Proposal

[Download this proposal as a PDF document]

PDQ Company Proposal
Incentive Travel Event for ABC Corp.
(Written by Richard Bellikoff)

[Writer’s note: To maintain confidentiality, this document has been strategically edited, and the names of the client corporation, the event company and the destination management company have been changed. Like many proposals, this was a collaborative effort, and I was not responsible for the cover letter, executive summary, event marketing plans, cost sheets, client references and graphic design, which were added in a later draft.

I did write the “About PDQ Company” section at the end of this proposal, but since it borrowed some of the company’s Web site content, to leave it intact in this document would reveal the company’s identity.]

 

The Destination: Paradise Found

“Twenty-six miles across the sea
Santa Catalina is a-waitin’ for me”
- Music & lyrics by Bruce Belland & Glen Larson, sung by the Four Preps

Today, the Santa part is seldom heard. Everyone calls it simply Catalina Island, or sometimes just plain Catalina. And when the Four Preps’ famous song hit the charts in 1958, it didn’t occur to anyone to check the mileage. They were just popular song lyrics, and even though they were four miles off, the tune has become the unofficial anthem for the island paradise located just 22.3 miles (Try singing that number!) from Long Beach.

What Key West is to Florida, Catalina is to Southern California. It’s part of the archipelago of eight Channel Islands, and the only one of the eight with a significant permanent civilian population.

Every year, a million tourists journey to Catalina by ferry from several coastal ports on the Southern California mainland, and it’s also a popular stop for several cruise lines.

Their principal destination is the quaint and charming seaside town of Avalon, the location for your incentive travel event. With just over 3000 full-time residents, it has the look and feel of a film set—which has not gone unnoticed in Hollywood. Catalina has been the location for over 200 movies, starring the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Ronald Reagan, Mickey Rooney, Clark Gable, Doris Day and Natalie Wood.

In Avalon, nature, not Hollywood, provides the special effects—with the gentle early morning mist curling over the hilltops and sunset turning the ocean pink. And if you pay attention, you just might see the sun splash into the ocean as it dips below the horizon.

Thirty-five miles of zigzagging roads separate Avalon from the tiny unincorporated resort village of Two Harbors on the West end of the island, home to only 150 residents. The two towns are the yin and yang of Catalina.

As your incentive travel guests will discover, Catalina Island offers them the best of both worlds. For those inclined to stay in the city and enjoy the sightseeing, shopping, dining and water sports, Avalon has attractions galore. Those who prefer getting away from it all will love the interior areas of the island, Catalina’s version of the Australian outback. They’re criss-crossed with hiking and biking trails, presenting endless possibilities for close encounters with nature.

That’s Catalina—secluded yet sophisticated, both urban and rural, refined and at the same time rugged, the perfect Pacific playground. It’s a haven, an escape and a compact sanctuary, a delightful island retreat that’s easily accessible from the mainland.

Your incentive travel event doesn’t have to be thousands of miles away—not with Catalina as an option. Hosting a regional meeting within commuting distance will not only keep your travel expenses down, but also enable your guests to arrive fresh, relaxed, and ready for a full agenda of team-building and recreational activities that they’ve earned with their outstanding sales performance.

In short, Catalina Island is the perfect backdrop and the ideal location for the ultimate incentive trip that your sales force will remember for a lifetime.

(Maps to be added:
- Catalina Island location relative to Southern California coast
- Catalina Island location within Channel Islands archipelago
- Catalina Island detail, showing Avalon & Two Harbors)

 

Getting There

Your guests can travel to Avalon at their individual convenience, as long as they arrive in time for the first evening’s welcome reception.

The trip from the mainland to Catalina by sleek, fast ferry takes only about an hour. Two companies dock in Catalina’s main port of Avalon, departing from ports in four cities along the Southern California coast:
• San Pedro’s Sea & Air Terminal
• Long Beach’s downtown Catalina Landing
• Newport Beach’s Balboa Pavilion
• Dana Point, 70 miles north of San Diego, Dana Wharf Sportfishing port

(Map to be added, showing locations of departure ports)
(Photos of ferries to be added)

Catalina Express (departing from Long Beach, San Pedro & Dana Point, 800-481-3470, reservations recommended)

Directions to the departure ports:
To Long Beach:
• Take the 710 freeway south into Long Beach.
• Stay on the left, follow the signs to downtown, and exit at Golden Shore.
• Turn right at the stop sign.
• Follow the road to Catalina Landing Terminal on the right.
• Park in the parking structure on the left.

To San Pedro:
• Take the 110 freeway south into San Pedro
• Take the Terminal Island ramp, Exit 47.
• Stay in the right lane, exit Harbor Blvd.
• Follow the signs to Catalina Terminal, Berth 95, entrance across Harbor Blvd.
• If coming from Long Beach, take Ocean Blvd. west, cross over the Vincent Thomas bridge, and take the Harbor Blvd. exit.

To Dana Point
• From Los Angeles, take the 5 freeway south and exit at Pacific Coast Highway.
• From San Diego and Orange County, take the 5 freeway north and exit at Beach Cities
• Take Highway #1 off the ramp.
• Turn left at the signal, Dana Point Harbor Drive.
• Turn left at Golden Lantern, which dead-ends at Dana Harbor parking lot.

Directions to Catalina Flyer ferry (800-830-7744, reservations recommended) departing from Newport Beach:
• Take the 405 freeway to the 55 freeway South.
• The 55 ends and becomes Newport Blvd.
• Stay on Newport Blvd. It ends and becomes Balboa Blvd.
• Continue for 2 miles on Balboa Blvd.
• Turn left on Main St. for terminal dropoff at the Balboa Pavilion.
• Or turn right on Palm Street for long term parking.

Since your event is scheduled for summer, the skies are guaranteed to be clear and sunny (as another old hit song goes, it never rains in Southern California—at least not in summer), and your guests should be able to view Catalina coming tantalizingly closer soon after they cast off from the mainland.

 

Arrival in Avalon

It’s just a five minute walk into the center of town from where the ferries dock. In fact, in Avalon, almost everything is within easy walking distance—including hotels, restaurants, shops and many sightseeing attractions.

(Avalon map to be added, showing location of ferry dock and streets)

The driving of motor vehicles on the island is restricted. There’s a limit on the total number of registered cars, which has produced a very long waiting list to bring a car to the island. For this reason, there’s no regular car ferry service to Catalina.

But your guests won’t need a car to get around. And since everyone on the Southern California mainland drives so much in their daily lives, a break from driving will be welcome and will add to their island experience.

Most Avalon residents travel on foot, bicycle or golf cart. That’s part of what gives the town its quaint and charming character. There are several bike and golf cart rental agencies in Avalon. We recommend renting golf carts for the duration of your event and leaving them parked at the hotel, so that they’ll be at your guests’ disposal for personal transportation throughout their stay in Avalon.

Another Avalon transportation option is trolley service. It operates along two scheduled routes regularly in the summer. Fares are $2 one way, $4 round trip, and $7 for a day pass (Call 310-510-0025 for the dispatch booth).

(Map to be added of trolley route)

Many hotels—including the one we’ve recommended for your event—provide a courtesy shuttle to and from the ferry terminal. Taxi service is available to everywhere in Avalon, and cabs meet each arriving ferry. There’s also a taxi stand in the center of town that will take guests anywhere they want to go. A taxi allowance can be provided for your guests’ use during their stay, but they probably won’t need to use much of it, since Avalon is so compact and accessible.

 

Lodging

We recommend the Catalina Canyon Resort & Spa (310-510-0325) for your incentive travel event. One of Avalon’s finest and most luxurious resorts, it nestles in the peaceful embrace of a lovely foothill setting, overlooking Avalon. This secluded and breathtaking hotel offers splendid views, lush gardens, fountains, the architectural style of an exclusive Mediterranean resort, a warm inviting ambience, and a relaxed, tranquil atmosphere that’s ideal for a getaway week designed both to recognize and reward your top sales performers and to facilitate their bonding as a team.

The resort is located just a half mile from Avalon’s harbor and shopping district, making them easily accessible on foot or by golf cart, bicycle or taxi.

