ASHEVILLE, N.C., October 21, 2020 - The Omni Grove Park Inn is revolutionizing the 28th National Gingerbread House Competition - the largest in the county! - by conducting the competition virtually and announcing new in-person and socially distanced activities for hotel guests and fans at-home. The resort’s goal is to preserve a slice of happiness, normalcy, and tradition as people across the country continue to navigate the new normal while seeking to immerse themselves in the holiday spirit.
“The holidays are synonymous with The Omni Grove Park Inn’s National Gingerbread House Competition, and it’s public Gingerbread House display, which has brought viewers from around the country to the hotel. This year, we were faced with the difficult decision of cancelling the public display in the name of safety. However, Gingerbread and the holiday season is far from cancelled as teams have worked tirelessly to reshape the Competition as well as a plethora of virtual and in-person experiences.” says Susan Rotante, Director of Public Relations & Community Outreach at The Omni Grove Park Inn. “We truly care about our guests, the memories they create here, and our cherished Competitors who make the Gingerbread season the tradition it is today. By pivoting programming, it is our way of continuing the legacy, and telling the stories behind the houses like never before.”
Virtual Activities for Fans At-Home:
- Baking Spirits Bright: Gingerbread Making Class Series: Starting Oct. 21, learn how to make Gingerbread Houses at-home via a three-part series featuring All-Star Chefs & Competition Judges (including celebrity chef, Carla Hall). A portion of the proceeds goes to ACFEF’s Chef & Child Initiative so the more you bake, the bigger difference you make. Class takers also receive 15% off future stays Jan. - Mar. ‘21. Check www.omnihotels.com/bakingspiritsbright for details.
- The 12 Days of Gingerbread: A new way of celebrating the 2020 National Gingerbread House Competition Finalists together while staying apart. From Dec. 1-12, the hotel will announce one Finalist, per day, with the Grand Prize Winner revealed on Dec. 12 (National Gingerbread House Day!). Tune in via Facebook (@omnigroveparkinn) & Instagram (@omnigrovepark).
In-House Guest Activities:
- Best In Dough: Gingerbread Finalist Showcase: A rare view of the Finalists’ entries via a docu-style film for hotel guests from Nov. 23-Jan. 3. Including interviews with Competitors, Judges and 360 footage of the finalists’ confectionary creations to create an up-close experience. Tickets are available exclusively to overnight guests to ensure safety measures remain intact and can be reserved as part of their stay.
- Holiday Mountain Magic Package: Create lasting holiday memories surrounded by the sights and sounds of the season. Lavish decorations at every turn with the warmth of two thirty-six-foot fireplaces creating the perfect mountain setting to celebrate the holidays for stays through Nov. 23-Dec. 31. Guests can pay it forward via Omni Hotels & Resorts' “Say Goodnight to Hunger” program, which includes a donation to MANNA FoodBank for every stay.
- The Great Gingerbread House: The Great Hall will be transformed into a holiday destination, with a life-sized Gingerbread House modeled after the historic hotel. Guests can enjoy housemade hot chocolate, specialty craft brews and sweet treats by the glow of the iconic Grove Park Inn fireplaces.
- Enjoying the hotel grounds this season will be available for guests with confirmed reservations (e.g., dining, rooms, etc.). For those who arrive without a reservation during high occupancy times, admittance onto the property will not be guaranteed, and will be subject to capacity protocols to ensure safety restrictions remain intact.
As in year’s past, a $25 per car fee will be charged for all drive-on day guests with a portion of the parking proceeds going towards the following local nonprofit organizations: United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County; American Legion Baseball Post #70; Meals on Wheels of Asheville and Buncombe County; Asheville City Schools Foundation; Horizons at CDS; Children First/Communities in Schools; Asheville Museum of Science and Camp Watia Camper Scholarship Fund. Since 2013, The Omni Grove Park Inn, a member of Historic Hotels of America, has contributed over $535,000 through the Holiday Parking Program, supporting the local community and not-for-profit partners in Western North Carolina.
About The Omni Grove Park Inn
Set in the idyllic Blue Ridge Mountains and just minutes from downtown Asheville, N.C., The Omni Grove Park Inn provides a one-of-a-kind escape for modern day travelers. The award-winning, 513-room resort originally opened in 1913, showcases a wide range of Arts & Crafts furnishings from Stickley and Roycroft throughout guest areas, guestrooms and suites. Following the renovation of the Vanderbilt Wing in 2013, The Inn revealed the redesign of the historic Sammons Wing's 204 guestrooms in 2017. The world-class Spa is an experience like no other, with 43,000 square feet of subterranean space and an array of unique treatments incorporating indigenous elements. The resort's historic 18-hole Donald Ross golf course is considered among the top golf experiences in North Carolina, and the Sports Complex includes indoor and outdoor tennis courts. The Inn also focuses on local ingredients and chef driven menus in their four signature restaurants, each offering panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Omni Grove Park Inn is well suited for meetings, weddings and events, with 26 meeting rooms and two ballrooms totaling over 58,000 square feet, including the Skyline Room and Mountain View Terrace. The Inn's newest event addition is the Seely Pavilion with 3,260 square feet of function space, exposed trusses, and six pairs of picturesque, floor-to-ceiling doors and windows, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountain range. To get additional information or book accommodations, view the complete profile for the Omni Grove Park Inn.