than before we lost them. Today I look forward to that day, not with rose-tinted glasses or gloomy stats, rather with an eye on what meetings might look like.

When in person meetings came to a screeching halt in March of last year, businesses around the country did not stop. In fact, businesses needed meetings more than ever due to the profound economic impacts beginning to unfold. Organizations needed to form new strategies post haste. As an example, our resort’s business leadership moved to daily meetings to discuss strategy and our company’s home office began laying out schedules for regular meetings to present their guidance on a regular basis. Many companies needed to ramp up the frequency of critical business path meetings while simultaneously finding new ways to meet with a majority of workers now dispersed to home offices. Off-the-shelf virtual meeting solutions including Zoom, Teams, Blue Jeans and others quickly filled the gap. We were all moving so fast, we might not have even realized what we were losing or for how long.

Way before the convenience of lightning-fast internet connections and devices allowing us to meet with someone halfway around the globe from anywhere, people made the choice to meet in person even when it was terribly inconvenient. In ancient times, an invitation to a meeting likely meant an arduous journey, one that required great resources and risk. Why did they do it instead of sending a messenger from the safety of their home or castle? The answers are informative to us today. In person meetings give us critical human connectivity not possible any other way. When not being forced into using poorly lit, low resolution digitized video we can, when face to face, see all the body language, facial expressions and hear clear tones of speech that inform our brains the complete communication coming from a person. Recently I participated in a virtual conference with breakout “rooms.” I have never played the virtual life simulation called The Sims, but it looked like a version of the popular game with pixilated humans and thought bubbles of text. It was, at best, clunky and I didn’t see serious business getting done. I am sure the organizers had messages they hoped to deliver in those sessions and feedback they wanted in return that did not materialize. Sure, advancements are coming in the virtual meeting realm but most people we’ve talked to are so uninspired by attending one virtual meeting after another they would rather chew on a shoe than sit through another online session.

That’s distraction enough, but add to that today’s overloaded work-from-home schedules. Remember when we had relief and inspiration before and after offsite meeting sessions? It might have been a morning run near the hotel or resort before the opening session, enjoying all the freshly prepared meals and breaks by an actual chef and inevitably there were post session receptions to mingle. These things have purpose. The brain, like muscles, need to warm up, be given breaks and cool down. Optimal absorption of information and engagement occurs in a real life event like those we all used to go to because we DO design in the scheduled meals, breaks and time to unwind or socialize. As each organization determinesthat it is time to return to in person meetings these lost elements will take on a renewed and amplified importance.

So how should meetings look in 2021 and 2022? In a word, better. If we realize what we lost and how important the act of gathering and the elements of a meeting are, we should lean in and champion experiential meetings. There are some creative planning companies helping develop and deliver great experiences for their clients, but predictably there may also be a new wave of employees that are told one day, “So you’ll be planning our next super important meeting.” These will be people who have never planned a meeting before. One thing about those folks, besides the challenge they will have to learn how to plan a meeting in the first place, is they will have fresh thinking and ask new questions.

It seems that meetings occurring this year will have a varying degree of precursors related to safety and guest comfort to meet in hotels. Most companies are prepared, and some are already experienced in the social distancing, cleaning and protocols. What then? We recommend those first in person meetings later this year NOT be jam packed with hours and hours of unending content. Remember, for most of us face-to-face social interactions have been reduced to the occasional visits with a small, very familiar group. There will be a natural shock to the system being in a larger social or business setting for many. Consider reducing the size and ambition of these first meetings. This might be a natural change due to safety guidance or reduced ability for attendees to travel, but this suggestion is more about having engaged and attentive attendees. Focus on a smaller set of hyper-important goals giving ample time for people to receive and digest the content. If in the past, a jam packed one hour session had participants fading after 30 minutes, expect that will occur sooner in these first few meetings.

In our hotel world we desperately want to envision 2022 as close to back to “normal” as possible. If we have learned anything from the cycles of the past 30 years it is that when and how business returns to pre-crisis levels is unpredictable. One possible scenario is the return to some larger events. This means bigger expenditures and larger expectations. If in 2021 a company only invited a select hierarchy of employees, then presumably a broader group of team members or whole divisions will be attending their first off site meeting in 2022. We believe indications point to many of these meetings and events combining elements of traditional meetings with recognition & reward. Incentive trips and other types of recognition was just not possible in 2020 and most of 2021. This will change what was the norm for, say, a sales meeting, that mostly was about driving next year’s sales with a small nod to top performers. Actually, it may be necessary to change that mix quite a bit. Engaged and thoughtful personalization in large meetings show each person matters to the success of a company – a sentiment hard to convey with dispersed team members today. Clever and purposeful team building activities will ease people back into esprit de corps. Not to mention, at this stage, people want to socialize and there could be pushback if not accommodated in the meeting plan. In large meetings it is also important to giving consideration to narrowing the content delivery to the most important priorities and giving more time to those key messages.

Today, our sales team talks about asking very different questions, preparing for a wave of first time meeting planners and building experiences while still fulfilling required meeting needs.

Celebrate Galentine's Day at The Abbey!