(Avalon street map to be added, showing hotel location)
(Photos to be added of hotel facilities)

The hotel’s amenities include:
• Heated outdoor swimming pool
• Hot tub
• Sauna
• Sundecks
• Fitness center
• Day spa (one of the few spas in Avalon, and it’s actually part of the resort’s name!)
• Free shuttle service to and from Avalon’s downtown plaza and ferry terminals

The spacious rooms all feature private balconies or patios. All rooms offer a full range of modern conveniences, including:
• Cable TV with premium channels
• Complimentary WiFi
• AM/FM stereo and alarm clock
• Desk and work area
• Hair dryer
• Iron and ironing board
• Air conditioning
• In-room toiletries

(TBD: Number of rooms to be reserved and their dimensions)

Dining:
The resort’s Canyon Bar & Grill will serve a sumptuous gourmet breakfast to your guests daily, energizing them to prepare them for the day’s activities. It’s located in the courtyard, with scenic views of lush gardens, fountains and the swimming pool.

 

EVENT AGENDA

1st Day

Arrival in Avalon

Ferry reservations will be made for each of your guests, based on their planned departure times from the mainland. There will be an allowance for parking at the departure ports if they’re leaving their vehicles at the port during their trip.

Since your guests will be arriving in Avalon separately, on their own schedules, no “meet and greet” for them at the ferry dock will be needed. Instead, they will be instructed to call the hotel upon arrival to be picked up by the free shuttle.

 

Hotel Check-In

Check-in time at the hotel is 4 PM. For guests arriving earlier, complimentary change rooms will be arranged for their convenience.

 

Welcome Gifts

After check-in, your guests will find some welcome gifts in their rooms.

Prominently placed on their beds will be a printed sheet with a letterhead that includes the original 1950s version of your company’s logo at the time of its founding.

Your guests will immediately realize that this is not the current logo, but they won’t know why. The text on the sheet will warmly welcome them to Catalina and direct them to go to the room’s mini-bar, where they will find another sheet containing recipes for making two different types of alcoholic mixed drinks.

One type will be drinks unique to Catalina, which could include:
• Buffalo Milk: Catalina’s most famous drink, made from vodka, coffee liqueur, banana liqueur, crème de cacao, whipped cream and nutmeg
• Wiki Wacker: Served at Luau Larry’s in Avalon (See Lunch listing under the 3rd day’s agenda for more on Luau Larry’s). Catalina’s version of the legendary New Orleans Hurricane. Made with several types of rum and fruit juices.
• Descanso Destroyer: Sailor Jerry spiced rum, Bacardi 151, amaretto, crème de noyaux, orange and pineapple juices
• Emerald Bay: Malibu coconut rum, Cruzan 151, Blue Curaçao and pineapple juice
• Island Spritzer: Bacardi Dragon Berry, pineapple juice, lemon-lime soda, squeeze of lime
• Cabana Colada: Cruzan light rum, Island Oasis pineapple coconut mix, pineapple juice with a float of Lahaina dark rum
• Descanso Lemonade: Grey Goose Le Citron, dash of Triple Sec, lemonade
• Long Beach Iced Tea: Vodka, gin, light rum, Triple Sec, sweet & sour, splash of cranberry juice
• Catalina Rum Punch: Bacardi Rock Coconut, Bacardi Oakheart, fruit juices
• Avalon Bay Breeze: Vodka, pineapple and cranberry juices
• Descanso Fresh: Grey Goose Cherry Noir, Benedictine, fresh lemon juice, Cointreau float
• Mt. Orizaba Margarita: Named for Catalina’s highest peak. Patron silver tequila, sweet & sour, fresh squeezed lime juice, Grand Marnier float
• Catalina Sunset martini: Ketel One Oranje orange juice, splash of Grand Marnier

The other type of recipe will be for mixed drinks that originated in the 1950s. Some are still popular today, while others have fallen out of fashion. They could include:

• Bourbon, brandy or rye highball
• Mint julep
• Scotch & soda
• Screwdriver
• Brandy Alexander
• Artillery Punch
• Cuba Libre
• Old-Fashioned
• Pink Lady
• Planter’s Punch
• Rum Collins
• Whiskey Sour
• Negroni
• Pimms Cup
• Grasshopper
• Singapore Sling
• Moscow Mule

The instruction sheet will direct your guests to enjoy any of these drinks that appeal to them—and to make them for any sales colleagues they’d like to invite to their rooms—using ingredients that they’ll find in the mini-bar and the room’s mini-refrigerator. It will also tell them that the refrigerator contains sodas, fruit juices and bottled water for teetotalers.

The instructions will also direct your guests to open their wardrobe closet, where they’ll find several cloth shopping bags. Like the instruction sheet, the bags will bear your company’s 1950s logo. The bags will be filled with small packages of various food items that were first sold in the USA in the 50s—as instruction sheets inside the bags will inform guests, while directing them to enjoy these treats. They could include:

• Breakfast cereals:
- Sugar Pops (Kelloggs)
- Sugar Frosted Flakes (Kellogg’s)
- Special K (Kellogg’s)
- Trix (General Mills)
- Cocoa Puffs (General Mills)
- Frosty O’s (General Mills)

• Minute Rice (General Foods)
• Rice-A-Roni
• Cheez Whiz (Kraft)
• Jiffy peanut butter
• Ruffles potato chips
• Sweet ‘n Low
• Pepperidge Farm cookies (Bordeauz, Lido, Milano, Orleans, butter cookies)
• Peanut M&Ms (Hershey’s)
• Certs breath mints

• Beverages (found in the mini-refrigerator, except for Tang and Lipton Tea, which are in the mini-bar):
- Lipton Instant Tea
- Royal Crown Cola
- No-Cal Ginger Ale (Kirsch Beverages)
- TreeSweet fruit juices
- Tang, orange-flavored powdered breakfast drink (a favorite of astronauts)

Nowhere in any of these instructions is there a hint of what all these 1950s references mean. Your guests will find that out at the welcome reception that evening. The gifts are teasers, designed to build your guests’ interest and anticipation.

 

Hospitality Desk

A hospitality desk will be set up in the hotel lobby as an information center. Staff from the XYZ destination management company and the PDQ event production company will be stationed there, to advise guests on leisure time activities, make any needed reservations and address your guests’ concerns.

The desk’s hours will be listed in the guests’ agenda. Any agenda changes will be posted at the desk for guests to see. Guests will be notified of any major agenda changes by phone, email or text message.

 

Evening Activity

Welcome Reception

(Starting time TBD)

We recommend that the welcome reception take place at the hotel. Even though there have been no plane flights or time zone changes and no jet lag, your guests have traveled, in some cases for several hours (especially if they encountered freeway traffic) by car and ferry, and the last thing they’ll want to do is to be moved to another location the first night. Most if not all of them have worked for part of the day, and some may just not be night owls. They’ll need the option of going to bed early, so they can wake up fresh and well-rested, ready to tackle the first full day’s activities.

Catalina Canyon Resort and Spa’s outdoor heated pool is the perfect spot for a casual and relaxed reception—on the pool’s deck, with cool ocean breezes and the golden sunset giving way to shimmering stars overhead, mirroring the lights shining in the pool.

An icebreaker—literally—is the best way to start the reception, to get your guests mingling and talking. Ice luges can be set up by the hotel’s bar staff at each bar. An ice luge is a large block of ice with intricate luge paths carved on its surface. After a guest orders a drink, the bartender pours it down the top of the luge. As it winds down along the luge path, it’s chilled by the ice, until it reaches the guest’s waiting glass at the bottom of the luge.

Instead of waiters serving guests their drinks, there should be several bars set up on the pool deck, separated from one another. They should serve different drinks at different locations, to get your guests in motion and mingling, greeting each other en route and striking up conversations, keeping the reception from growing stagnant. Either Catalina or 1950s specialty drinks will be listed on menus posted at each bar. Guests should recognize some of the drinks from the welcome gifts they received in their rooms.

Cocktail hour should merge imperceptibly into a casual, buffet-style dinner. To keep the reception moving and high-energy, dinner should be set up similarly to cocktails—with food stations widely separated and specific items and courses available at different stations.

