Long Way From Pong

Wii meeting breaks score points with attendees

Wii the people: Attendees indulge during a break.When Nintendo launched its Wii video game system around Thanksgiving 2006, two things happened: The white boxes flew off the shelves at an incredible pace, and people began to hold Wii parties, gatherings at which friends would play games using the motion-sensing “Wii-mote.” To capitalize on this grassroots group popularity -- as well as that of karaoke-style games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band -- some hotels have begun to include the Wii in their meetings offerings.

In Chicago, the high-end, 311-room Conrad (www.conradhotels.com) offers Wii meeting breaks and team-building packages that
include a choice of video games and screen sizes, ranging from a 42-inch plasma TV to a jumbo projection screen. To heighten that rock-star atmosphere, the Conrad can provide add-ons like a stage, surround sound and even fog effects.

In Denver, the whimsical, colorful, 337-room Curtis (www.thecurtis.com) gets even more into the hedonistic spirit of things with Wii Rockstar Breaks, which include Rockstar energy drinks and Pop Rocks candy to go along with Guitar Hero or Rock Band. The latter comes with two guitars, a mic and a drum kit, allowing four people to play at once.

In California, the 162-room Viceroy Santa Monica (www.viceroy
) does a dignified Wii meeting break with its Wii Sports in the Library package, held in the Viceroy’s funky library. Attendees can square off on a virtual bowling lane -- no weirdly colored bowling shoes required.