Skip Celebrate Galentine's Day at The Abbey!

The most special day of February will be here before you know it. It’s a day full of love, fun and appreciation for each other. No, we’re not talking about Valentine’s Day – it’s the other red letter day of the month…Galentine’s Day! Never heard of it? Galentine’s Day falls on February 13th and is the celebration of your friendships with the ladies in your life. It’s all about the girls!

Whether you’ve heard of Galentine’s Day before or you’ve just learned about it, grab your best gal pals and celebrate with a fun night featuring a progressive wine tasting at The Abbey Resort! Visit different areas of the resort as you taste a variety of expertly chosen wines along the way. Along with the tastings you’ll participate in DIY activities, take in a little shopping, dine on extravagant breakfast items, and you’ll even have a bag of goodies to take home with you.

You’ll be starting in Avani Spa with your first glass of wine along with a photo booth where you can strike a pose with the gals, and then you’ll make your own sugar scrub featuring ingredients of your choice. From there, you’ll move into our iconic A-frame where we’ll have three levels of different activities (and, of course, wines) lined up for you. Local vendors will be selling items you’ll love to treat yourself or your girlfriends with. Show off your creativity as you paint a wine glass to take home with you, and then participate in a lively trivia game where you can win prizes and all-important bragging rights. After the multiple levels of fun, you’ll head into Bar West where you’ll be able to dine on amped-up breakfast items that our Chef has created just for this event. You read that right – breakfast for dinner! This isn’t your typical breakfast buffet, these are stations of delicious treats like churro waffles, carrot cake topped overnight oats, and vegan sausage tostadas. (And yes, there will be more wine.) Once you’ve filled yourself with breakfasty goodness, head into our Waterfront Gift Shop where you will receive a framed photo of you and your friends to keep as a souvenir of your Galentine’s celebration. You’ll also be able to purchase the wines that you tasted along the way.

After the main event, you’ll be able to enjoy laughs over Galentine’s themed cocktails in Waterfront, cozy up by the bonfire and roast s’mores under the stars, or catch a movie in the Immersion Theater. Make a getaway out of it and purchase an overnight package for the ultimate girls’ night. 

Enjoy all of these activities for only $89 per person, or spend the night with us on our Galentine’s Overnight Package. Call 800-709-1323 to make your reservations today!

Top Ten Reasons to Stay at The Abbey

Skip Top Ten Reasons to Stay at The Abbey

If you've stayed at The Abbey Resort before, you know there are a million and seven reasons to vacation here, but we've decided to condense the list to just ten of the best reasons! Whether you're dining at one of our outstanding restaurants or hanging by the pool on an awesome summer day, you're bound to have a blast when you stay at The Abbey. 

1. Interesting History

Before The Abbey Resort was the only full service resort on the shores of Geneva Lake, it was inhabited by Potawatomi Indians that hunted and fished around the lake. This portion of the land on the west end of Geneva Lake was later purchased by in 1839 at a hefty rate of $1.25 per acre from the government land office. Construction of the resort began in 1962, starting with excavating the harbor by hydraulic dredging of 242,000 cubic yards of earth, which in turn was pumped back onto The Abbey property, raising the land six feet. Throughout its history, the resort has preserved a great sense of tradition while continuing to welcome change and improvement. In 2005, the now 90-acre, 334 room resort underwent a $40 million redevelopment. The final phase was completed in 2008 with a major investment in the all-new Avani Spa. The Abbey continues to go through innovative renovations every year, to keep things fresh for all guests.

2. Location – On the Shores of Geneva Lake

Geneva Lake is a favorite attraction to many in the Midwest area, and luckily, The Abbey Resort is located directly on the shores of the beautiful lake. Wake up in a Harbor View room to enjoy an unbeatable sunrise that will start your morning perfectly. Falling in love with Geneva Lake is easy, especially when you’re on the quiet side where Fontana resides. Spend a day at Fontana Beach for free when staying at The Abbey to get the full lake life experience while you’re in the area.

3. Outstanding On-Site Restaurants

The Abbey Resort offers wonderful dining options for every palate. 240° West is our signature establishment, featuring a combination of locally sourced delicious cuisine and exceptional ambiance. Guests enjoy breathtaking views of Lake Geneva while savoring the creations of Executive Chef Joshua North. On weekends Bar West, serves delicious small plates and cocktails to enjoy with live music. The Waterfront is our casual dining experience, offering indoor and outdoor patio seating, and the best barbecue on the lake. Drink, dine and dance the night away with a full bar, delicious food and live entertainment every weekend. Early risers can get their coffee drinks at Café Latte, which features Starbucks Coffee and scrumptious breakfast treats, plus grab-and-go options.

4. Virtual Entertainment Center

Step beyond the flat screen of video games and become a part of the action as you move freely in a virtual environment. Using high powered gaming PC's, the fully immersive HTC Vive Head Mounted Display and a pair of hand controllers, you're not just playing the game - you're a part of it. Watch your favorite team on the big screen or experience epic movies in our cinema. Sit in one of our comfortable theater seats and watch the crystal clear picture on our 90" screen while the sound surrounds you, pulling you into the action. Recharge and refuel with items from the café. Hot dogs, brats and popcorn to beer, wine and soda, you'll have what you need to get back into the game.

