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Publisher's Letter

By Michele Nichols


If you haven’t noticed yet, there’s something very special brewing in our Spring Issue. While we spend time discussing the growth of campus breweries and wine programs in our brand-new feature, the story behind-the-scenes is that we are also raising a glass to the 30th anniversary of Unique Venues in 2016.

It’s certainly been an incredible journey for our company the past three decades. Since launching in 1986, we’ve grown from a directory service for colleges and universities looking to attract hospitality clients to becoming the premier destination for meeting and event planners on the hunt for non-traditional venues that impress. In that same time our membership has more than quadrupled as have our services, which now includes an annual conference, yearly Best Of Awards recognition, and this very magazine, one of the only publications covering our niche industry.

As you start to flip through the pages, you’ll understand why we find it so important. The featured venues in this all-campus issue are quickly becoming leaders in day meeting centers and have set the bar with exclusive meeting management packages that redefine the idea of a One-Stop Shop. One of our members has hosted the prestigious Spalding Hoophall Classic tournament the past 15 years, another has historic Royal connections, and a third was voted as having the “best outdoor adventure” program on the east coast by Outdoor Magazine. You’d be hard-pressed to find that at a hotel or standard conference center.

The truth is, thirty years ago, hotel chains were the majority of what was available in the market, and we were given so many reasons why a company like ours would not succeed. Today, however, our members have not only edged the competition but verifiably become it by touting incredible service, affordable pricing, and benefits just as unique as the properties themselves. Having more to choose from only serves to make the industry stronger and provide you with more options to find the best setting for your meeting, conference, or event.

Just like wine gets better with age, so has our industry—and what better reason to toast to the future and everything that is yet to come.

Michele Nichols, Founder
Unique Venues