It’s a meeting of the minds. Robert Faller, Director of Sales & Marketing for the elegant Otesaga Resort Hotel in Cooperstown, orchestrates the meetings and conferences that take place at this timeless, classic resort as skilled and passionately as the baseball greats in the Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame down the road.
And he has a secret.
“About half of the meetings that take place at the Otesaga do something other than baseball,” he says. That’s incredible, considering the resort’s location in a village that is a shrine to the sport.
So what do the other 50 percent come here for?
“They want the arts,” he says. And they’ve come to the right place.
The Glimmerglass Opera Festival, a world-class summer opera festival located a couple of octaves away from The Otesaga, gives culture lovers something to sing about. “Some of the groups we book at the resort go to Glimmerglass for three or four performances,” says Faller.
The Fenimore Art Museum, another Cooperstown icon, exhibits an ambitious collection of American, folk and American Indian art. And it’s not just Fenimore’s art that wows them. “We can arrange an outdoor reception on Fenimore’s expansive lawn and terrace that overlooks Otsego Lake,” he says giddily.
But for those meeting planners who are drawn to The Otesaga in part because of Cooperstown’s baseball legacy, The Otesaga pitches them a perfect game plan. “We’ll have dinner right in the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Hall of Plaques,” says Faller. “And, we can schedule a six-inning game right on legendary Doubleday Field for them to play. We’ll contract with a Hall of Famer to pitch.” The mentality is that if you build it they will come.
Other activities that groups love include glo ball at night (with a DJ), a golf outing on the celebrated 72-par Leatherstocking Golf Course, skeet shooting, and a tour of local Brewery Ommegang.
Then there’s that one meeting that sticks out in Faller’s memory. Called “Bounty of the Harvest”, one of Cooperstown’s most popular attractions, The Farmers’ Museum, was transformed for a festive evening with bales of hay, square dancing, carriage rides, horses, seasonal foods and local beers, cheese, flowers and local grass-fed beef and ham.
The Otesaga has 12 meeting and conference rooms that can accommodate groups up to 380 people. While the summer months are busiest, the shoulder months (April-June & September-November) offer great value, says Faller. Another value-added season is the winter (December-April); while the resort is closed to social guests, Faller says they open about 15 times to accommodate meetings and weddings utilizing 60 rooms or more.