The Group’s Weekend Events: Is the Price Worth the Hype?
  • May 22, 2024
  • The Group
  • Media

The Group’s Weekend Events: Is the Price Worth the Hype?

Another guest blog by Nicolas, a Full Member of The Group.

After I wrote my first blog for the group on why you shouldn’t judge the group by your Just for Dinner experience, I got the bug to do a bit more writing about some other aspects of Group membership that I think will help provisional members better understand what exactly they’re spending their money on when attending a Group weekend event and whether it’s worth it. George and Ann were happy to let “my fingers do the talking.”

At the time of writing this article, the next weekend event is a themed event (“Stiletto Spy Academy & The Secret Ball”) in New York City over July 4th weekend. The least expensive couple’s Wednesday thru Sunday pricing is a hair under $7000 (with plenty of larger Suite options to the heart’s desire of those flying into Teterboro seeking something with a “bit more room”).

While Group members already see the value in the weekend events, there may be some prospective members (and even some of you reading that haven’t even attended Just for Dinner yet) who see the $7000 price tag is being material.

But consider the price point from a few perspectives:

  • The time of year – Some events (like the upcoming event in Napa) are happening at the peak of harvest time, also known as The Crush (BTW, a perfect time for those who are “vineyard veterans” who want to renew their allotments).  So, accommodations alone will cost more than if the event takes place off-season.
  • The locations – Napa, New York, Palm Beach, and Las Vegas (all locations where The Group is hosting events in 2024)—all have different price points for their luxury hotels, fine dining establishments, private entertainment, etc. So, the city chosen for an event does impact the price.
  • The length of the event – If you’re a math person like me, you get super technical and figure out that a “Wednesday evening through Sunday brunch” event pretty much equates to four full days and nights (over a five-day period). That means the event (using my $7000 price point) costs $1750 per day – if you go do the math on, say, a hotel room at the Ritz-Carlton, a multi-course dinner prepared by a James Beard chef with select wine pairings, entertainment from Grammy-winning artists, and some extras thrown in, you’re easily there – or close to it anyway.
  • The event itself – I go into more specifics below, but remember, you’re not just paying for a hotel room, a meal, and a band. Have you ever had someone else put together an amazing itinerary for five days in a major city and have it all play out perfectly? We have… three times over.
  • The attendees – Most importantly, you can’t forget that the event you’re paying for is going to be attended by (as I called it in my previous article) “a curated group of individuals in the lifestyle”. This is why George and Ann spend countless hours traveling the world and hosting Just For Dinner. It’s to ensure that those who are invited into The Group and then attend a weekend event are a good fit socially and beyond. There is a value to attending an event where all the folks you don’t want to meet aren’t invited.

I’ll also add that, for those business owners and individuals who want to balance cash flow with an ability to still attend a weekend event, The Group always offers multi-month payment plans to assist, regardless of which level of accommodations you choose.

So, What’s in a Weekend Anyway?

It’s a valid question; you’re being asked to hand over your hard-earned money and, unlike most planned events, there’s a bit of mystery surrounding what exactly will you be getting for you money.

Having been to three weekend events, here’s my overly simplified rundown of what’s included:

  • Luxury Accommodations – The Group caters to those who are used to staying in full-service luxury hotel brands like the Ritz-Carlton, the Four Seasons, and the St. Regis. And if you’re more of an Auberge, Montage, or Mandarin Oriental person, you will feel right at home.
  • Fine Dining – If you’ve been to a Just for Dinner evening, you may have had the pleasure of dining in a Michelin-rated or James Beard-awarded restaurant (and most dinners aren’t). At the weekend events, the expectation is either rated/awarded or equivalent – keeping in mind that some of a city’s truly finest restaurants still offer the same levels of quality and service but may not have the designation.
  • World-Class Experiences – When we attended an event in Las Vegas a few years back, the entire group flew in helicopters to the bottom of the Grand Canyon where we drank champagne, ate charcuterie, and then flew back as we watched the sunset turn into the twinkling of the Vegas Strip by night.  Every event has some kind of truly memorable experience.  In the upcoming NYC event, the one that has my attention is watching the July 4th fireworks from out on the water on a private yacht, anchored in front of the Statue of Liberty while the band aboard punctuates the celebration.
  • Personal Touches – In the Charleston event we just attended, the men were invited to the Group’s hospitality suite to choose a Brackish feather tie. I don’t want to spoil an upcoming event, but there are always several personal touches George and Ann add to every weekend so that you remember them long after it’s over.
  • Plenty of Opportunities to Make New Friends – The Group intends to create opportunities with these weekend events. From the after-dinner get-togethers to the planned event excursions, to everyone heading to a bar for the after-party on their own, to meetups in the G-Spot lounge, there are plenty of opportunities to meet like-minded people you have something in common with and potentially make a play connection.
  • The Saturday Night Parties – Imagine going to the largest of suites, a private estate or mega yacht, with this select group of people you’ve already got to know (and a few you’re getting close to), all of you dressed to the nines. You start the evening with drinks, dinner, and maybe some live entertainment.  And then… something switches.  Empowered ladies in lingerie (participation determined by the individual lady, of course!), eyes begin to wander with those you’ve already made a connection to, open-door play for some while others watch. It’s quite the experience! And whether you partake in this “changing of the evening” or not, it’s enough to get anyone in the right mood to end the weekend right.
  • Lasting Friendships – if you’re so inclined, you connect with others who are well-traveled and these connections last beyond the event itself, finding ways to meet up somewhere in the future.  My wife and I are having virtual drinks next with two couples from last month’s Charleston event to discuss a future trip together. And we’re still friends with a couple we flew in the helicopters in Vegas four years ago and are planning to get together later this year.
  • Zero Worry – Unlike, say, a hotel takeover, where everyone knows your business, this is a curated, personally managed event discreetly arranged so our “common bond” is never disclosed. So, all you need to do is show up and enjoy yourself. My wife loves these events because she feels like everything is taken care of, and she’s free to make the most of her time without a care in the world.

Attend a Weekend Event: There’s no Hype

The reality here is if you’re stuck on price point, you’re missing the point. The weekends are upscale, world-class, as luxurious as your pocketbook can muster, and put you in the middle of a gathering of some of the greatest (and I might add attractive…) like-minded, educated, professionals in the lifestyle you’ll ever meet.

To paraphrase Ferris Bueller’s famous quote about Cameron’s dad’s Ferrari and apply it to a weekend event by The Group: “It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend you attend.”

[Click Here] to read Nicolas’ first installment, “Don’t Judge a Group by its Dinners”.