The bunker tours are just one item on a large menu of activities offered at the Greenbrier. Other options include fishing, tennis, off-road driving, skeet shooting, horseback riding and spa treatments.
Furlong said that this breadth of activities is a big part of what groups enjoy about the Greenbrier. Most of the excursions take place on the resort’s 6,500-acre property.
“Once you’re here, you’re here,” he said. “You don’t need to leave the property. We have mountains, valleys and all of the golf courses. We have more than 40 of our own shops on the property, and we have about 14 restaurants during peak season.”
The Greenbrier’s array of activity options may be due in part to its remote location, as guests would have to travel quite a way to find things to do if they weren’t offered at the resort. For properties in more trafficked locales, hotel staff work with nearby businesses to put together experiences that combine the resort’s luxury with the destination’s charm.
The Grand Hotel offers groups a private lecture with the hotel historian, who gives them an overview of the hotel’s founding and growth through the Victorian era. But the staff also encourages groups to venture off-property to explore the rest of Mackinac Island, where automobiles aren’t allowed.
“Groups that stay two nights usually take a carriage tour of the island that includes a stop at the historic Fort Mackinac,” Hayward said. “They also go shopping in the downtown area or take a bike tour around the downtown area. By the time they’ve done all that, they’ve had a busy day, and they’re ready for another meal in the dining room. Then they go dancing after dinner.”
In Asheville, the Grove Park Inn serves as a home base for many groups that come to explore the city and surrounding region.
“Groups that stay for a while often do the Asheville Trolley Tours,” Brody said. “Fall foliage season is a great time for a tour, and spring is interesting with everything blossoming. Other groups come to see something unique, like our National Gingerbread House Competition in December.”