Company Retreats in Omaha, NE – 2019

As a company that is wholeheartedly behind the idea of company retreats, this was an easy topic for us to talk about. Plus, we know some pretty awesome businesses in Omaha who can assist on this front.

Our team works hard, but we like to play every now and then! Yes, we are “strictly business,” but business doesn’t mean not having any fun. A team that has fun together is also able to buckle down and do the hard work that needs to get done together.

Ashton Porter
Corky Canvas

The importance of spending time with your office team outside of the workplace is immeasurable. Not only do these types of outings give employers a chance to show appreciation to their staff and add value to the job itself, but they are also an opportunity for teams to bond and grow stronger together. The main purpose of team building is to improve interpersonal relations among coworkers, both for their own personal well-being and for the productivity of the company they work for. When we talked to Ashton Porter over at Corky Canvas, she agreed with us!

After hosting multiple team bonding event, Ashton has seen the benefits of this type of experience firsthand. These benefits include:

  • Cohesiveness among colleagues and departments.
  • Increased innovation and creativity by even your most left-brained thinkers.
  • Better communication skills within your department and/or among multiple departments.
  • Employees’ willingness to leave their comfort zone. Staff’s confidence in their ability to achieve something they didn’t think was possible.

“Company retreats are important for so many reasons,” Ashton confirmed. “They are a way to remove your team from the day-to-day nitty-gritty and create another environment to learn from one another! Working in such proximity is great, but learning new things about each other is even better! Company outings are a way to shed new light on each person and create a memory, one that was had together. It will be talked about and reminisced, creating laughter and conversation that isn’t necessarily about work! It strengthens bonds and will strengthen the ability to work together and ultimately produce together, a true sense of team.”

When looking into doing a company retreat and getting ideas for them, Ashton’s advice would be to find something completely new and different—something that will take you far from what a normal day looks like! Corky Canvas is a place that does just that.

“Breaking away from routine is such an awesome way to create memories and bond as a team!” exclaimed Ashton. “With that, look for spaces with private venues and tailored environments. For example, we rent you the space and you can choose the painting your team does. You are also able to bring in snacks and food to enhance the experience. At Corky Canvas, we create a truly exclusive environment that will allow your team to have fun, branch out, and try something new here in Omaha. We give you step by step instructions to make sure it is a carefree event, while also relying on the others in their team to help them through, and enjoying every moment! You not only walk away with more confidence in yourself but in everyone else who participates as well. A little wine helps too (wink wink).”

Companies Corky Canvas has worked with include Northwestern Mutual, American Title, Inc., Yahoo, Inc., Farm Credit Services of America, ConAgra Foods, UNMC Physicians, Glaxo Smith Kline, US Bank, Kiewit, Mutual of Omaha, Cabela’s, Bryan NICU, James Arthur Vineyards and more!

Team building at Corky Canvas starts at $420 for up to 12 people and they can hold up to 45 people! With a glass of wine in one hand, a paintbrush in the other, and the music rock’n, a company retreat at Corky Canvas has some good times in store for you and your team.

Another hot spot in Omaha for some good, relaxed team bonding is Acadian Grille. This authentic Cajun hangout spot is ideal for small teams or departments to get together for drinks and delicious fare. Talk to Owner Dan O’Brien about reserving a few tables for your group, or bring the yummy taste of Louisiana-styled cooking to you with Acadian Grille’s catering options!

If you choose to rent an indoor or outdoor venue and come up with some fun retreat activities yourself, don’t forget about all the awesome games and party items that Honeyman Rent-All has to offer. Choose from a variety of outdoor yard games like horseshoes, yard darts, and corn hole—they even have a dunk tank you can rent! Doesn’t dunking your boss sound fun? Honeyman also has canopies and candelabras, glasses, linens, and trays…pretty much anything you can think of that you might need for your event.

Jim Sobczyk-Cornhusker Beverage & Bridal

Jim Sobczyk
Cornhusker Beverage & Bridal

Drinks are also important to figure out. Maybe you’re planning a BYOB event, or your office is taking over a venue with a full-service bar. If neither of these are the case and you need to get your own stock of beverages to offer, Cornhusker Beverage & Bridal can assist with this. Cornhusker Beverage can bring a hosted bar to your event, just set up an appointment with Jim Sobczyk and he’ll get you a quote. Jim mentioned a couple different options that he has seen groups do for their event.

“Some companies want to host beer and wine and just have guests pay for mixed drinks,” Jim informed us. “However, this is not always a money saver. Many guests will switch to the ‘free stuff’ when they are forced to buy their first choice. Other groups host the first hour, then go to a cash bar for everything. This usually turns out to be a money saver, but if a company retreat runs for a couple hours, the organizers need to consider how long they want everyone to have to pay for their own drinks. Company retreats are a way for employers to reward their team for all their hard work, so it’s common for the company to foot the bill.”

Cornhusker Beverage & Bridal is a full service retail liquor store with an extensive list of beer, wine, and liquor to choose from. Located at 8510 K St., they are open to the public and welcome special requests for events and bulk ordering.

