East of Minneapolis and north of St. Paul, there’s a Minnesota suburb that’s a meeting planner’s dream come true: lots of event space, plenty of free parking, and quick and simple transfers to activities in either city. While Roseville is probably best known as the home of the newly updated and refurbished Rosedale Center, it’s a city that has many other options for creative team-building activities and fi rst-class events.
“We are so close to so many places that meeting attendees need to be,” says Julie Wearn, CEO of the Roseville Visitors Association. “We’re the closest hotel community to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, which is a year-round attraction, and we’re also close to the Conference Center at the University of Minnesota.” It’s a city of “firsts,” Wearn says, noting that Roseville was the location of the first-ever Target store and the first McDonald’s and Dairy Queen restaurants in the state of Minnesota.
“We’re a unique destination for an event, because we’re the only combination brewery and distillery in the state, and one of only about 30 nationwide,” says Bartley Blume, owner and president of Bent Brewstillery. The space can accommodate 115 seated attendees, with 20 at a time able to go on small-group tours of the brewing and distilling facilities. “We really have something for everyone,” Blume says, “including gluten-free beer, cider and honey wine.” For those with a taste for the daring, he suggests trying their Sriracha rum, which is aged in—you guessed it—Sriracha hot sauce barrels. “We do a lot of corporate events, and they’re successful because we’re very ‘experience’ focused,” he says. “People always leave happy and talking about coming back next time.”
With 254 rooms, the full-service Radisson Hotel Minneapolis/St. Paul North is the largest in the Roseville area. It’s a longrunning hotel with a staff that’s highly experienced, says Director of Hotel Operations Katie Mastel. “When you’re working with our catering and sales staff, you’ll be working with people who have 15 years or more experience,” she says. “We work with the same meeting planner year to year, and they know we always will understand their expectations—and exceed them.” Mastel says the hotel’s shuttle service to the University of Minnesota’s Conference Center is a highly popular amenity, as is the Starbucks coffee served in the lobby café. The meeting space includes a 4,600-square-foot ballroom, three smaller meeting rooms and a boardroom.
Painting with a Twist
Go beyond traditional team-building activities with something that brings out the creative side of meeting participants. “Our painting parties are a fun and different way to spend time with your team,” says Danielle Rubin, owner of Painting with a Twist, which is located in HarMar Mall. From the planner’s perspective, the events are a slam dunk. “We take care of everything,” she says. The engaging, high-energy painting events can be held for 10-70 participants with beer, wine and snacks available, as well as the option to bring in catering. “All our events are absolutely ‘no experience necessary,’ but people are always pleasantly surprised to find out that they can actually paint and have so much fun.”
Solve the Puzzle
Escape rooms are the next big thing in teambuilding events, and Trish Wood, owner of the Hidden Puzzle Rooms, says her space offers something different: “Instead of escaping from a space, we’re about solving a mission, so people have to work together.” After working in a corporate job for seven years, Wood says she understands what managers and meeting planners need, and she’s developed creative, engaging story lines that keep a group communicating and working together. The space currently offers three different scenarios, each taking about 90 minutes to complete.
Big Things at the Mall
“Rosedale Center is the retail ‘heart and soul’ of Roseville,” says Wearn. Big new changes have been happening at a gathering point that’s been part of the community for 40 years. The newly opened Rose & Loon is a place to purchase homemade merchandise from local makers who create their own goods. It’s a way to support local craftspeople and Midwest vendors including Adam Turman, Addington Company, Essence One, Les Bags and Lucid Wood. “The name is a reference to deep community roots,” says Liz Ostrander, senior marketing manager, Rosedale Center. “The ‘rose’ is for Rosedale and the ‘loon’ is for Minnesota’s state bird.” The decisions for stocking the store came from a public “Shark Tank” event to review top-rated Minnesota makers. “It’s a one-stop shop for giftables and unique items you can’t find anywhere else,” Ostrander says.
Another brand-new feature at Rosedale Center is Revolution Hall, a two-story, oneof-a-kind dining hall that opened in late November. The 13-concept site is being developed by New York’s Craveable Hospitality Group, which operates restaurants in New York City, Connecticut and Colorado. Fullservice options include Oceantail Sushi and Sake Bar, bourbon-centric Barrel Bar, Saltbrick burgers and shakes, and Canal Street Noodle Co. Casual options include Field Greens, Steel Tree Coffee, PieCaken Bakeshop, Angry Taco & Tequila Bar, Honeycomb Waffle, Handwich Shop and Caputo Pizzeria.
Ring that Bell
The Bell Museum, a natural history museum and planetarium located on the University of Minnesota campus, is the newest event space in the area. While not technically in Roseville, it’s a very close neighbor and a major selling point for the area. “We offer a unique combination of stunning architecture and interesting exhibits,” says Bell Museum Communications Manager Andria Waclawski. While the exhibits, planetarium shows and telescope observations are fascinating and interactive, the meeting space is also impressive, she says: “We have the flexibility to accommodate everything from small daytime meetings to 600-person evening events. We’re a versatile event space with exceptional guest services and planner experience.” All meeting rooms include in-room audio-visual equipment integrated into the space. Space includes Horizon Hall, which is 3,500 square feet and allows flexible configuration and The Nucleus, a midsized event room available for reservation during museum hours, with 1,900 square feet. “Our all-inclusive packages and seasoned event staff create a seamless planning experience, and the museum exhibits offer a dynamic experience for all guests,” Waclawski says. “Easily accessible parking and a great location make the Bell Museum the complete package for planners.”