There’s much to entice meetings to Redding, California, 162 miles north of Sacramento and 120 miles south of the Oregon border.
For starters, there is an abundance of lakes, rivers, waterfalls, mountains and caverns. Free parking and reasonable prices at every turn in a city rated the sunniest in California. And, for meeting planners, financial incentives designed to encourage attendees to explore the town of 91,000.
“A great place … to do something else”
The Redding Convention and Visitors Bureau began to offer incentives for off-site events for several reasons, according to Jennifer Fontana, industry relations and group coordinator.
“There is a trend with meetings–they want to do something different,” she said. “And, we know this is great place for meetings that want to do something else. We decided to throw our hat in the ring.”
Getting groups to explore is important for Redding’s economy, and there’s also a payoff in camaraderie and team building, as attendees get better acquainted in relaxed settings, Fontana said.
Like most financial incentives offered by CVBs, Redding’s weighs a number of factors, such as room nights and a meeting’s potential to bring additional business to town. When groups qualify, incentive offers are tailored, from the amount of support to the kind of off-site event suggested.
“We do them on a case-by-base basis,” said Fontana. “It could be as small as an off-site reception at one of our local restaurants. We are flexible and we are always going to provide ideas that appeal to the group.”
Among the off-site event options are receptions at Turtle Bay Exploration Park’s museum, jet boat tours on the Sacramento River, kayaking or paddle boarding and a variety of winter sports.
An off-site that’s three adventures in one
Thanks to the Redding CVB’s incentive program, attendees at a recent meeting there toured Shasta Caverns, dazzling limestone caves near Shasta Lake that are estimated to be 250 million years in the making.
“The caverns are about 10 minutes from the city, and it is three trips in one,” said Fontana. “You take a trip on a catamaran across the lake, go up the mountain in a bus and then down into the caves.”
Groups can expand upon the caverns tour by adding a sunset cruise or a seated meal for 50 aboard the 88-passenger catamaran that takes them across the lake, according to Fontana.
New Sheraton has boutique vibe
Redding’s meeting mainstays are the Holiday Inn Redding and the Red Lion Hotel Redding, two hotels that share a parking lot. Together, they are a capable venue for larger meetings, like the associations and other groups that migrate north from the capital city Sacramento.
The city’s newest hotel, the Sheraton Redding at the Sundial Bridge, opened in early 2018, with 130 guest rooms, and it is the chain’s smallest North American property. Local owners chose local art and other touches that, coupled with its 4-star designation, make the hotel feel like a boutique property. In addition to sitting adjacent to the non-profit Turtle Bay Exploration Park, all of the Sheraton’s profits are donated to support that organization, which especially appeals to organizations tied to wildlife, the environment and conservation.
What’s outside counts in Redding
With a weather forecast that’s almost always good and abundant outdoor activities (the CVB’s motto, after all, is “What’s on the OUTSIDE counts too”), it seems wise to offer incentives that get meeting attendees out and about.
“We’re the sunniest city in California,” Fontana reminds, “so we’re able to offer visitors the chance to do all kinds of outdoor year-round activities.”
For more information, contact the Redding Convention and Visitors Bureau at 530-225-4010 or go to www.visitredding.com.