The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa marked its centennial with a $25 million property refreshment that included an investment in 2,500 customized banquet chairs.
To celebrate its 100th year in business, The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa, Asheville, N.C., has embarked on a $25 million property refurbishment. The facelift includes replacing 2,500 banquet chairs for meetings, conferences and large-scale events. That’s no small task, considering the Inn, acquired July 1 by Omni Hotels & Resorts, has 55,000 sq. ft. of event, meeting and convention space alone.
The Grove Park team knew it had to select just the right chair to complete the new look. That led to the selection of MTS Seating’s élan Stacking Banquet Chairs, because they “aligned with the overall design of the resort,” says Ron Morin, the Inn’s Vice President and General Manager.
Making Chairs Stack Up At Their Best
From the MTS Seating website (www.MTSSeating.com), visitors can access, in both English and Spanish, an approximately 9-minute-long YouTube training video, produced by the chair manufacturing company, designed to help club and resort staff members learn to safely and efficiently handle banquet stacking chairs. The video includes these tips:
The chairs’ classic appeal were a great fit with the look the Inn sought to create, Morin notes. And with hundreds of options within the élan line to choose from—including tufting vs. sewn-in channels, bumper-edge options, an array of finishes and more—the Inn was able to customize its chairs to achieve a brand-enhancing result.
A project manager for The Grove Park Inn researched a variety of different banquet chair options online before settling on the élan model BE569-500 in a light gold—or, more specifically, “cardamom”—in the “glimmer” pattern of performance fabric. The classic oval-shaped chair backs, and steel frame, add extra touches of elegance.
“The information on [MTS’] website is helpful and fully detailed,” Morin says, “and the ease of research facilitated the choice.” The order itself, he adds, was made by phone with an independent MTS distributor.
Comfort was a big selling point for the Grove Park Inn, and MTS delivered on that front as well. The trademarked COMFORTflex seating system is a hallmark of all élan models, offering a flexing, spring-motion back that responds to the user whenever he or she shifts position in the chair. Its secret: an aluminum alloy extrusion that functions as a spring between the back and the seat.
The stacking model line (there’s also an élan line of nesting chairs) also offers the option of MTS’ COMFORTweb seats, which provide users with extra support.
In addition to how the new chairs will help provide a fresh kickoff to the Inn’s 100th anniversary celebration, Morin views them as an investment in the facility’s long-term future. “We expect to use these chairs well into the next ten years,” he says, noting that MTS offers a standard 12-year structural warranty. “They are quite adaptable in look, and we can easily alter them according to event décor with slipcovers and bows.”
Out with the Old
And what of the more than 2,000 chairs that these new models replaced? Previously, the Grove Park Inn’s chairs featured a crown-shaped back in a floral pattern that had served the property well, but after years of service were beginning to show their age. Still, they were hardly ready to be put out to pasture completely.
Rather, Grove Park Inn Director of Marketing Communications Tracey Johnston-Crum reports, the old chairs were donated to a local not-for-profit organization that the property has worked with in the past. “We reached out to them to set up the donation,” she explains, “and they arranged for pickup of the chairs a few days after receipt of our new chairs.”
The social responsibility shown as part of Grove Park’s seating transition was further enhanced by the selection of MTS products, as the manufacturer has taken many steps to keep its environmental footprint to a minimum. As part of its SynerGreen program, the Temperance, Mich.-based company is the first and only hospitality-seating manufacturer to earn the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute’s Indoor Air Quality Certification on its line of stacking, banquet and restaurant seating. Through this certification and the use of at least 20 percent recycled materials in its products, MTS says it can be considered as a contributor to LEED credits for a facility. In addition, the manufacturer says, “at the end of a chair’s use, an average of 84 percent of the materials used in our products can be easily recycled—and that amount is even higher if more advanced recycling processes are used.”
“We are proud to partner with the Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa and be part of their Centennial Celebration,” says John Menas, MTS’ Senior Vice President of Sales. “MTS élan banquet chairs are crafted and built in the U.S., and are well-suited for this iconic property.”