Lakefront Meetings in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
Just 64 miles from Milwaukee General Mitchell Airport and 140 miles from Chicago O’Hare Airport, you’ll find Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The small Sheboygan County town has been a resort destination since the late 1800s, and in more recent years has become host to a number of events at The Osthoff Resort.
The Osthoff’s roots date back to 1886, when the original Otto Osthoff’s Hotel was opened by German entrepreneurs Otto and Paulina Osthoff. In the century since, the grounds have changed hands several times. The current iteration of the resort dates to 1995.
Today, the resort features a conference center with a divisible 10,000-square-foot ballroom that can hold up to 1,400 attendees — although The Osthoff’s Director of Sales, Marketing and Conference Services Chad Buros says that groups of up to 300 are the best fit. An additional ballroom fits 400 theater-style or can be divided into smaller meeting rooms, while a third room with a parlor provides additional space for breaks and receptions.
The Osthoff’s 241 guest rooms include one-, two- and three-bedroom suites as well as standard rooms. Amenities include a refrigerator, microwave, private balcony and oversized whirlpool bathtubs. Suites also include a fireplace and a kitchen or kitchenette.
The resort has its own extensive vegetable garden, growing much of the fresh produce used in-house. Lola’s by the Lake serves fresh regional cuisine that gets stellar reviews, and has a private dining room that can seat up to 30. Otto’s offers casual American food. The Elk Room lounge, which also features a balcony with spectacular views, is the perfect place to grab a coffee (they offer intriguing flavor combinations like honey lavender) in the morning or a craft beer (try anything by Wisconsin-local New Glarus) in the early evening. The seasonal Lake Deck is open in the warmer months, providing a nice outdoor option for light dining.
The resort offers a wealth of recreational activity options. It has a 24-hour-access fitness center; three pools (two outdoor and one indoor), whirlpool tubs and a swimming beach; tennis, basketball and volleyball courts; and an arcade and game room. The Aspira Spa offers a wide variety of services (try the Wild Chamomile/Ancient Cedar Pedissage) plus a special meditation room. Its 22 treatment rooms also make spa services a great group option.
But event managers and group coordinators don’t need to do all the legwork. The Osthoff offers professional team building services to help make it easy. And from classes and tastings at the resort’s L’Ecole de Maison cooking school to outdoor sports and boating, floral arranging, and golf at the Quit Qui Oc course next door, everything is within walking distance.
“We offer a multitude of interactive activities that promote communication and improved working relationships,” Buros says. “Everything from simple team building activities like scavenger hunts and lawn game tournaments to more intense competitions like our culinary food truck and dec-a-cake challenge. Everything you need to keep business going — or make it pause for a while.”
According to Buros, corporate groups are the resort’s largest market, representing more than 40 percent of group sales. Executive retreats, strategic planning meetings, annual sales conferences and incentive events are the most common types of corporate meetings booked. April through June and late August through mid-November are peak months for group business at The Osthoff, with special rates and incentives available November through April.
Standout local dining within walking distance of The Osthoff includes the Lake Street Café and The Paddock Club. The nearby Siebkens Resort offers seasonal dining in its Main Dining Room and Friday and Saturday evening fare in its Stop-Inn Tavern.
The historic Road America motorsports complex is less than three miles from downtown Elkhart Lake. Road America offers customized tours, demonstrations and adventure programs, and can host meetings of up to 300 participants.
For more information on planning meetings in Elkhart Lake, go here.
Interested in other Wisconsin meeting locations? Check out our destination articles on Lake Geneva and Eau Claire and learn how Madison is streamlining booking with its “One City, One Contract” program.