January 30, 2024
Pine Mountain, GA – Recently named by Forbes magazine as “the best place to travel for families in 2024,” Callaway Resort & Gardens (CRG) today unveiled its robust roster of year-round special events, including Celebrate Spring!, a new two-month-long festival opening March 1 showcasing music and arts, and the June return of its guest-favorite summer family camp program begun in 1960, Callaway Summer Family Adventure. Improving the overall guest experience, Callaway also announced it is building a new central activities hub located at Robin Lake Beach. Serving as the perfect place for visitors to start their adventures, this welcoming plaza also includes new creature comfort facilities. At Callaway’s Lodge & Spa, the new Azalea Market grab-n-go restaurant aims to add convenient dining and shopping options.
The announcement is part of a multi-phased and multi-million-dollar strategic plan begun in 2022 by Herschend Enterprises, CRG’s new parent company. Chris Lutz, Callaway’s new vice president and general manager, is at the helm. A seasoned hospitality and operations executive, Lutz formerly worked at leading family entertainment brands, including Great Wolf Lodge, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, and SeaWorld Parks & Resort. In the past year, CRG has also added talented professionals to its existing executive ranks, including:
▪ Tyler Pellerin, director of operations, formerly at Bonnet Springs Park and LEGOLAND Resorts
▪ Viedra Sullivan, director of human resources, formerly at global manufacturers OFS in Carrolton, GA, and
JAC Products in Franklin, GA
▪ Nicholas Vecchio, director of food & beverage, formerly at Aramark at New York’s Citi Field and Levy
Restaurants of Miami’s Marlins Park
▪ Cielita Wingfield, director of safety & security, formerly at The Hillman Group and Atlanta’s Goldbergs Group
“Events like the new Celebrate Spring! festival inspired by our colorful blooms, plus enriched legacy programs like Summer Family Adventure, uphold family-friendly traditions created by the Callaways when they first opened these gardens. In addition, creating a new arrival experience at our activities hub, makes it easier for all generations to plan their day and play together,” says Lutz. “Our visitors repeatedly cite Callaway as their favorite place to vacation because while there is much to do, they also love slowing down, unplugging, and simply being together. And to this we say, challenge accepted! Preserving this historic woodland garden while creating new reasons for families to escape is a mission this new experienced team, joining Callaway’s passionate and knowledgeable veterans, happily embraces!”
Callaway Resort & Gardens Reveals 2024 Line-Up
While breaking ground on the new lakeside facilities, the CRG leadership team revealed construction and plans are already underway for a year-round roster of new and enhanced experiences:
Since officially taking ownership, Herschend Enterprises has invested millions in improvements at CRG, one of the southeast’s most beloved resorts and attractions. While this includes some structural changes to usher in the new, the new designs are mindful of Callaway’s legacy and preserving the area’s natural beauty. Under the company’s watch, the Callaway team has steadily added new attractions and special events while upgrading existing facilities, including:
• New festival honoring Callaway’s roots: The company introduced a new fall festival called Pumpkins at Callaway and, to the delight of many Callaway guests, reopened Cason’s Vegetable Garden so new generations can enjoy this beloved green space, including Cason’s muscadine vines planted more than 60 years ago.
• Family-friendly attractions: In the last several years, Callaway’s Christmas spectacle, Fantasy in Lights, unveiled new experiences, including the Field of Lights, the Tunnel of Lights, Celebration Lake, and most recently, the Tree of Traditions.
• Resort renovations and improvements: Callaway’s full-service lodge with 150 rooms is undergoing guestroom renovations, has upgraded its dining room, opened a new salt room in its spa, and completed a redesigned guest parking lot. In addition, the resort’s fully equipped cottages also underwent renovations. Event details, reservations, and tickets are available at callawaygardens.com.
ABOUT HERSCHEND ENTERPRISES
Herschend Enterprises is the parent company for a family of 26 entertainment brands with a collective purpose of bringing families closer together by Creating Memories Worth Repeating®. The company’s roots date back to 1950 when the Herschend family founded their first attraction, a small cave tour in Branson, Mo., which later expanded into the famed Silver Dollar City®. Today, Herschend Enterprises’ properties entertain more than 14 million guests annually across the U.S. & British Columbia and is currently recognized as the largest privately-held themed attractions organization in the U.S.
Operating companies within Herschend Enterprises include Herschend Family Entertainment (Dollywood® Parks & Resorts, Silver Dollar City®, Adventure Aquarium®, Newport Aquarium ®, Kentucky Kingdom®, and Wild Adventures®), Herschend Live (Harlem Globetrotters®), Herschend Entertainment Studios (Splash & Bubbles® and Chuggington®) and Herschend Adventure Holdings, LLC (Pink Adventure Tours®).
ABOUT CALLAWAY RESORT & GARDENS
Imagined and created by Cason and Virginia Callaway more than seven decades ago, Callaway Resort & Gardens is a refuge from everyday stresses for millions of visitors. The ever-changing 2,500-acre historic woodland garden with miles of nature trails is designed to celebrate the area’s natural beauty and native species, encouraging families to get outdoors and naturally connect with each other and with nature. Located just over an hour from Atlanta, the resort is tucked away in picturesque Pine Mountain, Georgia. Activities and recreation include biking, hiking, golfing, birdwatching, swimming, ziplining, canoeing, fishing, or simply unwinding at the spa. With a tropical butterfly conservatory, a lakeside white sand beach, and special events, every season offers different things to experience. Resort accommodations include 300 guest rooms at a full- service lodge or family-friendly cottages and villas with living rooms, full-size kitchens, screened patios, fireplaces, and barbecues all included. Resort amenities include a world-class spa, thirty-six holes of golf, and a variety of restaurants. More information and reservations are available at www.callawaygardens.com or 1-800-CALLAWAY.