Illinois: Galena, Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa Family Reunions Made Easy. In terms of effort, time and planning, family reunions are right up there with weddings - easily taking a year or more to ensure a successful and smooth event. A critical first step is finding a location that not only can accommodate groups as large as 100, but can provide one-on-one assistance with all the details.
Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa in Galena, Ill., has seen its reunion business grow steadily since 2001. They have developed a hands-on system that assigns one reunion team specialist to walk each reunion organizer through the entire planning process and accommodate all special requests along the way. When you are orchestrating a multi-day event for anywhere from 30 to 100 people, of all ages, such help is invaluable.
“A family reunion should be all about reliving past memories and making wonderful new ones, not about planning, worries, and frazzle,” points out Sue Berning, the resort’s director of special events.
To assure a happy reunion event, the specialist provides tips for local sightseeing; arranges hayrides, scavenger hunts, campfires or other special family or group activities. In addition, the specialist will book tee times and the photographer, oversee all catering requests, (from a welcome dinner in a private dining room or outdoors under a tent, to setting up a special sundae bar and handle any other organizational chores. Best of all, with less time spent “managing,” the reunion organizer can join in the festivities.
Unlike other getaways, when ‘having your own space’ may be a prime consideration, reunions are all about connecting and catching up -- which is easy to do at Eagle Ridge, thanks to a wide range of lodging options. In addition to 80 deluxe bedroom accommodations in the comfortable inn, Eagle Ridge offers a selection of homes with anywhere from one to eight bedrooms. Many reunion groups find a spacious four-or five-bedroom home to be ideal as the main gathering space for breakfast, cocktails or late-night chat sessions. (More than one family sharing a home offers an economic advantage, as well.)
Chicago-based property consultant Angela Falzone recently handled the planning of her family’s bi-annual get-together. She says the 5-bedroom home that was one of several Eagle Ridge units housing her 60-member family was, “Fabulous. We could have as many as 45 people in the house and on the grounds. And we’ve learned – now that we’ve done four of these – that you really want to have a central meeting place. The kind of spot you can go to for a cup of coffee or late night chat and know there’ll be someone else hanging around. And your typical hotel isn’t going to be able to give you that.”
“We have such a wide range of housing, there’s almost no limit to the size of groups that we can accommodate,” notes Fred Hansen, general manager.
Here's the deal: Eagle Creek offers a four day, three night Family Time Package which offers accomodations in the the resort's newly renovated Inn rooms, villas or in one of the resort's spacious vacation homes. The package includes $70 Eagle Ridge dollars which can be used anywhere at the resort, a large family pizza from Paisans, a special deal on pontoon boat rental, 10% discount on spa services and preferred rates on tee times. Check out their site for specific details regarding pricing, which varies according to season.
During the day, Eagle Ridge’s menu of activities is broad enough to suit any age or any interest. While the young ones are enjoying a scavenger hunt or other supervised activity, Mom and Dad can enjoy a round of golf on one of the nation’s top-ranked courses in the nation (Eagle Ridge offers 63 holes over four courses) or visit Stonedrift Spa, a tranquil oasis offering treatments that soothe and rejuvenate. Other recreation possibilities include hot air balloon rides, tennis, water sports, horseback riding, hiking, volleyball, and tennis.
For families converging from points across the country, Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa’s heartland location is another factor that makes it a handy choice for reunion groups. Set on 6800 acres amid the rolling scenery of northwestern Illinois, the resort is just 60 minutes from Rockford and 30 minutes from the Dubuque, Iowa airport. Nearby, the picturesque town of Galena, once home to President Ulysses Grant, offers a wealth of off-site exploring possibilities.
Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa provides the ideal golf experience, with 63 holes on four outstanding courses. Other amenities at the full-spectrum resort complex include the brand-new Stonedrift Spa, a fitness center with indoor pool and whirlpool, hiking and horseback trails, tennis, boating, fishing, bike riding, and hot air balloon rides, along with three restaurants and a general store.
For reservations or more information about the reunion packages and activities, visit online at www.eagleridge.com or call toll-free 1-800-892-2269.
Content provided by Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa. Images provided by eagle Ridge and by FTF. Copyright 2012.