Valley Forge & Montgomery County Blur the Lines Between Past and Present

  • Valley Forge & Montgomery County Blur the Lines Between Past and Present

     
    FROM THE Winter 2017 ISSUE
     

    History comes alive at the Philander Chase Knox Estate.

  • Valley Forge & Montgomery County Blur the Lines Between Past and Present

     
    FROM THE Winter 2017 ISSUE
     

    Normandy Farm features 17 different conference rooms.

  • Valley Forge & Montgomery County Blur the Lines Between Past and Present

     
    FROM THE Winter 2017 ISSUE
     

    Davio’s gnocchi with truffles is sophisticated and scrumptious.

Just outside of Philadelphia, Valley Forge & Montgomery County is booming. “The Valley Forge region offers meeting planners versatility when selecting their meeting venues,” says Marc Kaminetsky, director of convention and tourism sales at the Valley Forge Convention & Tourism Board. “From full-service hotels to conference centers, the region has something for everyone. Montgomery County specializes in creating a memorable experience for all of your meeting attendees.”

Meet

When your meeting or event calls for inspiration, book the Philander Chase Knox Estate. This historic estate is set within Valley Forge National Historical Park, the site of George Washington’s army encampment during the Revolutionary War. The estate was built in the late 1700s and was the private home of Philander Chase Knox, a former U.S. Attorney General, U.S. Secretary of State and U.S. Senator. 

The National Park Service leased the historic Philander Chase Knox Estate to Valley Forge Park Events, LLC, a partnership between Robert Ryan Catering & Design and The Party Center, in an effort to enhance this and other sites within Valley Forge National Historic Park. “It’s the first time catering has been offered inside VFNHP,” says Bob Ryan, owner of Robert Ryan Catering & Design. The unique location—set on 3,600 acres within Valley Forge National Park—definitely makes this venue stand out. “Attendees really respond to the historic setting, but they also value the fact that they are the only event taking place at that time, as well as the restaurantquality food we serve,” he says. The estate and terrace are ideal for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, while the carpeted tent with ceiling liner, bathrooms and specialty lighting is suitable for up to 200. Valet parking is available and each event has a dedicated event manager and day-of coordinator. “We have over 25 years of experience in the event catering industry,” says Ryan. Of course, no event is perfect without entertainment, but Philander Chase Knox Estate puts a historic spin on that too. “Invite General George Washington, as portrayed by living biographer Carl Closs, to your event,” says Ryan. “I’ve seen him in action at corporate events and fundraisers and it is an incredible performance!”

Want the look and feel of Silicon Valley for your next meeting? The Hub in Conshohocken is the solution! This one-stop shop lives and breathes meetings, since that’s all they do. Located in a corporate center in Conshohocken, the 8,000-square-foot Hub is one of four buildings. Ideally located near major highways, the corporate park setting also translates to free and plentiful parking. “The parking garage provides access directly inside,” explains Samantha Overstreet, sales and meeting manager, adding it’s ideal for less-than-perfect weather days. “We’re all about convenience. You don’t have to worry about technology here, as there are controls in all of the rooms and all staff members are fully trained in A/V.” The Hub is an all-inclusive space with its own chef/caterer. “Our chef trained in Geneva and has worked all over Europe and New York,” Overstreet says. The Hub’s various spaces for meetings and events can handle up to 250 guests daily. Additionally, there is 4,000 square feet of outdoor and atrium space for private events.

Normandy Farm is big on country charm. The 280-year-old farm has only seen four owners, though it has been transformed throughout the years from a tavern/inn to a state-of-the-art dairy barn. Today, it’s “one historic experience,” says Gary Murray, director of sales and marketing. “We have everything under one roof—from hotel rooms, meeting space, dining and with Blue Bell Country Club across the street (and also owned by the same company), we have access to all of the amenities of a country club.” The hotel has 141 guest rooms with 28 suites, but it’s the meeting space—all 23,000 square feet of it—that is exceptional. IACC-certified, Normandy Farm doesn’t do square box-style meetings. Instead, this place’s 17 different conference rooms range from a ballroom inside one of the oldest silos on the East Coast to a venue inside America’s largest barn complete with chandeliers and exposed beams. “You can put your registration table inside the silo,” says Murray. Talk about a way to kick off a meeting—and a conversation. “Our food and culinary team are consistent throughout the property,” says Murray, who adds that Normandy Farm also has an in-house florist and photographer to complete the experience. 

Eat

Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, King of Prussia began in Boston and has since expanded to eight locations up and down the East Coast. With a popular outpost in Center City Philadelphia, Davio’s is also located in King of Prussia. The food is inspired by chef/owner Steve DiFillippo’s mother’s and grandmother’s Italian recipes. “Everything at Davio’s is handmade, using only the finest ingredients. We serve everything from Brandt Beef steaks to simple, yet unique pasta creations, prepared fresh daily,” says Tumoor Haye, general manager. It’s not just about the food, though. “We are best known for our food and our hospitality. Attention to detail and attentiveness to our guests’ needs is evident in everything we do,” she adds. Private dining at Davio’s is plentiful, with three private rooms. The wine room seats up to 30, while each of the two private dining rooms holds up to 35 each, or combine both rooms to accommodate a total of 70 guests. There is even a chef’s table that seats up to 11 and faces the open kitchen. Buyouts are also arranged for 150 to 225 guests. 

The Farmer’s Daughter is tucked inside Normandy Farm’s resort but this place stands on its own two feet. “We designed The Farmer’s Daughter to be high-end but approachable,” says Gary Murray, director of sales and marketing. “It’s where we get creative and take the most risk,” he adds, sharing that the restaurant subscribes to the local is king concept. “We want local—local beer, local cheeses, etc. and the kitchen really uses the ingredients in creative ways,” he says. While The Farmer’s Daughter is technically part of a resort, it’s not just for out-oftowners. “The local community comes to enjoy it too,” Murray adds. The Farmer’s Daughter has a country charm indoors, while the recently added terrace is a popular spot (they do not rent that to private groups). The 300-seat restaurant is divided into a variety of spaces, including many private dining spaces. The wine room holds up to 16, The Dowry handles up to 28, and the Orchard Room is suitable for up to 42 guests. 

Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board (VFTCB) held an event with corporate planners at Mistral at the King of Prussia Mall to spread the word about Cirque du Soleil’s VOLTA, which debuted in July at the Big Top on the grounds of the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center.

 

Following his intuition led Brian Czarnecki to Camelback Resort.

 

Meet in the Birthplace of Little League Baseball