French Lick Resort
Location: French Lick, Indiana
Size: 762 guest rooms
Meeting Space: 165,000 square feet
Access: One hour and 15 minutes from Louisville airport; 90 minutes from Evansville, Indiana, airport; two hours from the Indianapolis airport.
Cradled in southern Indiana’s Hoosier National Forest, the opulent French Lick Resort offers meeting planners everything they could want for a resplendent event under one roof — actually, three.
The resort, swimming in accolades, comprises the French Lick Springs Hotel, the West Baden Hotel and the new Valley Tower.
Prior to the 19th century, French trappers hunted wildlife drawn to the area by salt deposits. By 1845, those same deposits attracted a physician, who built the French Lick Springs Hotel to lodge patients hoping for healing at the mineral springs. After growing and changing hands multiple times over 150 years, the hotel underwent a $640 million restoration to return it to its full splendor in 2007.
The grandiose resort has 762 guest rooms and dozens of flexible, impressive meeting spaces across its three joint properties.
“The event center is attached to the French Lick Hotel,” said French Lick Resort VP of sales Joe Vezzoso. “The West Baden has boardrooms around the Atrium. Plus, we also have Valley Tower, an addition off of French Lick connected to the casino. Planners can pick whichever center they want.”
With 165,000 square feet of meeting space, an activities team and a facility stacked with amenities, the resort is well equipped for groups of all sizes. “I think what planners like about us is we can handle the very smallest meeting all the way up to 1,400 guests,” Vezzoso said.
And with championship golf courses, 15 onsite restaurants, activities for all ages and more, “we have everything anyone needs,” Vezzoso said. “French Lick Resort is like a city within a city.”
Between its three properties, the French Lick Resort offers meeting spaces from as small as 350 square feet up to grand ballrooms of 5,500 square feet.
French Lick Springs Hotel has more than two dozen spaces, including rooms, exhibit halls, ballrooms, foyers and a gilded, open-air mezzanine. “The most we can fit in a room is 600 people, down to intimate gatherings of half a dozen,” Vezzoso said. “And we have a decent amount of large rooms for breakouts.” Plan to use the resort’s more than ample outdoor spaces, too. The West Baden Springs Hotel welcomes guests through its formal gardens, and offers board rooms, conference rooms, reception halls, a veranda and the regal West Baden Springs Hotel Atrium.
“The atrium is a special place,” Vezzoso said. The 34,000-square-foot atrium can accommodate 3,000 for a reception or 2,000 with banquet seating. Full buyouts or custom uses are available.
French Lick Resort catering and banquet services provide custom menus for planners. “Our banquet department is second to none,” Vezzoso said. “It’s like eating at a wonderful restaurant.”
Guests can find whatever they crave at onsite restaurants, including the Grand Colonnade Restaurant, Power Plant Bar and Grill, Pluto’s Pizzeria, Spring No. 8 Deli, Casino Park Grill, Ballard’s in the Atrium, Xanadu Coffee and Creamery, and more.
“The Valley Bar is new, close to the casino operation in the new hotel,” Vezzoso said. “It’s a pub-type operation and very well accepted by the public. Our 1875 Steakhouse is sold out every evening,” he added.
Before and After
Attached to the French Lick Hotel via a pedestrian walk is the French Lick Casino. “We’re fortunate to have the full Las Vegas experience 24/7,” Vezzoso said. “The people who stay at French Lick can go to the conference center, the casino and the meeting rooms without ever having to leave the building.”
The casino is just the tip of the iceberg. “We have everything anyone needs,” Vezzoso said. “Stables, four swimming pools between the three properties, activities for young and old. Drop-off programs for children. And Kids Fest has art therapy programs, games like croquet, badminton and table games.”
Feel like getting outside? “We have hiking trails that go to the Indiana State Forest,” Vezzoso said. Water sports and fishing are available on Patoka Lake, just a short drive away.
Thanks partly to its location on one of the highest points in Indiana, the resort boasts two championship golf courses with panoramic views of beautiful, rugged terrain. Mention the Pete Dye Course and even beginners will grab their clubs — this exemplary course hosted the Senior PGA Tour in 2015. The 1917 Donald Ross Course has maintained its hold as one of Indiana’s top two courses for over a decade.
“Dave Harner, the director of golf, has been serving the property for many years,” Vezzoso added. Enjoy dining at Hagen’s Club House Restaurant on the Donald Ross or The Mansion at the Pete Dye Course.