Travel with a Twist
After years of putting off trips to visit various friends scattered across the country, Karen Ansbro Leone ’84 came upon an idea in 1998. Putting her meeting planning skills to use, she planned a weekend trip to the Equinox Resort in Manchester, Vt., and invited several friends, encouraging each to bring along a girlfriend who they hadn’t seen lately. The women spent the weekend relaxing at the spa, shopping, dining, and simply enjoying each other’s company. Leone’s idea was a hit, and her travel venture, Go ’n Groove, was born.
Today, Leone plans two trips a year: Along with the original ‘Girl*friends’ trip, she also hosts a Mother-Daughter weekend called ‘Ladies ’n Lasses’. While the ‘Girl*friends’ usually return to the Equinox Resort (although they have also been to Lake Placid, N.Y. and Woodstock, Vt.), the ‘Ladies ’n Lasses’ have traveled to Chicago and New York City.
“At this age, women don’t do enough for themselves,” said Leone. “They feel like they always have to travel with family, and many of them work and don’t have the time to plan a trip. I give them options and make it as easy as possible.
Leone has grown her at home business mostly through word of mouth. She doesn’t advertise, so she relies on friends to spread the word. Eventually, Leone plans to organize four trips per year – one per season. In addition to the Girl*friends and mother-daughter weekends, she hopes to host a ski trip (Snow Bunnies) and a spa and/or wine tasting (Spa Goddesses) vacation out West. And she has had many requests for a Ladies ’n Lads weekend, so that, too, may be in the future.
Prior to founding Go ’n Groove, Leone earned plenty of experience in the hospitality industry. She worked for many years in operations before landing a job at Deloitte & Touche as a meeting planner.
Leone said having ties to the Hotel School has proved to be beneficial for her business. “The Hotel School has introduced me to wonderful people, and the alumni are amazing. Having these contacts opens the doors to hotels and restaurants in the cities we visit.”
To learn more, visit http://www.goandgroove.com. Leone also is hosting a 25-year “Hotel Colorado” reunion for alumni from the early 80s.
The event is scheduled for summer 2006. Interested Hotelies should contact her at email@example.com.