February 2014

Presidential properties make for luxurious event spaces

by Kelsey Farabee

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With President’s Day occurring this month, it’s fun to think about all the hotels where United States Presidents have slept, convened and dined along the course of the nation’s history. Presidents do have good taste, after all, and typically stay at high-end properties with enough meeting space to accommodate their entourage and accompanying media. Here’s a look at five properties that have welcomed U.S. Presidents in the past:

The lavish 185-room Gramercy Park Hotel in New York City is filled with 20th century artwork and pieces of handcrafted furniture. The hotel opened in 1925, and in addition to President John F. Kennedy, has also hosted Babe Ruth, Madonna, U2 and other celebrities. Event spaces at the boutique property include the famous Gramercy Terrace overlooking the Park, various suites and the hotel’s penthouse.

The land where the Omni Bedford Springs now sits in Pennsylvania’s Allegheny Mountains has been an important destination for more than 200 years, since 1796 when mineral springs were discovered bubbling on the property. Following the opening of the Stone Inn in 1806, the hotel quickly became a wildly popular destination among dignitaries, hosting 10 U.S. Presidents. Nowadays, Omni Bedford Springs offers modern meeting amenities and more than 20,000 square feet of conference space.

The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, N.C., celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2003. At the mansion’s opening ceremony Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan delivered the keynote address, declaring that the hotel was “built for the ages.” The list of Presidents that have visited the Grove Park is long, and includes William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard M. Nixon, George H. W. Bush, William J. Clinton and Barack Obama, who golfed there in 2010. The property offers 55,000 square feet of event space.

New Hampshire’s Omni Mount Washington originally opened in 1902, and was constructed by a team of more than 200 master craftsmen. The Presidential Wing opened in 2009 with 30,000 square feet of meeting space and a 25,000-square-foot spa. The hotel has hosted three U.S. Presidents, as well as Thomas Edison, and in 1944 was home to the conference that established the International Monetary Fund. The Gold Room, where the documents were signed, is now preserved as a historical space.

The 3,600-acre Westin Lake Las Vegas resort in Henderson, Nev., can accommodate up to 2,100 guests and has more than 50,000 square feet of exterior event space, such as gardens and terraces. In 2012, President Obama and his team spent several days at the resort during his re-election campaign.

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