The dishes served will be fun 1950s favorites and could include:

Appetizers:
• Fruit cup
• Melon ball cocktail
• Seafood cocktail
• Pastry snails
• Bacon wraparounds
• Crackers & chips with various dips: Lobster Newburg spread, deviled ham & cheese dip, Hollywood dunk
• Canapes: Deviled ham, savory mushroom, hot cheese puffs, miniature pizzas, hot clam
• Tidbits in blankets: Cooked shrimp, oysters, stuffed olives, pickled onions, watermelon pickle, sauteed chicken livers, skinned grapefruit sections and dates stuffed with pineapple, all surrounded with thin strips of crisp bacon, then secured with toothpicks
• Garlic olives
• Cheese, ham & egg balls
• Sausage & potato rolls
• Broiled mushrooms stuffed with bread crumbs, shad roe & shrimp
• Deviled eggs
• Cocktail kabobs: Button mushrooms & cocktail franks cut in half and marinated in French dressing
• Cocktail knishes
• Cream puffs filled with hot chicken salad, creamed shrimp & creamed turkey
• Broiled mushroom caps
• Baby pizzas made with English muffins
• Celery stuffed with flaked crab & mayo, garnished with paprika

Soups & Salads:
• Oxtail soup
• Consomme Madrilene
• Cream of tomato soup
• Chicken & corn chowder
• Three-bean salad
• Orange-and-Bermuda onion salad
• Melon boat salad
• Molded gelatin salad
• Honeydew salad with lime slice

Main Course:
• Grilled kabobs
• Scalloped chicken supreme
• Beef & corn casserole
• Tuna & potato chip casserole
• Savory meat pie
• Welsh rarebit with tomato slices and small sausages
• Swedish meatballs
• Fluffy meatloaf
• Baked glazed ham
• Chicken a la king
• Turkey or chicken casserole with vegetables
• Fricasseed turkey with wild rice
• Chicken pot pie
• Chicken & veal croquettes
• Ham & vegetable casserole
• Orange sole
• Corn-crust chicken
• Sweet ham patties
• Lobster in patty shells

Vegetables:
• Creamed asparagus
• Lima beans in sour cream
• Broccoli-mushroom casserole
• Mushrooms au gratin
• Creamed onions with mushrooms & peas
• Baked zucchini
• Mashed potato volcano with cheese
• Baked beans
• Baked acorn squash
• Baked stuffed onions
• Wax beans oriental with sweet & sour sauce
• Ginger-honey carrots
• Wild Rice with mushrooms
Desserts:
• Lime, orange, pineapple, strawberry, banana & chocolate chiffon pies
• Peach & apple pie
• Coconut cake
• Peppermint candy cake
• Maraschino cherry cake
• Chocolate cherry cake
• Easy caramel corn (made with General Mills cereals)
• Chocolate cake with white icing
• Velvet spice cake
• Ice cream with cherries
• Apricot soufflé
• Baked apple
• Gold layer cake with caramel icing
• Butterscotch brownies
• Peppermint ice cream with chocolate sauce
• Maraschino cherry pudding
• Cherries jubilee
• Baked Alaska
• Melon balls & sherbert
• Orange snow balls: Hollowed orange halves filled with lemon sherbert

Non-Alcoholic Beverages (Several of these were also among the welcome gifts in guests’ rooms):
• Royal Crown Cola
• No-cal Ginger Ale
• Tree-Sweet Fruit Juices
• Tang powdered orange drink
• Fruit punch
• Fruit smoothies
• Milk shakes

After selecting their food and drinks, your guests will seat themselves at poolside tables. Toward the end of their meal, while they are enjoying dessert, your company’s national and regional sales managers will step to the mic and welcome everyone to Catalina. They’ll congratulate everyone on earning their incentive travel award. Then they’ll recap a few of the company’s historical milestones, starting with its founding in the 50s, and talk about how far it’s come over the years.

They’ll go on to describe how dramatically the company’s product line has changed since the 50s and tell a few amusing stories about how the sales process has evolved. Your guests will finally discover what all the 50s food and drink are about.

The managers will then preview the agenda for the next three days. They’ll close by inviting the guests to enjoy the rest of their meal and to return to their rooms whenever they like—advising them to get a good night’s sleep, because they’re going to need it!

Starting with the welcome reception, a photographer and a videographer will be documenting your entire event, creating photos and footage that will be shown to your guests and distributed to them later.

 

Evening Room Gifts

Upon returning to their rooms after the welcome reception, your guests will find more gifts. These are intended to be used for the following morning’s activities—and, like the welcome gifts, to function as teasers, building interest and anticipation for upcoming events.

The gifts will be backpacks filled with the following items:
• Two t-shirts
• Two sweatshirts
• A sun hat
• A first-aid kit
• Bottled water
• Bottled sunblock
• Insect repellent

All of these items, including the backpack itself, will bear the original 1950s version of your company’s logo.

The t-shirts and sweatshirts will also be color-coded for the various teams. The team members will be chosen by your company’s sales management to bring together salespeople who they would like to spend quality time with one another. Salespeople won’t know who they’re teaming with until breakfast the next day.

Printed instructions left on their beds will tell them to bring their backpacks and wear their shirts (wearing their t-shirts under their sweatshirts, since Catalina can be chilly in the morning and a layered approach to dressing is best) to breakfast and seat themselves with their teammates.

Since your guests won’t know in advance which team they’ve been assigned to, their focus during their welcome reception that evening will have been on casual conversation, mixing and mingling, rather than on developing competitive strategies for the team-building event. There will be plenty of time for that the next day.

 

2nd Day Agenda

Breakfast

(Time schedule & menu TBD)

Since your meeting’s agenda includes a full range of daily morning activities, we recommend that all breakfasts be served privately and buffet-style at the hotel, so that everyone can get a quick start afterwards.

At this initial breakfast, they’ll identify teammates by their shirt colors, introduce themselves, sit together, and have the chance to interact before the first team-building event.

With guests seated with their teammates, they’ll be given a breakfast briefing on the day’s events.

 

Morning Activity

The Avalon GPS Challenge

Your company has requested that team-building activities be an integral part of this incentive travel event, and there’s no better time for them than on your guests’ first morning together.

The Avalon GPS Challenge is a high-tech version of a treasure hunt. It’s played with handheld GPS devices. Teams will take to the streets of Avalon in golf carts, with drivers selected by their teammates. When necessary, they’ll get out of their carts and continue on foot.

Teams will navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find a clue that’s hidden at that location. Each team works together to figure out the clues and complete their mission. The clues will be designed around selling skills and product knowledge, plus some Avalon facts and figures. Your guests may actually end up knowing more about Avalon than many residents!

Finding each clue will give the players information needed to locate the next one. They’ll document their finds with digital cameras or cell phones. Different finds are assigned different point values for earning scoring points.

There will be several checkpoints during the Avalon GPS Challenge, where guests will be served drinks and snacks, such as Power Bars and ice cream. The checkpoints will also give guests the chance to stretch their legs, mingle, and use the rest rooms. And they’ll allow meeting planners the opportunity to make sure that everyone is present and accounted for and no golf cart or GPS device has broken down.

As a fun bonus, MP3 files will be emailed to your guests’ smart phones just before the team-building event begins. The tracks will be 50s oldies to play and sing along with as they compete. They could include:

Rock Around The Clock – Bill Haley and His Comets
Rock and Roll is Here To Stay – Danny & the Juniors
Blueberry Hill – Fats Domino
At The Hop – Danny and the Juniors
Little Bitty Pretty One – Thurston Harris
The ABC’s Of Love – Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers
All Shook Up – Elvis Presley
Little Darlin’ - The Diamonds
Come Go With Me – Dell-Vikings
Kansas City – Wilbert Harrison
Love Is Strange – Mickey and Sylvia
Be-Bop-A-Lula – Gene Vincent
I’m Walkin’ – Fats Domino
Peggy Sue – Buddy Holly
School Day – Chuck Berry
What’d I Say – Ray Charles
The Stroll – The Diamonds
Goody Goody – Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers
Stood Up – Ricky Nelson
Chantilly Lace – The Big Bopper

. . . plus one more track that’s the most appropriate one for Catalina, the Four Preps’ famous hit tune, 26 Miles.

The Avalon GPS Challenge will test your sales force’s problem-solving abilities and get their competitive juices flowing. They’ll enjoy working together as a team, as they exhibit the same drive to excel and win that made them top sales performers.

After the event, your guests will hop in their golf carts and go to lunch. Time permitting, they could return to the hotel first for a quick freshen-up.

 

Lunch

For this first lunch of your incentive travel event, we recommend that your entire group dine together at Mi Casita Mexican Restaurant (310-510-1772). Since the rest of the day’s agenda will consist of recreational activities rather than team-building, team members need not sit together at lunch.

Conveniently located just a block and a half from the ferry dock, Mi Casita is considered by many locals to be Avalon’s finest Mexican family restaurant.

