Portofino Island Resort—a condominium-style, beachfront property with 762 two- and three-bedroom units in Pensacola, Florida—learned that bigger is better when it hosted nearly 2,400 children and adults for the annual Second Baptist Church High School Beach Retreat in summer 2015. It took careful coordination with the planners, as well as several site visits, to ensure everything from worship services to outdoor adventures ran smoothly for the group, says Jessica Jensen, director of corporate accounts and special events for the resort, noting Portofino’s average group size is up to 500 people. Since youth outnumbered adults five to one, 24-hour patrol officers supervised the property to ensure the safety of attendees. The event went so well that the group will return June 12-17, 2016.
After the success of hosting Second Baptist Church, Portofino is putting itself on the radar for large events. In 2017, the 28-acre resort will add another 12 acres to its portfolio, which will include the development of a conference center.