Take a hike or an electric bike. Go up a lazy river in a Hammocraft or strike a yoga pose on a paddle board. Make a splash with a waterbike on Arizona’s largest lake. Glow Golf after dark. Howl with the wolves or take a rockin’ ride & roll on a Zorb, the hottest new trend in adventurous play. With summer in full swing, Benchmark Resorts & Hotels and the Gemstone Collection are celebrating life and living with the latest and most exciting recreation trends, spanning the Green Mountains of Vermont across the nation to The Rockies.
“With so many Benchmark and Gemstone properties located in America’s most popular recreation destinations, we could track the newest, most inventive and inspiring trends in sports, adventure, wellness and memory-making journeys,” says Greg Champion, president, BENCHMARK®, a global hospitality company. “It’s the perfect time to share with our guests some of the amazing innovative escapes now available at our hotels and resorts and nearby destinations.”
Benchmark polled staff at leading hotels and resorts across the country and their recommendations will turn any holiday into to an unforgettable adventure.
Recreation Trend #1 Making a Splash
Snow King Hotel and Grand View Lodge in the recreation mecca of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, suggest guests consider a ride in the new and innovative Hammocraft. A combination of a boat and hammock, this versatile craft combines the best of thrill and chill, floating safely on a river and over rapids. The Hammocraft was developed in Jackson Hole and only recently became available commercially. But guests of Snow King can rent them locally and play in the lakes and rivers of Grand Teton National Park.
There’s a new addition to the array of watersports available at the Lake Havasu Nautical Beachfront Resort in Arizona – the Waterbike. Also known as Aqua bikes, these new cycles provide an intense workout that is easy on the joints and thanks to water resistance, works deeper muscles. It’s also fun!
The Paddle Board is a growing trend that’s popular in Chattanooga, on the scenic Tennessee River, miles from traditional paddle boarding on lakes and oceans. Guests of The Chattanoogan Hotel are paddling over the stunning 50-mile stretch of river from the Chickamauga Dam Recreation Area to Nickajack Lake, now designated a National Scenic River Trail.
Recreation Trend #2 On a Roll – Zorbing Is a Global Trend
Who would like to roll down a grassy slope, a snow covered hill or metal track inside a huge plastic ball? Adventurous fans of Zorbing, an extreme sport that rolled out of New Zealand and spread worldwide would, indeed! The experience gets wetter and wilder when water is added.
Guests of The TENNESSEAN in Knoxville, Tennessee, can spin and sway year ’round at Outdoor Gravity Park, an amazing adventure destination in Pigeon Forge in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains just 45 minutes away. The park features four different Zorb tracks, each more thrilling than the last!
Recreation Trend #3 Say Ommm
Trends in recreation are now driven by the movement towards wellness that incorporates mind, body and spirit through meditation, yoga, self-reflection, energy channeling and animal communicating.
At Topnotch Resort in Stowe, Vermont, guests can take lessons in Stand-Up Paddle Board Yoga at the nearby Waterbury Reservoir. Yogis can strike a Warrior One or Downward Facing Dog on a paddle board amidst stunning views of the Green Mountains.
At the Garden of the Gods Collection in Colorado Springs, Colorado, a unique Meditation Experience is offered for companies interested in taking teambuilding to a higher level. Set beneath the soaring Rocky Mountains, the program is led by an energy practitioner and includes Management Strategies, Review of Energetic Vortexes Surrounding Employees, Team Analysis, Creation of Energetic Vortexes for Highest Business Purpose, Cleansing and Reorganization of Trapped Energy.
Mental and physical well-being are a key element of recreation and The Garden of the Gods Collection offers groups a day of discovery at the 200-acre Elk Glade Ranch. Through the science of equine therapy, participants ride horses and drive cattle, gaining courage and confidence through communication with people, animals, plants, and elements of water, fire, and air. This experience releases limiting belief systems of who we are, and establishes the importance of creating Life Purpose for a full state of health and wellbeing.
Recreation Trend #4 Walk on the Wild Side – Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center
Who says the recreational can’t be educational? Guests of the Garden of the Gods Collection can also have a howling good time at the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center, learning about the history and biology of wolves, coyote, fox and the environmental challenges they face today. This teambuilding effort ends with a group howl and a photo op – supervised by a trained wolf handler, of course!
Recreation Trend #5 It’s All About The Bike!
According to Forbes magazine, electronic bicycles are shaping the future of commuting but at Topnotch Resort in Vermont these sophisticated e-bikes are impacting recreational cycling as well. With an electronic pedal assist, a visitor can travel with ease through the surrounding Vermont countryside, over trails and dirt roads. E-bikes can be rented from several shops in Stowe on an hourly or daily basis.
Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center in Roanoke, Virginia, is installing a Mountain Bike Valet service that includes an air pump station, a bike washing station as well as a guide to the areas trails. Roanoke recently launched a bike share program with Zagster Bikes that is proving popular with guests as well as locals.
Recreation Trend #6 Get Aglow with Golf!
At Chicago’s Eaglewood Resort & Spa, golf events are taking on new and entertaining twists. When the sun goes down, the 18-hole championship course lights up with Glow Golf gear, including glow golf balls and glow pins to mark the holes. Eaglewood is also offering 5K runs and “Fun Runs” on its golf course cart paths. Groups are participating as a part of health and wellness component to their meeting and bringing in charitable organizations and to help raise needed funds for the charity.
“Clearly, recreation is taking on new meaning and changing in very dynamic, exciting and even intellectual ways,” says Mr. Champion. “It’s an experience, an adventure, and an opportunity to learn and immerse oneself in natural surroundings. In many ways, it has become increasingly transformational. Benchmark Resorts & Hotels and the Gemstone Collection are committed to offering our guests the most innovative, invigorating, inspiring and safe recreational options in some of America’s most spectacular destinations. We can’t wait to see what new recreational trends are coming next!”