At Mi Casita, your group will dine in the unique upstairs glass-enclosed courtyard. It features a fountain, glass ceilings, an antique jukebox and a cantina-style bar. The bar specializes in pitchers of some of the best margaritas in Avalon, plus the original Catalina Cazuela—a favorite island drink with a special blend of wine and fresh fruit, plus a shot of Margaritaville Tequila, all served in a Mexican-style clay dish with a straw.

Mi Casita’s tantalizing banquet lunch menu includes:

Appetizer: Mi Casita Sampler—something for everyone, a combination of cheese quesadillas, beef or pork taquitos, fried calamari and chicken wings and jalapeños escabeche, served with guacamole and sour cream

Entrees, choice of:
• Beef burrito with red sauce, served with Mi Casita rice and fresh fruit
• Fish & shrimp combo: Panko-breaded halibut & shrimp, served with french fries and fruit cup
• Cheese enchilada & beef taco, served with Mi Casita rice and refried beans
• Chicken or beef fajitas (vegetarian on request). Marinated strips of chicken or beef, sauteed with onions, tomatoes and bell peppers, served with Mi Casita rice and refried beans. Choice of corn or flour tortillas with honey chili butter

Beverage: Choice of Kona coffee, brewed tea or Pepsi sodas

Dessert: Mi Casita Mexican Flan

(Avalon street map to be added, showing Mi Casita location)
(Exterior & interior photos of Mi Casita to be added)

At the end of the meal, your sales managers will tell a few entertaining stories about some of the adventures and misadventures the teams had during the morning’s team-building competition, and then announce the scores of the Avalon GPS Challenge, revealing which team won and giving prizes to the winners.

 

Rest of Afternoon (till 4 PM) at Leisure

In their spare time, your guests can choose from an endless variety of activities to enjoy during their stay in Catalina. On this first full day of your meeting, we recommend that everyone stay in Avalon, or at least not venture too far from it, since they will be re-uniting for a sunset cruise at 4 PM.

 

Relax in the Hotel’s Day Spa

(Photo of Day Spa to be added)

Your guests can unwind and relax in the private, candlelit rooms of the spa at Catalina Canyon Resort. Expert therapists blend Eastern and Western techniques to meet guests’ individual needs, creating a balance from within. This treatment draws on the restorative powers of nature using the healing elements of land and sea, both of them found in abundance on Catalina Island.

 

Work out in the Hotel’s Fitness Center

(Photo of fitness center to be added)

Some of your guests are “morning persons” who may have already worked out before breakfast.
Others may choose to do so in the afternoons, to burn off the calories from all the delicious meals they’ll be dining on during their stay.

 

Go Shopping

Your guests could spend many pleasant hours strolling through Avalon’s palm-lined, Mediterranean style streets and shopping at random. They’ll find a variety of specialty shops and chic boutiques, offering exotic clothing, handmade gift items, fine artwork, exquisite jewelry, tiles unique to Catalina, and salt water taffy, among many other items.

One of the most scenic and desirable locations for shopping is the charming Metropole Market Place (located at Crescent and Metropole), with its lively French Quarter arcade atmosphere of cobblestone walkways and cooling fountains. In addition to its many shops, the Market Place also has miniature bowling, an XT theater, and several appetizing eateries.

Another great location for shopping is the historic El Encanto Marketplace, located at the corner of Crescent and Marilla. Built in 1931, the El Encanto (meaning The Enchanted) is a replica of a colonial Mexican pueblo.

(Avalon street map to be added, showing locations of Metropole Market Place and El Encanto Marketplace)

 

Take a Casino Tour (800-626-1496)

(Photos to be added, exterior & interior of casino)

You can’t miss the Catalina Casino. It’s that iconic cylindrical white Art Deco building with the Spanish tiled roof that’s visible from everywhere in Avalon. In fact, your guests are guaranteed to notice it during their arrival, as their ferry approaches Avalon harbor.

Dominating the landscape from its regal perch along the harbor, the casino exemplifies the style and romance of Catalina Island. It’s a reminder of the island’s glorious past, when big band leaders were king and “talkie” motion pictures were the latest fad.

The Casino has been the focal point of Catalina entertainment and culture since it opened in 1929. For generations, it’s been the favorite local venue for great entertainers, Broadway productions, and first-run movies. Today, it hosts many of Catalina’s major indoor events, including the annual New Year’s Eve Celebration and the Catalina Island Jazz Festival.

In Italian, casino means gathering place. And that’s just what the Catalina Casino is. No gambling is allowed. Instead, the massive twelve-story building is divided into a spectacular grand ballroom and a movie theater.

The ballroom’s romantic style is a lavish medley of rose-hued walls, an arching, fifty-foot ceiling with Tiffany chandeliers, an elevated stage, raised seating areas around the dance floor, and a vintage, full-service bar.

The one-of-a-kind Behind the Scenes Tour of the casino, Avalon Theater and Casino Ballroom will give your guests unprecedented access to backstage areas that very few people are allowed to see. They’ll visit the green rooms used by Errol Flynn and Cary Grant, walk across the stage where Jimmy Dorsey, Woody Herman, Harry James and Benny Goodman played before thousands of adoring fans, and see the editing room where Cecil B. DeMille viewed the “rushes” of each day’s movie shoot. Guests will walk in the footsteps of the performers and crew who made the Casino one of the most exciting places on earth.

Tour tickets are available at any Discovery Tours location, the Pavilion Hotel and Hotel Atwater. Reservations are recommended.

 

Walk Around Town

(Map to be added, showing recommended route for Avalon walk)

There’s no better way for your guests to get to know Avalon than on foot. The Casino building is the best place to start. Follow the waterfront through the center of town and past the ferry terminal, continuing past the boats bobbing gently in the harbor, to Lover’s Rock. Keep going past Lover’s Cove, where the beaches are less crowded and the views are unobstructed, to Pebbly Beach.

At the first right turn after the big rock, walk up Wrigley Road, which leads to a breathtaking panoramic view of Avalon and its picturesque harbor.

For a side trip on the way back to town, turn left onto Country Club Drive, following the road to East Whittley Avenue. Turn left again. The road’s name will change to Camino del Monte. That leads up to the Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel and another unforgettable view. High on a cactus-covered hillside overlooking he casino, the sprawling Hopi Indian-style pueblo is the former home of American novelist Zane Grey (1872-1939), best known for his Westerns and many books on sport fishing. The hotel includes many of his original furnishings.

A right on Vieudelou and a left onto Marilla Avenue leads back to your starting point at the Casino.

Wandering around Avalon at random, with no plan and no particular destination in mind, can also be an enjoyable afternoon activity, and it’s hard to get lost in such a small town.

 

Take a Segway Tour (310-510-9665)

(Photo to be added of a person riding a Segway)

Your guests can tour Avalon on an electronically powered Segway human transporter. This four mile, 1½ hour tour is a great way to see and learn about Avalon, with a tour guide educating your guests about the town’s history and lore. Guests will glide over to the Casino, Bird Park, and the Avalon golf course. Driving a Segway is easy, with guides providing all the training and safety instruction needed.

(Map to be added of Segway tour route)

 

Visit the Catalina Island Museum (310-510-2414, catalinaislandmuseum.org)

Your guests will discover Catalina’s unique history at the museum. It’s one of the oldest institutions on the island, and one of its most popular venues. The museum has an outstanding permanent collection showcasing the 8000 documented years of human settlement on Catalina. It’s the repository for all archaeological artifacts found in digs on the island.

Other holdings include an extensive collection of ceramics produced by the Catalina Pottery Plant between 1927 and 1937. Highly collectible today, many clay pieces can be seen in public places around the island. The museum also possesses the largest photographic archive documenting island history.

There’s also a traveling exhibitions gallery, for special shows that are not related to island history.

The museum’s gift shop offers an extensive collection of monographs, plus other items related to both Catalina history and the special exhibitions.

Visit the Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Garden

(Map of route to Memorial & Botanical Garden to be added)

(Photos of Memorial & Botanical Garden to be added)

The Wrigley Memorial & Botanical Garden is a thirty-minute stroll up Avalon Canyon from the center of town, or a short ride by golf cart, bike or trolley. The Botanical Garden is also the main gateway to one of the island’s most popular hikes, the Garden to Sky Trail.

The Memorial
The Wrigley Memorial honors the memory of William Wrigley, Jr. (1861-1932). Although best known as the founder of the Wrigley Company, the world’s largest manufacturer of chewing gum, he also played a leading role in the history of Catalina Island. He deeply loved the island, and with boundless enthusiasm and energy, he spearheaded numerous improvements: public utilities, new steamships, a hotel, the Casino building, and extensive plantings of trees, shrubs and flowers. William Wrigley, Jr.’s greatest legacy was his remarkable vision and plan for the future of Catalina—that it remain protected for the enjoyment of generations to come.

