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The Group Travel Leader Going on Faith Select Traveler

More Southern waterfront venues

Courtesy West Virginia Department of Commerce

Rough and tumble builds teams

A seasoned outfitter like Class-VI Mountain River is key to a wild but safe ride on one of West Virginia’s rivers.

Based at Adventures on the Gorge, a 150-acre resort near the rim of the New River Gorge, Class-VI Mountain River leads trips as varied as family floats and rough-and-tumble trips down the New River, known for Class IV and Class V rapids.

P.J. Stevenson, marketing director, describes a rugged rafting trip in this way: “Imagine sitting in your washing machine with some rocks and sticks and closing the door but not quite chaining it shut.” A thrilling ride tends to lead to bonding, said Stevenson. “Even though there’s a guide in a boat, you can really tell if a team is communicating and working together, or not.”

Monica Jackson, an executive assistant for Houston-based Ascend Performance Materials, saw how rafting broke down barriers between 35 employees who attended a combination education and recognition event at Adventures on the Gorge last September.

“Our people were from different companies across the country and didn’t know each other,” she said. “One woman was desperately afraid of heights and of water, and her teammates helped her big-time. A number conquered ingrained fears, and all learned to trust each other. By the time they left, our attendees had not only become friends and better employees, but had had the time of their lives.”


Washington D.C.? Try Arlington, Va.

Arlington’s 11 Metro stops are a reminder of the close connection between the northern Virginia suburb and the District of Columbia. The many stops make it easy to meet in Arlington, be car-free and still enjoy Washington.

Arlington is packed with services meeting goers seek. Hotels are clustered, especially in the Crystal City area, where major chains such as Marriott, Sheraton, Hilton, Embassy Suites and Doubletree are represented. Early this year, two hotels, the 325-room Marriott Residence Inn Arlington Capital View and the 300-room Marriott Renaissance Arlington Capital View, will open in the area, sharing 24,000 square feet of meeting space.

The Rosslyn and Ballston neighborhoods are also meeting options. Rosslyn, on the Potomac River across from Georgetown, is home to the new Artisphere cultural center, an off-site venue.

Ballston, also on the Metro line, is Arlington’s science and technology hub. It is home to the Kettler Capitals Iceplex, a rooftop indoor professional skating facility that is home to the Washington Capitals.

The Signature Theatre, in the Shirlington neighborhood, won a Tony Award last year as best regional theater in the country. For special events, the theater’s cocktail area is particularly popular, with its views of the neighborhood below.

Few come to Arlington without making a visit to Arlington National Cemetery, the 200-acre burial grounds that remind the country of the sacrifices of its soldiers. Many also make a point to visit two of the suburbs’ newer memorials: the U.S. Air Force Memorial and the 9-11 Pentagon Memorial, a tribute to those who died there Sept. 11, 2001.