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Christian Retreats Network

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What does it really cost?

By Justin

One of the main factors that separate us from hotels/conference centers is our per-person pricing.  All-inclusive, per-person rates are how we operate.  We have shared many blogs breaking down what this means.  In its essence; lodging, meeting, dining, and recreation.  Everything a group needs to have a successful event. 

While initially it may look to be more expensive to have an all-inclusive retreat compared to a hotel conference.  When you break apart each segment of the event, the value of an all-inclusive venue becomes pretty clear.

First, we must set up our event.  We are going to do a weekend ladies retreat for 100 guests at Lake Williamson in Illinois.  It will be for 2 nights and include 6 meals.  We will also need a room to hold our Friday and Saturday night worship services, as well as activities to do during the day.

The first scenario we will calculate is the hotel.

Lodging at the Baymont nearby on a weekend is $95 per night.  So, at minimum, that will cost $190 plus taxes and fees.  But at our ladies retreat, they are staying 2 per room, so we can cut that in half per person.  Let’s say $110 per person.

Meeting spaces can be found within hotels or at local banquet halls.  According to Peerspace, “On average, renting a hotel conference room runs from about $70 to $160 per hour.”  That cost will really rack up if you plan on using it a lot during your stay.  Plus, if you use a projector, microphone or any other A/V/L equipment, you will have to pay for that, too.  For our event we will use the space a total of 6 hours at $100 per hour, for $600 total.  And we need a projector for our speaker’s presentation, which will cost $150.  

Dining is one of the most important parts of planning because everyone wants to eat.  The hotel has complimentary breakfast, so that is two meals taken care of.  But we still have four more meals to figure out.  We could have food brought in by a caterer or go out to eat.  Either way, we are looking at about $15-$20 per person.  Times that by 4 meals and that is $60-$80 for food.

Recreation is all the fun things you get to do on your retreat.  Most hotels only offer a pool and workout room.  These are nice, but not much.  Plus, you have to share them with the other guests.  In the spirit of team building, we will book an escape room for our attendees.  With 10 people per room, we will need to book 10 rooms for all of our guests to be able to participate.  The closest company costs $30 per person on weekends.  And unfortunately, we will have to drive there.    

Hotel Breakdown (per person):

Lodging - $110

Meeting - $7.50 = $6 for the space ($600/100 guests) + $1.50 for the projector ($150/100 guests)

Dining - $70

Recreation - $30 (plus travel)

TOTAL - $217.50

At Lake Williamson, the 2022 rate for double occupancy in a motel room for 2 nights and 6 meals is $195.  Again, that is all-inclusive.  That is for the lodge room (which includes linens, towels and private restrooms), the meeting space for the duration of the event and all of the equipment needed, all 6 buffet style meals, and all the recreation we could want.  Lake Williamson does have two escape rooms, which cost $10 per person to facilitate.  Thus, the total per person comes to $205.

This is for the same exact event.  Except that Lake Williamson offers more activities for guests to do, like blacklight dodgeball, putt putt, basketball, bocce ball, human foosball and so much more.  And it cost $12 less.  Plus, everything is located on the property, so once a group gets here, they don’t have to drive anymore.  No travel expense, just steps.

All CRN properties use per-person packages to make planning simple and affordable.  We pray that cost doesn’t have to be a factor when deciding on hosting an event.  But if it is for guests, make sure to let them know the value of the event.  It costs less than going to a hotel, and they get more.  Talk about a win-win situation.

Christian Retreats Network /

Based at Lake Williamson / PO Box 620 / Carlinville, IL 62626