Last month, we headed to Gateway Canyons Resort in Western Colorado to experience all the resort has to offer, and during our time there, we sat down with Eric Gavin, v.p. of marketing, Noble House Hotels & Resorts—whose portfolio of properties throughout the U.S. includes Gateway Canyons Resort—to talk about the lucrative destination weddings market.
Paloma Villaverde de Rico: Why are destination weddings such an integral part of today’s resort offerings?
Eric Gavin: I think couples are looking more and more to do things on a smaller scale. [Destination weddings are] going to be more intimate with the couple’s closest friends and family and going to a destination that truly embodies who they are as a couple. The couple that would get married at WaterColor Inn Resort & Spa in Santa Rosa Beach in Florida, to a couple who would get married in Seattle at The Edgewater, they are looking for destinations that really bring out who they are and their personalities.
Destination weddings are here to stay. They are becoming more and more popular, and I think the more that we can showcase what those destination weddings look like, the more successful we’ll be as a collection.
PVR: What makes Noble House Hotels & Resorts’ destination weddings collection unique among destination weddings offerings at other resorts?
EG: When you look at our portfolio of hotels as a collection, they are all unique to the individual location so they take on that personality. What you find in Naples [LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort] doesn’t fit in Ocean Key Resort & Spa in Key West. It’s a different style. One is more relaxed, laid-back, and the other is a little bit more trendy, bright colors, in your face, and we understand that. So if you look at each of our hotels in each of the destinations, we customize that wedding experience to fit the local destination, its style and vibe. And I think people when they are researching these hotels, they see that and can experience it.
If it’s the Riviera Palm Springs in California, it’s really a throwback to the 1950s. So a couple might say, ‘Hey that’s my style and I can see myself getting married at the Riviera because I really get that sense of 1950-something and the glitz and the glam of that era.’ So that might mean incorporating the Rat Pack vibe into the music and food selection, where we’ll do the original tableside Caesar salad and bananas foster; it will be obvious in the decor—darker colors with pops of color. I tell you that is one of the coolest things—to see a wedding at the Riviera. It’s not your traditional white dress, black tux, standard banquet linens, and we’re really successful in bringing that out and showing the bride, ‘Here’s what you can do.’