With its commanding view of Avalon Bay, the Wrigley Memorial, built in 1933-34, is the centerpiece of the Botanical Garden.

The goal in building the Memorial was to use as many Catalina materials as possible. Quarried Catalina stones can be seen in the reinforced concrete construction. The façade was sandblasted to hide the cement and highlight the native crushed stones. The blue flagstone rock on the ramps and terraces comes from Little Harbor, on Catalina’s “back” side. The red roof tiles and colorful handmade glazed tiles used for finishings came from the Catalina Pottery plant, which was in operation from 1927 to 1937.

William Wrigley, Jr. was interred for a short time at the Wrigley Memorial, but is now buried in Pasadena. The original dedication plaque remains at the Wrigley Memorial on Catalina.

The Botanical Garden
The garden was the brainchild of William Wrigley, Jr.’s wife Ada. In 1935, she supervised the planting of the original Desert Plant Collection. Catalina Island’s temperate marine climate has made it possible to showcase a wide variety of plants.

In 1969, the Wrigley Memorial Garden Foundation expanded and revitalized the garden. In the same way that the Wrigley Memorial uses primarily native building materials, the garden emphasizes native California island plants. Many of them are extremely rare, with some even on the Endangered Species list.

 

Visit the Nature Center (Call Catalina Island Conservancy, 310-510-2595)

The Nature Center at Avalon Canyon is slightly closer to Avalon’s town center than the Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Garden. It’s a twenty-minute stroll up Avalon Canyon, or easily accessible by golf cart, bike or trolley.

The center features self-guided exhibits focusing on natural history and conservation efforts on the Island.

In the Nature Center’s lobby, images of the scenic wild side of Catalina Island introduce visitors to the island’s natural wonders—including rugged landscapes and secluded coves with their crystal blue waters.

Visitors learn about everything from the geology of the Channel Islands to how species arrived on the islands. The concept of “biodiversity hotspots” (of which there are 200 in the world) is explored. Catalina is part of the one that stretches along the West Coast.

 

2nd Day, Afternoon Activities (Cont.)

Sundown Isthmus Cruise, 4 PM

After enjoying several hours of leisure following their group lunch, your guests will meet at the boat dock for a scenic cruise from Avalon to the rustic Catalina village of Two Harbors, aboard the classic vessel Blanche W. This open-deck, 64-foot, solid-wood boat was built in 1924 specifically for touring the waters around Catalina Island. It’s equipped with twin World War I-era 40-million candlepower searchlights for spotting Catalina’s spectacular nocturnal flying fish on the return trip to Avalon.

The cruise takes your guests along 14 miles of stunning Catalina coastline, where pristine mountains meet the deep blue sea. It’s a thrilling landscape, with plunging gorges, crags and coves.

Once in Two Harbors—known to many locals as The Isthmus, since the village includes two harbors separated by an isthmus—guests can explore the area on their own or with a guide from the Blanche W.

Dinner will be served on the huge outdoor deck of the Harbor Reef Restaurant in Two Harbors. The menu will include:

• Prime rib of beef: Seasoned, seared, slow roasted and carved to order. First Mate’s Cut and Island Captain’s Cut available.
• Calamari piccata: Lightly breaded and sauteed with lemons, capers and garlic.
• Sesame-encrusted ahi: Pan-seared and served rare with wasabi, ginger and soy sauce on the side.
• Daily specials, including locally caught fresh swordfish in season.
• A wide selection of beverages, including the ubiquitous Buffalo Milk

On the return trip, your guests will view Catalina’s legendary flying fish, which really do appear to fly. They leap out of the water, drawn by the Blanche W.’s, searchlights, and into the memories of passengers. Rain gear will be supplied to your guests, so that they don’t get wet from all the splashing.

(Photos to be added of Blanche W. Boat)

 

3rd Day Agenda

Breakfast

(Time schedule TBD)

As in the previous morning, a private buffet breakfast will be served at the hotel, so that everyone can get an early start for the morning’s activity, and team members will once again be asked to sit together.

An allowance for lunch, along with a list of recommended restaurants, can be distributed to guests during the breakfast briefing. This will be another morning of fierce but friendly and good-natured team-building competition.

 

Morning Activity

Escape from Avalon

Imagine that Mt. Orizaba, the highest peak on Catalina island at 1,602 feet, after centuries as a dormant volcano, has suddenly come back to life and begun to erupt, spewing lava and threatening Avalon with a Pompeii-like extinction. The panicky population and the tourists are mobbing the ferries and private boats, fleeing from the disaster.

The only way off the island for your guests is to build their own rafts from scratch and escape on them. Teams will be given all the materials they need to build their rafts—including lumber, nails, screws and tools, plus some instructions and supervision from a shipbuilding expert.

The teams will design and build their rafts and then head out to sea, following a predetermined course marked with buoys and lane lines, to see who can cross the finish line first. Each team decides which members will design the raft, which ones will build it, who the captain will be, and who will do the paddling. Crews will be armed with water balloons for fighting off invaders from other rafts when they get too close.

The start of the race is the moment of truth, because the boats must be seaworthy, capable of staying afloat with their captains and crew on board. The race to escape the island is on!

 

Lunch

The flexibility to choose their own restaurants for lunch will give your guests the chance to negotiate among themselves, as salespeople always enjoy doing.

Recommended restaurants include:

• Original Antonio’s Pizzeria & Deli (310-510-0060)
Authentic 50′s-style pizzeria located a half block from the bay, with red checkered tablecloths and 1950s jukebox music. The perfect place for your guests to continue their retro-50s experience! Serving crisply crusted pizza oozing with cheese, pastas, soups, antipastos, salads, burgers, steak, seafood, hot and cold subs, hot pastrami and Philly cheese steak sandwiches. Waterfront and patio dining. Full bar, serving beer and wine, plus Stewart’s Old Fashioned sodas and draft Thomas Kemper Root Beer.

• Ristorante Villa Portofino (310-510-8440)
Located opposite the waterfront with a dramatic view of Avalon Harbor, Ristorante Villa Portofino offers your guests a choice of dining al fresco on the harbor view patio or in the warm inviting Tuscan ambiance of their dining room, with cordial, gracious service.

The restaurant serves regional Italian specialties, along with European and American cuisine, including pasta, steaks, veal, lamb and seafood. The continental cuisine is complemented by an inspired wine list of Italian and Californian vintages and a full bar, as well as homemade desserts and one of Catalina’s only espresso bars.

• Avalon Grille (310-510-7494)
Winner of First Place in Food for the Taste Around Avalon 2012. This waterfront restaurant offers open air dining, and serves regional American regional dishes with a seasonal approach, paired with a world class selection of wines, micro-brew beers and cocktails, all in a casual and fun atmosphere overlooking Avalon Bay.

• El Galleon (310-510-1188):
Located on the Beach centered on Crescent Avenue—Avalon’s bayfront promenade—El Galleon prides itself on its high quality food. They proudly feature Montana Ranch Brand™ certified Piedmontese Beef, Omaha Natural Angus Beef and Niman Ranch Pork, plus fresh fish and live lobster, king crab legs, and applewood smoked barbecue ribs.

• The Landing Bar & Grill (310-510-1474)
Located in the historic El Encanto Marketplace, the Landing occupies a small hillside with spectacular views of Avalon Harbor from the outside terraces, and a fabulous central courtyard complete with a fountain and fringed with palm trees.

Menus are loaded with a variety of specialties—including fresh seafood, gourmet pizzas, pastas, and authentic Mexican food, along with some of the best appetizers on the island. They also have a spectacular selection of microbrew beers and a full bar.

• Katie’s Kitchen (310-510-8434)
Located in the charming Metropole Market Place, Katie’s serves Asian food, deli sandwiches, American and Mexican dishes, Teriyaki chicken, ceviche, California rolls, salads, tacos, burritos, and tortillas.

• Luau Larry’s (310-510-1919)
Where the bar meets the bay. Great food and tropical drinks—including the famous “Wicky Wacker,” served with a straw hat and a bumper sticker saying “I got my Wiki Wacked at Luau Larry’s,” plus the house beer, Garibaldi Lager, Catalina’s legendary Buffalo Milk, and other favorite local concoctions.

