Creating New Festive Occasions

By | January 19th, 2017
Famous landmarks constructed from nonperishable foods at Woodloch Resort included multiple Golden Gate Bridges and Cinderella’s castle from Walt Disney World.

Famous landmarks constructed from nonperishable foods at Woodloch Resort included multiple Golden Gate Bridges and Cinderella’s castle from Walt Disney World.

Woodloch Resort in Hawley, Pa., kicked off the holiday season with its own take on a popular German event.

Many club and resort properties develop their own traditions for members and guests around Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year, and Woodloch Resort in Hawley, Pa., kicked off the holiday season with its own take on a popular German event.

NovemberFest Weekend, a riff on the traditional Oktoberfest, was hosted at Woodloch in November rather than October, due to the resort’s busy schedule and Halloween programming, says Rory O’Fee, Director of Marketing. From November 18-20, around 500 people stayed at the property to enjoy a German polka band, themed activities each night, Bavarian meats and pastries, and, of course, beer from a local brewery.

Nightly bar games that were held included a scavenger hunt named ONYA (for “What’s on ya?”), where contestants sought items that other guests currently had in their possession, and the Hinterland Maze, for which a maze was mapped out on the floor that blindfolded contestants had to crawl through, guided by verbal direction from their teammates.

One special part of NovemberFest is the “Dessert Wars,” during which families in teams of 10 construct confectionary masterpieces out of icing, sprinkles, candies, and more. The teams are given vouchers to use to acquire toppings, then compete in trivia to secure more vouchers to help make their Oktoberfest-themed creations even better.

“As with any event we do here at Woodloch, the spirit of our staff is contagious, and it’s easy to let yourself give in to the energy and enjoy yourself,” says O’Fee.

All 2,000 lbs. of food was donated to the local food pantry.

All 2,000 lbs. of food was donated to the local food pantry.

The weekend after NovemberFest, the resort shifted its attention to giving back to the community, with a “CANstruction” contest. Attendees were given a pack of 30 items, including canned and boxed foods, construction paper, scissors, string and tape, and tasked with using those items to construct famous landmarks in America. The teambuilding exercise resulted in the creation of several Golden Gate Bridges, an Empire State building, and the standout: Cinderella’s castle from Walt Disney World (see photos above).

“This event was open to the public,” O’Fee says. “It’s a very slow time for overnight business, so we marketed it to the local community as a way for small businesses to do some teambuilding for a minimal expense and a great cause. We did some local radio ads and had on-air discussions, called local businesses to invite them to come, and got the word out through our chambers of commerce as well.”

Several of the resort’s food purveyors and the resort itself donated items to the event, and over 2,000 lbs. of food was then donated to the local food pantry.

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