For Yianni Barakos, co-owner of Mason Dixon Distillery in Gettysburg, liquor-making runs in his blood. In fact, the enterprising Barakos, a self-proclaimed “tinkerer,” made his first still at the ripe age of 11 (from a cocktail napkin sketch his grandfather made of the equipment). Good thing his childlike passion for making liquor remains today, as he spent almost a year pouring his heart and soul into Mason Dixon Distillery, housed in a former furniture factory dating to the early 1900s. “The place had 90 years of dirt and grime, but there is 1,000 times more character than anything built new,” says Barakos, who hails from the construction business.

In partnership with his father, a restaurateur, Barakos is opening a three-part business: craft distillery, full-service restaurant and event space. The space will have a tasting room, with seating for about 100, as well as an outdoor space for over 300. Tours and tastings will be offered for groups seeking a post-meeting activity, and the restaurant, which offers a blend of “tasty, savory stuff from different cultures,” will be open for regular dining, as well as for private events. Mason Dixon Distillery takes its Gettysburg heritage very seriously. While it’s just a few blocks off the main town square, it’s what goes into the bottles that makes its really special. Barakos leases 47 acres on the Gettysburg Battlefield and plants rye and corn to harvest for his liquor. “You can truly take home some of the battlefield,” he says.

Temperatures are starting to dip in Seattle, but if you want to get in one last outdoor gathering before winter, consider The Rooftop at WeWork Cap Hill. Located on the penthouse level on 11th Avenue near Seattle’s storied Pine and Pike Streets, the space offers inviting landscapes and spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. Capacity: 74.  Bring sweaters and scarves!


The time is right; the stage is set. Groups are ready to meet face to face again, and the four-star luxury hotel MGM Grand Detroit is ready to welcome you back.

According to MPI’s report “Spring 2021 Meetings Outlook,” three-quarters of meeting professionals predict a face-to-face event this calendar year. And that definitely rings true for Lisa Williams, executive director of sales for the hotel.


Despite an overall crushing year for the hospitality industry in Pennsylvania, some seeds of hope have been planted and are finally sprouting in the form of new hotel openings. These new properties on the horizon have ample meeting and event space up for grabs, all within close proximity of each other. As capacities allowances increase, check out the new real estate for meetings and events at the following hotels.