TAN-TAR-A SURPASSES EXPECTATIONS WITH MEETING AND LEISURE AMENITIES
By Dawn Erickson
If you tried to list everything you could ever ask for in a lakeside resort, someone at Tan-Tar-A Resort has probably already thought of it.
Beginning as a cluster of cabins in 1960 on the shore of the Lake of the Ozarks in Osage Beach, Missouri, the sprawling resort and conference center has grown to 870 rooms, more than 90,000 square feet of meeting space, and a seemingly endless list of indoor and outdoor amenities on its 420 acres.
Resort makes most of lake views and cliff location
Built on a triangular peninsula, Tan-Tar-A offers broad views of the lake on two sides.
The resort’s five main buildings are arranged in a circle, or as close to a circle as possible given the rocky terrain. Streets thread between structures and under the interior walkways that connect the buildings. Seasonal landscaping creates attractive views in all directions. Because the resort has been developed in phases and additions have been designed to maximize space on a challenging cliff-side site, Tan-Tar-A’s spaces offer many interesting angled hallways and gentle slopes. Stairways, elevators and escalators are plentiful for easy access to the multiple levels.
It’s only upon entering the main building that Tan-Tar-A’s true size becomes evident. The resort office and registration are in Building A, as are most of the meeting rooms including the Grand Ballroom. The entire population of Osage Beach could attend a reception in the Grand Ballroom, which accommodates about 3,500 people. The Grand Ballroom can seat 1,850 for a banquet, and can also be divided into three salons for further versatility. The second-largest meeting room is also located in Building A: Windgate Hall offers reception space for 2,700 people and can seat 2,500 people for a banquet. Northwinds Hall, in Building D, will hold 1,050 people for a reception and 600 for a banquet. The aptly named Crystal Ballroom in Building B provides a sparkling setting for a reception of up to 650 people or a dinner for 380 people.
Architectural features lend character
Handsome woodwork and unusual ceiling features lend interest and character to the vast spaces and smaller meeting rooms. The hexagonal Parasol Room features broad windows and large beams that create an umbrella shape, making it a favorite for wedding receptions, said Tan-Tar-A’s Director of Sales, Ann Walters.
Twenty-seven meeting rooms can accommodate groups from 10 to 3,500 people, based on event type and seating arrangement. Outdoor areas also offer enticing space for enjoying the fresh air and expansive lake views. The Arrowhead Deck can host 700 for a reception or 400 for a banquet. The Tradewinds Deck features reception space for 125 and dinner space for 50 people.
Nine restaurants and lounges cater to every taste and provide unlimited choices in catered events, themed parties, receptions and coffee breaks. From fine food for leisurely dinners to fast food for the kids, Tan-Tar-A’s restaurants and lounges provide additional gathering places for guests.
Rooms, suites and cabins house guests in comfort and in surprisingly close proximity to meeting rooms, considering the size of the complex.
Trained professionals tend to details
Convention planning professionals make all the arrangements for meetings and events at Tan-Tar-A. “We take excellent care of meeting planners and meeting participants,” said Walters. “The tenure of our staff is one of our most important features. Some of our convention staff members have worked at Tan-Tar-A for 20 years.”
Tan-Tar-A’s staff members have efficiently handled a conference of 10,000 people coming and going over a four-day period, although the average size meeting is 200 to 300 people, Walters said. “We also host many small meetings such as board retreats, and many family reunions, weddings and birthday weekends. Our group business is year-round, with the slowest time of the year being the first couple of weeks in January.”
Unique features provide versatility
Tan-Tar-A has some unusual features that make it a favorite for non-business gatherings such as weddings and family reunions. A small stone chapel, built in memory of a former general manager’s wife, holds 30 guests for weddings. Ample grounds are nearby if an outdoor reception is preferred to more formal indoor space. An on-site wedding coordinator takes care of details. The picnic area near the chapel is a favorite gathering spot for family reunions, Walters said. A converted ice rink with an unusual arched ceiling can seat 600 people with round tables and is often requested by church groups, she said.
The extent and versatility of meeting and exhibit hall space, the resort’s ability to cater indoor and outdoor events, and boundless recreation set Tan-Tar-A apart from its competitors. Many meeting attendees bring their spouses and children to the resort to enjoy the indoor and outdoor activities.
Leisure activities are limitless
Two immaculately groomed courses offer 27 holes of championship golf. Guests can enjoy the resort’s grounds on horseback or by touring cart. Outdoor recreation amenities include two tennis courts, four outdoor swimming pools, a miniature golf course, basketball court and putting green.
Tan-Tar-A’s marina holds all types of rental watercraft as well as water sports equipment. Overnight dock slips, a boat launch ramp and trailer parking are available.
The Ozark Princess, an old-fashioned paddle-wheeled boat, offers a unique meeting space on its double decks. The enclosed lower deck seats 40 people for a special chartered event. The partially covered upper level has additional seating to total 90 passengers.
Limitless indoor entertainment draws meeting-goers and their families year-round to Tan-Tar-A. The Windjammer Spa and Salon provide relaxation and rejuvenation. A health club with state-of-the-art exercise equipment is adjacent to an indoor swimming pool. Timber Falls Indoor Waterpark contains 600 feet of slippery slides, a 700-gallon tipping bucket, a lazy river for tube floating and an oversized whirlpool. The Bear’s Den Arcade holds dozens of electronic games for all ages. Bowling lanes also provide family-style fun.
Children will find programs developed just for them when they accompany their parents to meetings at Tan-Tar-A. “Camp Tan-Tar-A” is offered during the summer months. The “Kid’s Kabin” provides supervised play and dinner at the Food Court while parents attend evening events. Babysitting services are also available to resort guests.
Shoppers will find a wide variety of goods in Market Lane’s shops located just off the main lobby. Fine quality jewelry, collectibles, artworks, women’s clothing and crafts, as well as snacks and souvenirs are offered. Also located in Market Lane are a real estate office, flower shop, portrait studio and entertainment agency.
Tan-Tar-A Resort perfectly blends business and pleasure. It caters to the professional needs of meeting planners and attendees as it amply provides for their leisure time in a single spacious location.
Additional information on holding a meeting or event at Tan-Tar-A Resort is available by contacting Ann Walters, Director of Sales, P.O. Box 188 TT, Osage Beach, MO 65065; telephone 573-348-8564; e-mail [email protected]; Web site www.tan-tar-a.com.
(Dawn Erickson is a contibuting writer from Branson, Mo.)