The small town of Vevay (pronounced Vee-vee) in Switzerland County is capitalizing on its recent recognition by Budget Travel magazine as the fourth-coolest small town in America.
Home to around 1,800, Vevay sits on the banks of the Ohio River at the midpoint between Cincinnati and Louisville. Its location, rich riverfront history and noteworthy stopping points are ideal for out-of-the-way rendezvous.
Seven miles from Vevay, Belterra Casino Resort and Spa provides meeting planners with the most options, with 600 guest rooms and 50,000 square feet of meeting space. Vegas-style gaming, a salon and spa, and a championship golf course are options for free-time activities.
Belterra partners with the team-building firm Adventureworks, which can design activities for groups that meet at Belterra. Or the resort will help schedule wine pairings, cooking with the chef or interactive workshops in floral design.
|Rosemont Inn has been featured on the Food Network|
Like the town itself, meeting venues in Vevay are small. The Best Western Ogle Haus, a 54-room river-view property renovated three years ago, has meeting space for groups of up to 200. Groups of 30 or fewer can meet at two historic bed-and-breakfasts. The Rosemont Inn is known for its food — its owner was featured on the Food Network — its Victorian architecture and decor, and its views of the Ohio. The Women’s Press Club of Indiana recently had a luncheon there.
The Schenck Mansion is a 35-room Italianate home built in 1874 for a local riverboat captain. Like the Rosemont, it has five guest rooms and can host small meetings for up to 30. Additions are under way that will allow the property to host wine tastings.
Another small venue is the 150-seat Hoosier Theater, recently booked by baseball’s Cincinnati Reds for one of its Reds Caravan events. Built in the early 1800s, the theater is used for stage productions and concerts.
|Meredith Luhrs is among the artists at work in galleries that helped Vevay earn "cool town" status from Budget Travel.
Switzerland County is home to one of the first commercial wineries in the country, and its wine heritage is represented today by Ridge Winery, which has a tasting room in Vevay. The town’s annual Swiss Wine Festival in late summer draws as many as 15,000 people. A larger crowd is expected this year because of the publicity from the Budget Travel recognition.
“The contest was featured on the CBS Early Show,” said Kendal Miller of Switzerland County Tourism. “Viewers could vote on their favorite, and Hoosiers really threw their support behind Vevay.”
Miller credits the town’s artists’ galleries, wine heritage and ongoing events for pushing Vevay to the top of the Coolest Small Towns list.
Vevay works with Belterra to draw travelers on their way to and from the casino. The town has an information booth at the casino, offers coupons to its attractions, and distributes walking- and driving-tour maps.
Switzerland County Tourism