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
santamonica.com) 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.