Margaret White-Papio Fun Park

Margaret White
Papio Fun Park

With the arrival of warm summer weather, we wanted to highlight a few retreat destinations that offer outdoor activities and space to host some unforgettable office outings. The first one we looked into was Papio Fun Park, located at 210 East Lincoln St. in Papillion. With 29 years of creating fun memories for companies of all sizes, Papio Fun Park has flexible packages that allow for a private setting in their pavilion area. Exclusive use of the pavilion will accommodate up to 200 people, and smaller groups have a section roped off still giving that private feel. Activities at the park include go-karts, laser tag, miniature golf, trampoline games, pool tables, video games, batting cages, and water balloons—some of these things you never grow out of! Save the serious business for the office and let your inner kid run free.

“Our Fireside Pavilion is the perfect setting for any group,” Owner Margaret White told us. “Whether you’re planning a gathering of 20 people or a large group event for 200, this cozy space will warm your heart. Rental of the space for up to three hours is $500. It is equipped with a full access circular fir pit and drop down vinyl walls. We allow groups to have their own caterer, which helps to keep the cost manageable.”

You can learn a lot more about another employee or a boss outside of work when you have a chance to relax, eat some good food, and do activities and fun things together that you normally don’t get to do at work.

The experts at Bellevue Berry & Pumpkin Ranch know how important it is for the organizers to first consider the type of event they are going to host for their team. For example, if you are planning a fall event for just the employees, Bellevue Berry has nighttime activities like haunted houses and hayrides that are fun to do with a campfire. With over 25 sites available, companies can rent out a campfire site for their group for the evening. Bellevue Berry provides a picnic table, benches, hot dog/s’more sticks, and firewood! For groups looking for something that is more family friendly so that employees can bring their kids along, they may choose to visit during the day and enjoy a trip out to the pumpkin patch. The farm offers many family friendly activities including their popular life size pirate ship for kids to enjoy.

Bellevue Berry & Pumpkin Ranch hosts events year round with their lodges that can accommodate groups from 50 people on up to 400 people. These lodges also come with full catering and full bar options. Company Christmas parties are a big hit with people showcasing the farm’s rustic lodges and Christmas decorating. If you are looking for more of an outdoor picnic party, then Bellevue Berry also has a great space for that and many activities for the people to enjoy, such as team building exercises, animal areas, and play areas that are not only for the kids but also for the kid at heart. No matter what time of the year, enjoying a company party at Bellevue Berry is sure to provide a truly unique Midwest experience.

We also want to encourage companies to keep an eye on Bellevue Berry & Pumpkin Ranch’s lineup of festivals and upcoming events. It would be fun to plan a company retreat around one of these special occasions!

The last destination we had the pleasure of learning more about was TreeRush Adventures at Fontenelle Forest, which will be opening very soon! The park hopes to be taking reservations by phone in mid-June, and officially opening by early July.

Most retreat organizers envision a retreat where employees laugh with each other and become energized by each other—they want to build support and trust, and they want an experience that sparks a desire to create innovative processes or products. Organizers who truly want these outcomes seek retreat opportunities that break the norm. TreeRush Adventures is definitely a break from the norm. This is a place where coworkers can soar on a zip line and traverse trails through the treetops while wearing full-body harnesses and specialized climbing gear. After developing the knack of using the gear, team members climb up to a main platform to choose one of seven aerial trails through the canopy. Like at a ski hill, the trails are color coded to show the degree of challenge they offer. Yellow trails are the easiest and are about 10 feet above the forest floor. The green, blue, and black-diamond trails are progressively higher and require increased balance, stamina, and strength. The highest trails are about 55 feet in the air. According to Kema Geroux, spokesperson for TreeRush, many people start with an easier trail to become acclimated. As they become increasingly comfortable with climbing, they express feelings of empowerment.

“It’s great to be in the park and hear people spontaneously whooping,” Kema said. “It’s also fun to overhear people giving each other advice and words of encouragement. You see a lot of high fives as people complete a trail together. They talk about the fun parts—and the scary parts—as they walk back to the main platform to choose another trail.”

Kema said the basic retreat package starts at $39 per person. After learning about the park and how to use climbing gear, group members can explore aerial trails for two hours. TreeRush also offers facilitated activities in advance of climbing to help group members get comfortable with each other in this outdoor adventure setting.

In addition, TreeRush can arrange for a room rental from Fontenelle Forest and for catered meals. The staff at TreeRush make it easy to plan a retreat experience that will be long remembered.

“People sometimes report they were so excited the night before the retreat that they had a hard time sleeping,” Kema shared. “They say it’s been a while since they experienced the anticipation and nervousness they felt as a kid the night before a school field trip. It’s fun to see people arrive a little timid and then walk out of the park with a swagger. They often say they can’t wait to tell their kids about their day at work.”

TreeRush Adventures at Fontenelle Forest is just minutes from downtown Omaha. After a very short drive, you find yourself surrounded by one of the only remaining old growth forests in the region. You truly feel like you’ve left your everyday world behind.

When caught up in daily deadlines and “emergency” requests, it is sometimes hard to remember you’re working with people you care about and with an organization you believe in. Company retreats are a mini-vacation from the stuff that makes work busy. Retreats provide time for employees to create or build relationships and to recognize the valuable and diverse skills of each team member. Retreats help employees regroup to discover innovative ways to tackle the busy and get down to business.