5. World Class Avani Spa

Your first steps into Avani Spa will have you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated immediately with newly remodeled showers, steam and inhalation rooms, makeup stations and more. Explore the full menu of massages, body and facial treatments, which are sure to calm your mind and soothe your spirit. Gentlemen benefit from treatments and services just for them, and we even have something for teens. Guests of Avani Spa have access to Avani Atrium private pool, whirlpool and the state-of-the-art fitness center. We offer exciting packages tailored to your particular needs, from babymoon pregnancy massage to our signature Rejuvenation Day Package.

6. Indoor and Outdoor Pools

Make a splash in any of our pools throughout the resort! Enjoy our indoor pool accompanied by a snack station, hot tub and kiddy pool, perfect for the little ones. During the summer, jump into one of our outdoor pools that feature a family pool, adults only pool, multiple hot tubs and a kiddy pool with various water features. Pair your day at the pool with some refreshing ice cold drinks and delicious snacks at Gazebo Grille. You’re bound to have a ton of fun at any of our resort pools any season of the year!

7. Partnerships with Local Businesses

Time to put The Abbey concierge to work! Enjoy plenty of discounts and deals at various local businesses in the area when you stay at The Abbey. Whether you’re looking for a day of golf, a cruise on Geneva Lake or a show encompassed with live horses in a spectacular show, The Abbey concierge can get a great deal on any activity. Check out our packages page to find out how you can save even more money and do some of your favorite Lake Geneva activities.

8. Ample Wedding and Meeting Space

The Abbey Resort provides wide array of dynamic indoor and outdoor wedding and meeting space available for your next Lake Geneva, Wisconsin event. From our eight-person Waterfront Board Room to the 10,000-square-foot Harbor Ballroom, there are venues that will accommodate your event of any size. Our event coordinators are available to assist in every step of the planning process, from catering to tech support. We also offer several all-inclusive event packages, which you can customize to a degree. With so many exciting choices, we're confident you'll find the Lake Geneva event venue that's perfect for your specific needs.

9. On-Site Boat Rental – Gordy’s

Ready for a day on the lake? Guests of The Abbey Resort are welcome to take advantage of Gordy's Marine, with a rental office directly outside Abbey guest rooms. Enjoy a discount for being a guests of The Abbey Resort and choose between 20-foot or 22-foot Cobalt Blue Bowriders, seating 6 and 8 respectively, for hourly, half-day and full day rentals. Your Geneva Lake adventure starts with boat rental from Gordy’s Marine!

10. Resort Activities Galore!

There is something to do for everyone at The Abbey Resort! Whether you’re riding bikes up to Duck Pond, making crafts in Rainbow Point or enjoying a competition of various lawn games, you won’t be bored on your vacation. Enjoy movies, guided games and a whole lot of fun when you stay at The Abbey! Pick up an activities guide from the front desk to find out what’s going on while you’re staying at The Abbey!

Why You Should Work at The Abbey

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Can't decide where you want to work this summer? Are you looking for a place with great pay and awesome benefits? Your summer job experience starts at The Abbey Resort, and here's why…

Employee Discounts

As an Abbey team member, you get to enjoy amazing discounts for just showing up to work! Take advantage of –

  • 50% discount on Food & Beverage outlets for you and three guests
  • 35% discount in Avani Spa for you and one guest
  • 35% discount on Waterfront Gift Shop merchandise
  • Discounted hotel rates at 58 Benchmark managed resorts
  • PLUS a long list of various entertainment discounts around the world!

Complimentary Meals

No need to pack a lunch or spend your hard earned cash on a meal! Head to the employee cafeteria where hot meals are served daily along with a salad bar and dessert fridge at no charge at all!

Work Environment

Did we mention that we’re the only full-service resort on the shores of Geneva Lake? Whether you’re working outside with the lake breeze blowing through your hair or inside with an unbeatable view of Geneva Lake, you’re bound to enjoy your day of work at The Abbey.

The Abbey Resort team is always look to add to the family so apply today at:  

Plan a Meeting That's Out of This World

Skip Plan a Meeting That's Out of This World

Take your team beyond reality at the new Virtual Entertainment Center, Immersion! Enjoy a fully immersive, beyond-reality experience in the gaming area; utilize your time testing your archery skills, putting on the golf course, surviving a dinosaur hunt, or testing one of many more virtual reality experiences.

 

At Immersion, guests are introduced to the latest in virtual reality gaming technology featuring 360-degree tracking, realistic graphics, directional audio and high definition haptic feedback. 

Recharge at Immersion Café with quick bites and refreshments. From hot dogs, brats and popcorn to beer, wine and soda, you'll have what you need to get back in the game with your eager team. Wind down in comfortable theatre-style seating and utilize the 90-inch flat-screen in Immersion Cinema to highlight projects and presentations or enjoy a feature show, sports game or movie.

This unique experience is perfect for your team as it will allow you to work together and explore and conquer a new, virtual world. Call to book your virtual team building experience today!