• Wine Tasting with a Twist in Sonoma County

     
    POSTED October 31, 2018
     

Shira Steiger discovered the smileinducing fun of Segways—those self-balancing, electric-powered transportation machines—a decade ago when she tried one for a tour in San Francisco and got hooked. Now, with a fleet of 16 Segways, she’s introducing corporate groups and leisure travelers to the “human transporters” through her company, Segway Tours of Healdsburg. Two tour options are available: one that visits a pair of boutique Russian River wineries (Viszlay Vineyards and Foppiano Winery) and another on which participants glide from the wine country town of Guerneville to nearby Armstrong Redwoods State Park for a foray and picnic among towering trees.

“People love Segways. They come to our area and seek them out,” Steiger says, noting that the tours are especially popular as an off-site activity for corporate groups. 

Savvy planners and DMCs see to it that some of those groups arrive at the Segway staging point in high style, via Healdsburg Tours’ lavish fleet. Company owner Jonathan Garner wanted his custom wine tour company to be “something besides a regular limo service” so he converted two Mercedes Sprinter vans into eight-passenger luxury salons replete with leather captain’s chairs, hardwood floors, a flat-screen TV, Bluetooth connectivity and USB ports. Even showier is the company’s Tesla Model X SUV with falcon-wing doors. It’s designed for one couple but can accommodate three adults comfortably, while two more of small stature can squeeze into the third row. “It gets a lot of looks,” says Garner, who loves to show off features like the vehicle’s self-parking capability. 

With a beachside locale and a laidback, surf-town vibe, Ventura County Coast is awash with inspiration for your next meeting and event. The region is home to four communities— Camarillo, Oxnard, Ventura, and Port Hueneme—and is ideal for groups from 10 to 1,000.  

 

The CDC defines close contact as within six feet or less, for 15 minutes or more with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. At gatherings of many kinds, contact tracing is used to trace the people that someone has come into contact with, before they learn that they have tested positive. This allows the people that the sick person came into contact with to be aware of the situation, and to make health-informed choices. 

 

In 2020, Houston First Corp. (HFC) reported that the city was slated to host 252 meetings and 611,000 room nights. By March 14, the Bayou City had already hosted 115 conventions and 137,400 room nights. Then the pandemic hit, and meetings and events across the country came to a screeching halt.

We asked Michael Heckman, acting president and CEO of Houston First Corp. (HFC) how the health crisis has influenced the organization’s business model moving forward.