• Original Jack’s Country Kitchen (310-510-1308
Old-fashioned diner ambience, with neon lighting, comfy booths, tables and counters. Serving the heartiest, “like mom used to make” food, including Jidori free-range chicken, Niman ranch beef and pork, and Montana Ranch Brand™ certified Piedmontese beef, Omaha Natural Angus & Waghu Kobe beef burgers and fries. They also serve fresh-brewed Kona coffee, with fresh-baked bolillos, croissants, cookies, donuts, cakes and pies, turning in an old-style glass display case. Plus malts, shakes, hot fudge sundaes and banana splits, made with Hawaii’s famous Lappert’s’s Premium ice cream, known in Hawaii for its cool blend of natural ingredients.

• Café Metropole (310-510-9095)
Enjoy sandwiches, salads, soups and smoothies made with fresh ingredients on the garden patio. Also serves vegan and gluten-free selections.

• Coyote Joe’s, (310-510-1176)
Authentic Mexican and American specialties, outdoor dining, full bar. Near the front of the pier.

• Joe’s Place (310-510-1474)
Great food and friendly service at family prices, at the foot of the pier.

• Lobster Trap (310-510-8585)
Fresh local seafood, steaks and pasta. Casual atmosphere. Featuring a full bar and Lost Coast draft beers.

• Mr. Ning’s Chinese Garden (310-510-1161)
Specializing in Mandarin & Szechwan cuisine.

• The Sandtrap, (310-510-2505)
One of Catalina’s best kept secrets, offering quality food at value prices. Menus feature authentic American and Mexican cuisine. Fully stocked bar offers a wide selection of beers, wines and mixed cocktails. Relaxed atmosphere with both indoor and outdoor patio dining.

• Steve’s Steakhouse (310-510-0333)
A local favorite, voted #1 Restaurant in Avalon in Taste of Avalon Sponsored by the Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau. Features choice steaks, seafood, lobster and rack of lamb. Dining upstairs with a panoramic harbor view.

• Coney Island West (310-510-0763)
Like its East coast namesake, this eatery serves fresh made-to-order charbroiled chicken, burgers, hot dogs, fish & chips, shakes, cold beer, wine and more.

• Eric’s on the Pier (310-510-0894)
Old fashioned burgers, soft tacos, burritos, fish & chips, beer and more.

 

Rest of Afternoon at Leisure

With more free time this afternoon than during the previous day’s—since they’re not scheduled to re-assemble until dinner—your guests can, if they choose, explore Catalina’s interior, either on foot or by jeep or bicycle. Or they can partake of the activities described in the agendas for the 2nd and 4th days of this event.

 

Jeep® Eco-Tour (310-510-2595, ext. 108)

(Photo of jeep to be added)

A Jeep® Eco-Tour is perfect for those guests who prefer to see the interior of Catalina from the comfort of a vehicle. Open-air, customized eco-tour four-wheel drive jeep vehicles are operated by naturalist guides with four-wheel drive off-road training.

Some of the island’s resident bison may be spotted along the road. Descended from twenty-four balky ancestors who refused to get back on the boat after appearing here in the 1924 Cecil B. DeMille film The Vanishing American, the shaggy beasts snort and grunt around muddy water holes, flicking their tails and warily eyeing visitors as they pass.

Other wildlife sighted while cruising along scenic dirt roads can include deer, Bald Eagles, and even a rare Catalina Island Fox—along with plants that grow only on Catalina, plus archaeological sites dating back almost 6,800 years.

 

Airport in the Sky to Avalon Hike

(Map to be added of route linking Avalon with Airport in the Sky)
(Photos of airport to be added)

The Airport in the Sky occupies the top of Mt. Orizaba, Catalina’s highest peak. The airport is easy to get to from Avalon by airport shuttle bus (310-510-0113 for reservations).

The airport’s single 3,250-foot-long runway was constructed by blasting and leveling two adjacent peaks, then using the resulting debris to fill in the gaps. There are no scheduled passenger flights to or from the airport, only private planes.

The 9-mile downhill hike from the airport follows the paved road descending into Avalon, falling and then rising again over tawny hills, past Mt. Blackjack and cliffs plunging into the ocean.

Every turn reveals a captivating new vista, alternating between grassy hills and coastal panoramas. White-rimmed waves lap on Willow Cove’s sandy beaches and breakers splash on Frog Rock. With no traffic, people or electrical hum, the hiker’s ears soon adjust to nature’s sounds—bird calls and rustling grass. Civilization’s hubbub returns when the road reaches Zane Grey’s Pueblo Hotel at Avalon’s edge.

Your guests who are physically fit can take this hike in reverse, trekking uphill from Avalon and riding the shuttle bus back down—or, for the superfit, remaining on foot for the return descent, for an 18 mile round trip hike, a solid afternoon’s workout that will get them lots of bragging rights at tonight’s dinner.

 

Trans-Catalina Trail Hike

The 37.2 mile long Trans-Catalina Trail is only recommended for seasoned, hardy hikers and cyclers. It follows the backbone of the island, from end to end.

The trail winds up hills and down valleys, offering spectacular views across the 43,000-acre Nature Preserve of the Catalina Island Conservancy. Hikers can enjoy the full length of the trail, tackling all of it over several days, one leg at a time (There won’t be enough time during the incentive travel meeting for even your fittest guests to complete the entire hike, but they can always return to Catalina on their own to finish it. Catalina Island beckons visitors to return. As the old song goes, “Santa Catalina is a-waitin’ for me”). Cyclists can take on the challenging East End portion.

Leg 1: Avalon to Black Jack
Leg 2: Black Jack to Little Harbor
Leg 3: Little Harbor to Two Harbors
Leg 4: Two Harbors to Parsons Landing
Leg 5: Parsons Landing to Starlight Beach

(Map to be added of Trans-Catalina Trail, with its legs labeled)

Tips for hikers and bikers. They should:
• Not attempt hiking or biking the trail unless they’re in good physical condition
• Make sure they have a hat, sunblock and plenty of water and snacks. Potable water is only available on the trail at Haypress, Black Jack Campground, the Airport and the Isthmus. Hikers should wear comfortable hiking books.
• Carry a trail map. Know where they are at all times on the trail. Watch the mile markers along the way.
• Tell colleagues where they’re going and arrange a check-in time via cell phone.
• Be on the lookout for rattlesnakes. They may be found under or on top of warm rocks, or curled up by the side of the road.
• If they encounter bison, move slowly and steadily around them, keeping at least 150 feet away.

 

Getting Hiking Permits

Hiking permits are required for all hikers who venture out of Avalon and into the island’s interior. They’re free and can be picked up at Catalina Conservancy House in Avalon, the Wrigley Memorial & Botanical Garden, Nature Center at Avalon Canyon, Airport in the Sky, and the Visitor’s Center at Two Harbors. Call (310) 510-2595 ext. 100 for more information.

 

Bike Passes, Rentals & Cycling Areas

Conservancy “Freewheeler” Bike Passes, required for all cycling in the island’s interior, can be purchased at Conservancy House in Avalon, the Airport in the Sky and the Visitor’s Center in Two Harbors. Call (310)510-2595 ext. 100 for information.

Brown’s Bikes in Avalon (310-510-0986) rents mountain bikes, along with street bikes for pedaling around Avalon.

Bikes are permitted on only about eight miles of the Trans-Catalina Trail—from along Renton Mine Road, East End Road and Divide Road to Dakin Peak (the microwave tower) on the East End. But there are nearly 50 miles of dirt roads and nearly 9 miles of paved roads in the interior for mountain bikers to enjoy.

 

Evening Activity

Dinner

(Starting time TBD)

After enjoying the freedom and flexibility of being on their own for lunch and the rest of the afternoon, your guests will gather as a group for dinner. We recommend the Catalina Visitors Country Club, located just five minutes from the center of Avalon.

(Map to be added, showing location of club)
(Exterior & interior photos of club to be added)

Poised on a knoll overlooking Avalon, the club is a striking example of Early California Revival architecture—displaying distressed cream-colored walls with deep green trim, raised ceilings and a Spanish-tiled roof. Its many balconies offer sweeping Avalon city views, and a fountain terrace opens the courtyard to the sky.

The country club was originally built as a spring training facility for William Wrigley, Jr.’s Chicago Cubs baseball team. Today, the club displays an eclectic mix of Spanish Colonial design and sports memorabilia.

