Mt Charleston Resort Las Vegas, Nevada Managment Retreat
As I opened my car door and stepped on to the gravel parking lot, the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas suddenly felt a world away. It was so quiet outside I could hear the wind as I marveled at mountains towering over me.
After admiring the goldfish pond outside, I walked into the rustic lodge where I was greeted by fellow business partners and editors from the Sandbox.
Today, the ladies and I are removing ourselves from the distractions and familiarity of our workplaces and retreating to a locale where we can strategize, plan and collaborate. The benefits of holding a management retreat or strategic planning session are many. We get so caught up in the day-to-day tasks and operations that taking a day- or days– to step outside the box and analyze it from the outside can help shape-shift your “box” into a steam engine. Sometimes, a retreat is necessary for upper management to bond and learn more about each other as a way to improve corporate collaboration. This is especially useful when companies merge and executives are needing to learn how to share and play nice after two sandboxes suddenly become one.
There are many destinations which specialize in holding corporate retreats. Role playing activities and games are said to improve company morale and high-end remote mountain lodges or swanky beachfront resorts are often the venue of choice for companies with enough resources to dedicate tens of thousands of dollars to such an event. However, this is not the case for our budding company (at least not yet- insert smile and wink).
The ladies of RECESS and I, however, did not travel via airplane, nor boat. In fact, the short 35-minute drive to Mount Charleston couldn’t even qualify as a “roadtrip”. What’s wonderful about having our management retreat at the beautiful Resort at Mount Charleston is that it gives us the feeling of being on vacation, when in fact we’ll probably make it home in time for dinner.
3 Reasons To Have A Management Retreat
According to a leading expert in corporate management and author of A Managements Guide By James A. McCaffery, “A retreat is an opportunity to engender creativity — a time to remove your nose from the grindstone and look to the hills, a chance to think about what ought to be — and devise steps to get there. “
Having a management retreat can:
1. Build a more effective team
- Your business will go much further if a “team” mentality is fostered.
2. Enable management to discuss issues at a much deeper and more thoughtful level than they can in the “controlled chaos” of the office environment.
- Offices have many distractions. Looming deadlines is a major obstacle when attempting to engage on a deeper level.
3. Engage in a planning process that involves all the major contributors.
- Offers employees an opportunity to add valuable input on plans and projects.
For this particular management retreat, our focus was on strategic planning. We knew it was important to remove many outside distractions in order collaborate cohesively in a desired direction. The city of Las Vegas is not only visually stimulating, but can also present road blocks in it’s distractions. Thankfully for us, Lady Luck has a hidden gem just thirty-five minutes from all her glittery strip sights, the Resort at Mount Charleston.
The creative team behind RECESS packed up our laptops, tablets, cameras, and chargers and made the calming drive up the winding mountain road. Once we arrived a refreshing tone was felt throughout the group. The peaceful surrounds are a far cry from the city noise. As an added bonus, The Resort on Mount Charleston was kind enough to sponsor their conference room to RECESS for the day. This is a truly great retreat space. The large picture windows trump a “typical” meeting room, which lended to our creative senses.
Preparing For Your Management Retreat at Mount Charleston Resort
1. Decide If It’s a Day Trip or Overnight Stay
Although Mount Charleston Resort is a only a quick 35-minute drive from the Strip, it’s nice to get an early start on a day of strategic planning and meetings. The Resort offers reasonable rates starting at $72, and specials as low as $43 per night. With a beautiful dining and lounge area, you could give your management retreat a jump start the prior evening and begin fresh in the morning over coffee and dry erase boards.
2. Prepare For Limited Wifi
One of the things that makes Mount Charleston Resort attractive for traditional team building management retreats is the limited internet access. If you truly want to take your meeting “off-grid”, this is the place to do it. On the other hand, if you need high-speed internet and will be requiring the ability to tweet, Instagram and Facebook, Mount Charleston is probably not your best option.
3. Outline Objectives & Goals
Mount Charleston Resort is relaxing and it’s easy to want to take in the scenery and chit-chat over coffee. Therefor, identifying your goals and preparing a written agenda is probably smart.
Other tips include:
- Have the right people on your retreat team and name the team. For example, “Strategic Planning Team”.
- Establish your objectives and set a tightly focused written agenda.
- Provide material for review, and assign members of the team to bring to bring information or “intelligence” about the business or competitors.
- Bring all the tools necessary including dry erase markers.
- Plan an activity, especially if it’s a team building activity.
- No cell phones, email or social media communication during the retreat meetings.
- Tell everyone to leave their hats and titles at the door.
In general, high performing teams are able to work hard and play hard. Having fun at a retreat contributes to producing important results. Thoughtfully choosing an appropriate environment will help ensure that the “work hard – play hard” ethic actually materializes. If possible, the conference room should have windows, comfortable chairs, and enough room for smaller groups to work. Another suggestion is to end the first day with some kind of social event (cocktails, wine and cheese, tea, or whatever). All of these arrangements help to indicate that it is not just business as usual.- A Managements Guide By James A. McCaffery
We broke for lunch at the Resort’s charming restaurant, A Cut Above. In true RECESS style, many dishes were ordered and shared “family style”. I suggest the baked goat cheese, it was the best appetizer I sampled hands down. Enjoying the mountain views from the surrounding windows, sparked ideas related to upcoming events and translated into future partnerships. These relaxed retreat environments reduce work stress and enables profitable brainstorming group sessions.
If you’re a Las Vegas business owner considering organizing a management retreat, RECESS suggests The Resort on Mount Charleston. We found the location fit into what we set out to accomplish during our stay. Part of our retreat goal was to “remove distractions”, which include, in our line of business, social media interruptions. The Resort at Mount Charleston does offer a WiFi connection, however this is provided by satellite and at best unreliable. The lack of high-speed internet is not for lack of trying, stated General Manager, Marc Nelson. However, being off-grid is a bonus for most corporate management retreat objectives.
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Special thanks to The Resort on Mount Charleston for providing the working space for our management retreat. No compensation was given for our review of the facilities, all opinions are my own.