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Our Company Retreat in Lincoln, Nebraska

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As one of our themes this month is Company Retreats, we decided to put together one of our own and share our experience with our readers!  The timing was perfect for our monthly production meeting, and we also got to spend some team building time together on our adventure throughout the Haymarket area.

[Morning Meeting] – Catalyst West Haymarket
350 Canopy Street, Suite 130 | (888) 484-8178 or (402) 323-1935 | Catalyst.ubt.com  

Photo_Union_Bank_and_Trust_Catalyst_Strictly_Business_Lincoln_NebraskaUnion Bank & Trust’s Catalyst hosted the first part of our production meeting, which was ideal as we got a chance to be a part of the work that is continuously going on in such a creative and energetic space.  A haven and a valuable resource for local small business owners, entrepreneurs and start-ups; Catalyst’s fresh approach is simply offering a space for ideas to flourish in conjunction with the support of the Union Bank team.   As a place to gather and meet, host events, present ideas—the possibilities for creative thinking, collaboration, planning, networking and learning are endless—Catalyst fosters freedom of industry and imagination by providing a means to move small businesses forward, even if the odds are against them and they are struggling to realize success.  It is very easy to reserve the space—which also includes Wi-Fi access, an onsite computer and A/V equipment for presentations, two separate meeting rooms and complimentary beverages for your guests–you can sign up online at https://catalyst.ubt.com or if you are walking by, you can scan the QR code posted outside of the building!

Catalyst is Union Bank’s creative way to serve a unique set of clients who are shaping the Lincoln business community and our local economy.  The Catalyst team isn’t merely composed of Lenders; they are Business Advocates whose objective is to provide the spark needed to move your business quickly towards reaching its goals.  Lacing the community together, and nurturing those who will keep it that way in the future, is the important work that happens every day in this small treasure nestled in the West Haymarket where people get to dream big.

[Lunch] – Mckinney’s Irish Pub Haymarket
335 N. 8th Street | (402) 477-0021 | www.facebook.com/mckinneyspublincoln

Photo_McKinneys_Irish_Pub_Lincoln_NebraskaWhen you walk into Mckinney’s Irish Pub, you are instantly greeted with the sounds, sights and smells of Ireland.  Mckinney’s holds very true to its theme in all aspects; from the earthy, rustic design to the cool historical décor and their offering of traditional fare and a huge selection of Irish ales, whiskeys and other authentic craft beers and spirits.  The best part is the design of the building, which allows guests to enjoy the feeling of being outdoors with natural light and a nice breeze.  It also offers an upstairs balcony with seating that overlooks the rest of the venue and offers a great view of the action on the street.  The atmosphere is easy going and relaxed, and the staff is very friendly and great at recommending must-try items.  We chose to eat buffet style, which was perfect because we all got to sample a variety of their dishes (they are hearty portions) from appetizers to entrees and even dessert.   Potatoes are incorporated into just about everything and prepared in all kinds of ways, of course, and the entrees are all equally wonderful including a nice variety with corned beef, turkey and roast beef meals, Shepherd’s Pie, Bangers and Mash, and Baked Fish and Chips.  They also offer an assortment of paninis and their simple Potato Chips and Guinness Onion Dip is delicious.  As beer is incorporated into the preparation of much of their food, it wasn’t surprising that it was also a part of dessert in their Guinness Float (with cinnamon ice cream!) and Bailey’s Cheesecake—yum!

[Afternoon Meeting] – Hyatt Place West Haymarket/Railyard
600 Q Street | (402) 742-6007 | Hyattplacelincoln.com

Photo_Hyatt_Place_Lincoln_NebraskaWe continued our production meeting at Hyatt Place in one of their very modern, spacious, comfortable and brand new suites.  Walking into the Hyatt Place, it definitely doesn’t feel like your average hotel.  As it is designed with the corporate traveler in mind who is on-the-go, it wasn’t surprising that we had everything we needed at our fingertips.  The suites offer enough space and seating to accommodate guests for meetings or entertaining and are complete with a living room, dining area, kitchen, a bedroom featuring the luxurious Hyatt Grand Bed, and even a refreshingly spacious bathroom.  In addition to the benefits of the overall design, technology is also incorporated into every aspect of the hotel with free WiFi throughout.  Hyatt Place is also in a convenient location for travelers and locals alike, as it is very close to Lincoln’s major business and entertainment districts and can be a staging point for just about any itinerary.  Furthermore, they are pet friendly!

The best part about hosting a business meeting at Hyatt Place is that they have a fantastic line-up of amenities and services specifically designed for this purpose.  Hyatt Place offers 1788 square feet of meeting space that breaks into three rooms, with audio/visual capabilities in all three, and two break down into board room sized spaces.   Hyatt Place provides an all-inclusive meeting package allowing you to pay per person and that includes breakfast, breaks, lunch and all the necessary space and AV for an effective meeting, and whatever other options you choose as a part of the package.  They don’t charge service fees, and Hyatt Place is always gratuity-free.  We were able to enjoy ourselves AND get a lot accomplished thanks to Hyatt Place!