The entire venue can be reserved for your guests. Brick steps will lead them up to a broad porch with a spectacular view of Avalon below and the vast Pacific Ocean beyond. As they continue up the stairs through an arched portico, they’ll be greeted by a colorful example of early Catalina’s acclaimed tile industry: the Country Club’s original fountain. Lush foliage, the lilting melody of songbirds, and refreshing island breezes will stir their senses.

Dinner will be served in the chic, Mission-style Dining Room, where arched windows open to the hills on one side and to ocean-side verandas on the other. Wrought-iron chandeliers from South America hang from the wood-beamed ceiling.

Like the other areas of the Club, the Dining Room is designed with impeccable taste and attention to detail, from the original Catalina pottery gracing the walls and the rich mahogany doors and trim to the plush upholstered chairs and the grand fireplace.

The dinner menu includes:

Appetizers:
• Soup Du Jour
• Steamed Mussels: Green curry broth with coconut milk and grilled baguettes
• Mac & Cheese: Velvety cream sauce with Monterey Jack cheddar and gruyere cheeses
• Caprese salad: Boccocini mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic drizzle
• Market Salad: Lettuce, asparagus, heirloom tomatoes, shaved parmesan, citrus vinaigrette
• Shrimp Tapas Style: With garlic, marash peppers and sherry, parmesan crisps
• Ahi Tartare: Yellowfin with avocado, lemon vinaigrette, wasabi cream, soy reduction, nori chili oil
• Chili Con Carne: Sirloin with corn tortillas, jalapeños, onions, cheddar and chive crème fraiche

Entrees:
• Certified Angus Filet Mignon: With roasted garlic mash, greens, port wine demi, morel cream sauce and onion ribbons
• Cioppino: Shrimp, clams, mussels, fresh fish, rich hearty broth with crostinis
• Sonoma Free Range Veal: With rosemary, pancetta, chanterelle mushrooms and potatoes au gratin
• Chicken Pot Pie: Made with free range chicken, organic vegetables, cream sauce and puff pastry
• Prime Delmonico: With potato flan, balsamic onions, creamed spinach and cognac
• Vegetables Napoleon: Organic vegetables, rosemary polenta, tomato vinaigrette and basil oil
• Seafood Tower: Fresh local seafood selection

Toward the end of the meal, your sales managers will announce the results of the morning’s Escape from Avalon team-building event, recounting a few entertaining anecdotes about mishaps during the competition, and handing out prizes to the winners.

 

Night Activity

Night Golf

After dinner, your guests will take just a few steps from the club over to the adjacent Catalina Island Golf Course for a few fun holes of night golf.

It’s the oldest operating golf course west of the Mississippi, and the former home of the Bobby Jones Invitational Tournament for pro golfers. Since 1967, the Avalon Men’s Golf Club has sponsored the Catalina Island Junior Golf Tournament. Tiger Woods first played there at the age of four and then again at fourteen.

This scenic, 2,100-yard course has nine holes, with two sets of tees for 18-hole play. The long, narrow course meanders through a colorful canyon setting toward the ocean. The small greens and deep bunkers are enough to challenge any golfer—and that’s in daylight.

Playing in the dark really ups the ante and levels the playing field. Seasoned golf pros revert to playing like rank beginners, and who really knows who hit that green glow-in-the-dark ball into the sand trap, water hazard or the woods—or whiffed altogether while swinging at it on a tee, fairway or green?

In addition to the green glowing golf balls, each player will wear a green glow necklace, making him or her look like an extraterrestrial being, and there will be green glow sticks on the tees, fairways, greens (greens glowing green!) and flags, and also in the holes.

Although this could all be done as a team-building activity, it’s probably better as light entertainment rather than competition. Just a few holes of night golf will provoke gales of laughter and leave lasting memories among your guests.

(Photos to be added of golf course in daylight)

 

4th Day Agenda

Breakfast

(Time schedule & menu TBD)

A buffet breakfast will once again be served at the hotel this morning. But today, the final full day of your event, your guests need not sit with their team members, since there is no team-building activity this morning.

 

Morning Activity

Inland Motor Tour

After two mornings of competitive team-building plus some friendly night golf competition, your guests will be ready for more fun, relaxation and sightseeing—this time by land rather than sea.

The 3 ½ hour Inland Motor Tour will take them through the heart of Catalina’s rugged interior. They’ll travel in a spacious and comfortable ’50′s Flxible Bus™, restored to its original streamlined beauty—in keeping with the meeting’s retro 50s theme.

(Photo of bus to be added)

This memorable journey follows the 19th century stagecoach route and continues through Middle Ranch, where your guests will spend time at the Native Plant Nursery and the Catalina Island Fox habitat.

Their journey proceeds to the beautiful back side of Catalina for a view of the island’s rugged and unspoiled windward shoreline and some stunning photo opportunities for your guests. The trip continues through the Airport in the Sky and Nature Center. Your guests will have the opportunity to look for bald eagles, bison, and mule deer on their scenic drive back to the heart of Avalon.

 

Lunch

For their lunch, your guests can once again select from the many restaurants and cafes listed under Lunch for the 3rd day’s agenda.

 

Afternoon Activities

Helicopter Tour

(Photo of helicopter to be added)

After lunch, the sightseeing continues, with a deluxe helicopter tour of Catalina. Island Express Helicopter Service will take your guests to new heights, on a magical journey above the island. They’ll lift off from the heliport in Avalon, south of the harbor near Pebbly Beach. Then, in a flight expertly narrated by the pilot, they’ll see the island as never before. They’ll swoop like birds along the coastline, perhaps catching sight of dolphins or California gray whales, while they behold a breathtaking sweep of Pacific seascape all the way to the mainland.

They’ll hover over Avalon, taking in the city’s charms, from the Casino to the Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Gardens. Then they’ll head inland, looking deep into the island’s ruggedly mountainous interior, with a clear, virtually 360-degree view from the helicopter’s cabin.

About a half hour after departing, your guests will settle gently back to earth feeling like changed people. They’ll have seen more of Catalina than they dreamed possible, in far less time than they imagined it could have taken, from a vantage point that few human beings will ever experience. It will feel like they’ve undergone a mythic journey. In fact, by the end of this meeting, your guests will have seen Catalina by air, sea and land—a claim that few tourists can match.

Depending on the size of your group and the number of helicopters required, departure times can be staggered and routes varied, so that all of your guests are not arriving at the heliport at the same time and waiting time is minimized.

 

Rest of afternoon at leisure

During what remains of this final free afternoon, your guests may wish to select from the many water sports options that Catalina offers, or take a Zip Line Eco-Tour. Or they can enjoy any of the suggested activities for the afternoons of the 2nd and 3rd days, time permitting.

 

Enjoy Diving and Water Sports

Catalina’s crystal clear waters, coastal reefs, and abundant marine life make it a favorite destination for divers and snorkelers. The two most popular diving spots are Casino Point and Lover’s Cove. Wetsuits and diving supplies can be rented at both locations.

(Map to be added, showing locations of Casino Point and Lover’s Cove)

Divers can explore the colorful kelp forests, teeming with orange garibaldi fish, just off the seawall at the Casino, or one of several sunken wrecks—such as the mysterious Ningpo, a former Chinese slaver and smuggling ship that was thought to be 200 years old when she went down.

Non-swimmers don’t have to settle for staring longingly at the water’s surface. Semi-submersible sub tours and glass-bottom-boat rides with Discover Tours or Catalina Adventure Tours (800-626-1496) are windows to another world, giving up-close-and-personal views of exotic eco-systems like the Lover’s Cove Marine Preserve, where colorful fish and marine plants thrive.

Your guests can also travel right on the water’s surface. They can rent almost any kind of watercraft from various businesses around the harbor—including old-fashioned paddle boats, jet skis, kayaks, and small motor boats.

 

Take a Snuba® Tour (Scuba Luv, 310-510-2350)

(Photo to be added of Snuba® diving)

A unique combination of snorkeling and scuba, Snuba® equipment includes a mask, fins, a weight belt, and a regulator or mouthpiece attached to an air line, bringing air from a scuba tank on a raft floating on the water’s surface.

Guests can enjoy the freedom of diving up to 20 feet under the water’s surface without heavy scuba equipment, aided by professional and friendly guides. No previous diving experience is necessary.

 

Go Parasailing (Parasailing Catalina, 310-510-1777)

(Photo to be added of parasailing in action)

Your guests can experience the thrill of taking off from a boat and floating through the air, while enjoying breathtaking panoramic views of Catalina as they’re gently lifted to their chosen altitude—either 600 or 800 feet.

