Get Out of Town

By Heather Baldwin

Big-city conference centers are great for sales meetings if you don’t mind the distractions of a big city. But if your goal is to eliminate distractions and get your sales team totally focused on accomplishing, say, a sales strategy for your new product, head to the JFDI Executive Retreat Ranch in Alamo, NV, 90 miles north of Las Vegas. JFDI, which stands for Just Focus and Do It, is a 70-acre ranch with a 17,000-square-foot meeting facility that boasts no golf courses, no spas and no televisions. “We’re very remote and very quiet. People can really get down to business and get creative,” says Debi DeSchryver, JFDI’s marketing manager.

What JFDI does offer is good, old-fashioned solitude. There are two soundproof meeting rooms, one 1,350 square feet and the other 2,800 square feet, with views of JFDI’s meadow and lake. A small, 500-square-foot loft with a fireplace is often used by companies for small, breakout sessions. Teams also can move out to the building’s enormous deck to brainstorm ideas in the fresh air, or they can transform the dining room into meeting space. But attendees won’t want to miss any meals, says DeSchryver – JFDI has two chefs on staff who make every meal from scratch.

The ranch’s seclusion doesn’t mean it’s devoid of activity. There’s hiking, mountain biking, volleyball, horseshoe and croquet, and JFDI staff have organized countless bonfires and themed parties. The property also features a challenging ropes course for companies who want to build teamwork and esprit-de-corps, although many companies find their employees bonding well even without the course since attendees “don’t scatter when the meeting is finished at the end of the day,” says DeSchryver. “They stick together.”

If you go, plan on spending about $200 per guest per day. That price includes sleeping quarters, meeting space and all meals. Use of meeting rooms includes all coffee, water, juice and snack services. For more information, check out JFDI on the web at