“Whether it’s a group of 10, 50, or 150, I love taking care of my guests and creating and coordinating the details for each group’s specific needs and goals - from the initial phone call all the way through the event.”
Keely is your point person, working closely with each group to ensure everything goes smoothly and that they take advantage of everything Ruttger’s has to offer.
“Many groups like to schedule downtime in between meetings or training. We offer countless activities and programming that each group can choose from,” says Keely.
“Ruttger’s is an amazing place to golf, with a terrific golf pro on staff. Groups can play on Jack’s 18, our 18-hole course, and our newly renovated Alec’s 9 The Original, nine-hole course, set to open early summer 2023.”
Pickleball is another favorite option for groups. “With one group, we set up a friendly tournament on our eight courts as a fun team-building event,” shares Keely.
If you’ve never played before, Ruttger’s Racket and Paddle pro, Tracy Kennedy, can show groups the basics and teach them the rules of the game.
Games On the Green
New this summer at Ruttger’s is Games On the Green. Perfect for team bonding, groups can play a myriad of lawn games, including croquet, bocce ball, bean bag toss, lawn bowling, and more.
Keely can help set up a tournament for some lighthearted competition, or your group can play at their leisure to relax during their downtime.
“With one group, we created a scavenger hunt,” recalls Keely. “We have designed a number of icebreakers and team bonding games, including “Minute to Win It,” trivia, and karaoke. If a group wants to try something new or different, we are always ready to make it happen.”
Keely also recommends taking advantage of Ruttger’s marina with a relaxing pontoon cruise and tour around beautiful Bay Lake. You can host a meeting or training out on the lake, or just wind down after a meeting or training session. Ruttger’s can provide a pontoon driver for you, or you can take the wheel and explore the shorelines on your own.
Keely adds, “We also have non-motorized watercraft, including kayaks and paddleboards, which are completely free for any guest at Ruttger’s.”
To end the evening, Ruttger’s provides complimentary bonfires for groups. “Our staff will set it all up and light the fire for you. It’s a great way to mingle and strengthen the core of your group, just sitting around the fire and talking,” says Keely.
Winter at Ruttger’s
Once the snow falls, the resort transforms into a pristine winter wonderland. Keely paints a dreamy picture, “Ruttger’s is a beautiful place to host a holiday party. We have festive decorations around the resort, and a fire roaring in the fireplace lobby just waiting to greet your group.”
While fall tends to be the busiest time for events at Ruttger’s, winter can be ideal for groups looking for a quieter retreat or if they’re on a budget as group, event rates are more cost-effective during the colder months.
Along with all the icebreaker and team-building activities, groups can go snowshoeing, choosing between Ruttger’s three groomed trails, or even bring out your childlike excitement and take a run down the sledding hill.
Versatile Event Spaces
“The ballroom is our biggest venue and can be split into three parts for more breakout space. There’s a lot of flexibility,” explains Keely. Ruttger’s also has two additional rooms, The Points, which can seat up to 50 people each, or can be divided into two spaces, fitting around 25 people each, depending on your needs.
As the largest venue space, the ballroom also typically serves as the reception area for weddings. “We love working with couples and getting them all setup!” exclaims Keely. “We can comfortably accommodate around 250 guests in the ballroom, and most wedding parties reserve a small block of rooms for their closest relatives.”
Keely and Jenny Jurek, Ruttger’s Events Lead, will ensure you have everything you need and can help coordinate with any outside vendors you’d like to include, like a decorator or DJ.
“We’re happy to coordinate with all those different moving parts. We know it can be a stressful time. We want couples to enjoy their day and know we’ll be there to take care of what they need for both the ceremony and reception,” assures Keely.
Ruttger’s offers great dining options at Ruby’s, White Oak Grill, and Bear Pine Bar. “We typically set up a group with not only lodging but with a meal package as well, so it’s all together in one rate package,” says Keely.
Ruby’s is usually the favorite for groups, offering a beautiful and rustic up-north experience where groups can truly feel like they’re on a special retreat away from the busyness of the day-to-day.
“The breakfast buffet at Ruby’s is amazing,” asserts Keely. “We always receive compliments from guests. We have so many different choices for dining.
White Oak Grill
For smaller groups, some like to just order off the menu at White Oak, or if they’re large groups, we can reserve the entire restaurant for them with planned meals.” For large groups, they will set up a private banquet, with bar service, in the Island Ballroom.
“The groups I work with always get super excited about the onsite retail stores,” laughs Keely.
Ann’s Bay Lake Boutique, Bay Lake Boutique, and The Garage are open Spring through Fall, and offer everything from home goods, gifts, clothing, accessories, jewelry, decor, and more.
In the winter, our retail manager sets up a special store in our golf shop, next to the White Oak Grill, so that our terrific retail continues to be available to our guests and the local community.
Groups can choose from a variety of lodging accommodations. “Our rooms in the main lodge are great for groups as the meeting spaces are also located in the main lodge,” explains Keely. “The Five Pines Lodge is just behind the main lodge with a Northwoods feel, and just a walk across the path are the Bay Lake Villas with many units having a cozy gas fireplace.”
Whether you’re planning a corporate retreat, leadership conference, or your wedding day, Keely is your go-to for creating an unforgettable event.
Keely says, “The best thing to do is just call me directly, and we’ll get everything set up and organized for your special event.”