 

Take a Zip Line Eco-Tour (877-778-6456)

Your guests can zip away and propel themselves down five separate zip lines, dropping from an altitude of 500 to 60 feet, including one run that’s 1,100 feet long all by itself. They’ll travel close to three quarters of a mile, 300 feet above the canyon floor, at speeds reaching 45 miles per hour.

Starting at Hog’s Back Gate, high in the hills above Avalon, and descending through Descanso Canyon to Descanso Beach, they’ll pause at several eco-stations along the way before continuing on their way. At each station, hosts will give them a presentation on some of the fascinating aspects of Catalina, its wildlife, history, and geography.

Their journey will last about two hours. Their memories will last a lifetime.

(Map to be added of Zip Line route)
(Photos of Zip Line to be added)

 

Evening Activity

Closing Dinner Party

(Map to be added, showing location of Descanso Beach Club)
(Photos of beach club to be added)

As a location for the final evening’s activities, we recommend Descanso Beach Club. Just North of the Casino building, it’s the perfect location for this evening’s event, which closes your incentive travel trip. It’s a private beach club and Avalon’s only seaside bar and restaurant, allowing your guests to relax (Descanso means rest in Spanish) and enjoy cocktails and a dinner party on the soft warm sand under the glistening stars, accompanied by the gentle sounds of the waves breaking on the shore, the evening island breeze, the rustling of palm leaves, and the soothing chirping of night birds.

Among Descanso Beach Club’s many scenic attractions are fire rings and an outdoor patio set in a semi-private cove, combining the beauty of the shoreline with all the amenities of a club

The evening’s program will begin with the serving of drinks. But they’re not going to be mixed by bartenders. Instead, it’s the final competition of your incentive travel event, with your sales force taking over the bartending duties.

This activity gives a whole new meaning to “mixer.” With one well-stocked bar set up for each team, team members take turns making drinks for their teammates. The drinks will include the Catalina favorites that they previewed in their rooms as welcome gifts upon arrival their first night and also enjoyed during the welcome reception.

Like night golf the previous evening, this is a soft competition rather than a team-builder, with no clear winner. Whether a particular drink makes the cut is in the eye—or in this case the taste buds—of the beholder.

Some of your guests will discover that bartending isn’t as easy as they thought. They’ll want to keep their “day job.”

After drinks, your guests are invited to picnic tables on the beach, to partake of a fun, retro 50s-style barbecue, while being entertained by a 50s rock band. Country club staff, doing the barbecuing, will be dressed in suburban backyard 50s style, including aprons.

Along with the barbecued main courses, cooked on the beach, waiters, also dressed in 50s style, will emerge from the kitchen to serve some of the same appetizers, soups and salads (and later, desserts) that your guests enjoyed at the welcome reception.

Barbecued main dishes could include:
• Salt-grilled sirloin steak
• Steak Pizzaiola
• Burgers with chopped onions, olives & mushroom powder
• Oriental Lamb Steaks with soy sauce & ginger
• Lamb with savory-mint barbecue sauce
• Grilled Italian sausages
• Chicken Tarragon
• Garlic Chicken
• Ginger Chicken
• Baby Chickens on a spit
• Roast Chicken Pierre (with sherry)
• Chicken Far East (with cashews & peanut butter)
• Broiled Turkey flambé
• Grilled duckling
• Grilled whole fish
• Fish Mixed Grill
• Veal with kidneys
• Shish kebab
• Pork Loin with sherry
• Spareribs Island Style (with pineapple)
• Spareribs German Style (with sauerkraut)
• Suckling pig on a spit

Your guests will notice how many of these dishes include sauces and marinades. They were all the rage in the 50s!

Vegetables and side dishes could include buttered corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes and mushrooms and grilled French & Italian breads.

Desserts that will be served from the kitchen will be the same as those enjoyed at the welcome reception. And even some desserts were cooked on the barbecue in the 50s. They could include:
• Caramel roast apples
• Walnut roast
• Grilled marshmallows
• Grilled bananas

As the barbecue is drawing to an end, your sales managers will grab mics and recap the last few days’ events, entertaining the guests with some anecdotes about various salespeople and teams.

This is a cue for the lights to dim. On a screen set up on the patio, a music video plays, telling the story, in images and music (50s hit songs, of course), of everything that happened during the event.

At the end of the video, the managers present awards to the top teams, along with some for second and third place finishes and some honorable mentions, plus some gag booby prizes for teams that went astray. Medals and trophies are handed out, and just about every team and individual wins something.

Throughout the barbecue dinner, the 50s rock band has been playing some of the songs that your guests received as MP3 files on their smart phones at the first morning’s team-building event. Now the band is joined by impersonators of several of rock’s biggest 50s stars: Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, the Big Bopper—and of course, the ultimate 50s rock star, Elvis—all performing some of their greatest hits.

Guests are then invited up to the mic to try their hands at 50s rock star impersonation, with the audience asked to render their support with a simple “Like.”

The whole evening, and your incentive travel event, comes to a high-energy climax with a group sing-along of Catalina’s best known 50s hit song:

Twenty-six miles across the sea
Santa Catalina is a-waitin’ for me
Santa Catalina, the island of
Romance, romance, romance, romance

Water all around it everywhere
Tropical trees and the salty air
But for me the thing that’s a-waitin’ there
Romance, romance, romance, romance

It seems so distant, twenty-six miles away
Restin’ in the water serene
I’d work for anyone, even the Navy
Who would float me to my island dream

Twenty-six miles, so near yet far
I’d swim with just some water-wings and my guitar
I could leave the wings but I’ll need the guitar
For romance, romance, romance, romance

Twenty-six miles across the sea
Santa Catalina is a-waitin’ for me
Santa Catalina, the island of
Romance, romance, romance, romance

A tropical heaven out in the ocean
Covered with trees and girls
If I have to swim, I’ll do it forever
Till I’m gazin’ on those island pearls

Forty kilometers in a leaky old boat
Any old thing that’ll stay afloat
When we arrive we’ll all promote romance, romance, romance, romance

Twenty-six miles across the sea
Santa Catalina is a-waitin’ for me
Santa Catalina, the island of
Romance, romance, romance, romance

Your sales managers officially close the event. Everyone leaves psyched-up and energized and ready to go back to work.

 

5th Day Agenda

Breakfast & Brunch

For this departure day, your guests are free to enjoy a private buffet brunch at their leisure (Schedule TBD). For those guests departing on an early morning boat, before the hotel’s restaurant opens for breakfast, a room service breakfast will be arranged.

 

Departure

Just as with their arrival in Avalon, your guests can depart at their convenience—as long as they check out of the hotel by 11 AM—taking the free hotel shuttle to the ferry terminal. Some will want to head back to work earlier than others. But most of them will have been working throughout the meeting. Hard work is how they earned their incentive travel award in the first place!

 

Post-Event Gift

Your incentive travel event is over, but the feelings of camaraderie, adventure and enjoyment will linger long afterwards in the minds of your top sales performers. To add to their memories, in the days following the event’s conclusion, your guests will be emailed a digital album filled with photos and videos from the trip.

 

AGENDA SUMMARY

1st Day

Afternoon: Arrival & hotel check-in

Evening: Welcome reception & dinner at Catalina Canyon Resort & Spa

 

2nd Day

Breakfast: Private buffet at hotel

Morning: Avalon GPS Challenge team-building

Lunch: Group lunch at Mi Casita

Afternoon:

• Rest of afternoon at leisure till 4PM
• 4 PM, Sunset Isthmus Cruise

Evening:

• Dinner in Two Harbors
• Sunset Isthmus Cruise returns to Avalon

 

3rd Day

Breakfast: Private buffet at hotel

Morning: Escape from Avalon team-building

Lunch: Individual choice of restaurants

Afternoon: Rest of afternoon at leisure

Evening: Dinner & night golf at Catalina Visitors Country Club

 

4th Day

Breakfast: Private buffet at hotel

Lunch: Individual choice of restaurants

Afternoon:

• Helicopter tour
• Rest of afternoon at leisure

Evening: Cocktails & dinner party at Descanso Beach Club

 

5th Day

Breakfast: Private buffet brunch or room service breakfast at hotel

Morning: Early ferry departures

Afternoon: Later ferry departures

 

About PDQ Company
(Deleted, to maintain confidentiality, see Writer’s Note on first page of this proposal)

 

References
(To be added)