[Happy Hour Break] – Longwell’s Bar & Grill West Haymarket/Railyard
350 Canopy Street, Suite 100 | (402) 904-5283 | Longwells.com

Photo_Longwells_Bar_and_Grill_Lincoln_NebraskaWhen 5 o’clock hits and business for the day has concluded, it is always nice to enjoy the company of others in a relaxed, informal environment where you can unwind.  We stayed in the Railyard to start our happy hour at a fun new place in town that boasts the most beers on tap in town (76!).  Longwell’s Bar and Grill was already a popular spot, as plenty of people were enjoying the afternoon inside the bar as well as in the expanse outside that offered a lot of seating too.  The best part of having so many beers on tap is their signature flights, which offer four generous samples of beer that coordinate together in similar themes.  We were hungry by this time, so we also took advantage of the opportunity to try out their fresh, gourmet twist on smokehouse fare.  The sliders were our favorite by far, but everything on the menu incorporates pulled pork, beef brisket, ribs, grilled chicken and BBQ delicacies perfectly.  At the center of the Railyard mix, it was an ideal place to be a part of the action and we will be returning soon for both the beer and the food!

[Team Building] – Group Therapy Bike Tours
(402) 968-2305 | grouptherapybiketours@gmail.com | Grouptherapybiketours.com

Photo_Group_Therapy_Bike_Tours_Lincoln_NebraskaWe were recently introduced to Group Therapy Bike Tours, so we wanted to try one out for ourselves and we certainly took the pedal-powered trolley for an exciting spin around the Haymarket.  Although we didn’t plan for the thousands of people in the area for the Team Jack Foundation benefit, there sure were tons of people who noticed us rolling down the street and offered plenty of “encouragement!”  Basically, Group Therapy Bike Tours offers people the opportunity to gather together for plenty of fresh air, good company and good times.  Their tours are not only a very fun way to get out of the office and into the community and outdoors for a nice break, but they are also an excellent way to see what is going on around town while visiting local venues and attractions.  Our tour guide was a wonderful host–he was very personable and professional,  navigated us around traffic safely while keeping us entertained, and offered guidance in deciding which stops we wanted to make.  He also provided a lot of interesting information about our surroundings, including historical points of interest and new developments in the area.  While two hours may seem like a long time, during our tour we observed that once you are actually out and about it goes by very quickly (mainly because everyone is having such a good time!).  Based on our experience, we strongly advise utilizing Group Therapy’s expertise in coordinating itineraries and having a plan set up ahead of time in order to maximize the time you are allowed.  You can opt for a tour that has already been designed, or you can customize your own, and we highly recommend it as a wonderful team building activity.

[Happy Hour Break Continued] – Sweep Left Haymarket
815 O Street | (402) 742-0129 | Sweepleftbar.com

Photo_Sweep_Left_Lincoln_NebraskaIn continuing our happy hour during our team building adventure, one of the stops we made on our Group Therapy Bike Tour was Sweep Left.  Sweep Left is an upbeat, locally famous spot that is perfect for gathering—even if it’s not a game day!  We enjoyed seeing familiar faces, having great drinks, and smelling the delicious pizza that was passing by our table (we weren’t quite ready to eat yet, but it was VERY tempting).  They offer a few variations of mule cocktails served in copper mugs, which are a treat that you can’t just find anywhere, in addition to everything else that you could think of ordering from a local bar.  As an added bonus, their staff is really friendly and fun, and the atmosphere really makes you feel at home in Husker country.

[Relax and Unwind] – Rule G Nightclub
West Haymarket/Railyard
350 Canopy Street, Suite 300 | (402) 904-4126 | Rulegnightclub.com

Photo_Rule_G_Nightclub_Lincoln_NebraskaAt the end of the day, we were ready to let our hair down and transition into what had quickly become the local nightlife scene.  We chose Rule G because we had heard all of the hype and wanted to see for ourselves—and it did not disappoint!  Rule G is the only venue of its kind in Lincoln, featuring several distinctive spaces with different vibes which combine together to create a total ‘out on the town’ experience.  We were very impressed with their staff, as well as the chic design features from the explosion of lights and music in the Spin Room to the sophisticated and modern Ultra Lounge and on to the relaxed atmosphere of the Rooftop Patio where you can enjoy the breeze and a stunning view of the new landscape of Canopy Street.  Rule G is a unique upscale venue that transforms a normal evening into an extraordinary experience, and it is definitely one of the hottest spots in Lincoln in our opinion. If you are looking for the perfect place to enjoy an evening out minus the usual college bar atmosphere, Rule G offers a refreshing way to experience Lincoln at its finest and is without a doubt where you want to be.

After the wild ride that was our Friday, we came back to the office on Monday rejuvenated and excited to implement the work we had accomplished together.  As for those who are considering planning a similar team building activity or event, there are plenty of local businesses who can help you maximize your time while you treat your staff to a change of scenery and a chance to have some fun together outside of the office—whether it is just for a few hours or for the whole day.  You’d be amazed at how much you will benefit personally and professionally from spending a little time together in a different environment!

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