After the Trump National Doral Miami was selected, and then deselected, as the location for the Group of Seven summit taking place in June 2020, it raised the question: Where should the event be held instead? One of the most high-profile gatherings of world leaders, the G7 brings together the heads of state from the seven largest advanced economies in the world, so it's a decision that requires some thoughtful input — which is why we put the question to meeting planners.
In our online poll this week, a plurality chose The Broadmoor. The resort, set at the base of Colorado's Cheyenne Mountain, checked all the boxes for 31.6 percent of respondents when it came to selecting a venue for a gathering of this scale and profile. It was followed by The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. (chosen by 17.5 percent of respondents); the Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Va. (10.5 percent) Sea Island Resort in Georgia and the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, on Maui tied at 8.8 percent, and the Grand Hotel on Michigan's Mackinac Island garnered 7 percent of the votes. Nearly 16 percent selected "other."
To determine our list of venue options, we considered the level of properties that have previously hosted the G7/G8 and looked for venues that offer plenty of meeting space and accommodations appropriate for VIPs of this stature — and were likely capable of providing a high level of security.
"When it comes to high-profile meetings where the ability to speak freely is paramount, privacy should be the first and foremost concern when sourcing a venue," said Amaia Stecker, owner and lead designer of Pilar & Co., an Alexandria, Va.-based government-relations event-planning agency. "This extends to the security requirements needed by heads of state, but also to event staff and vendors who need to exercise the utmost discretion."
Based on these criteria, readers overall felt that the Broadmoor would be a fitting choice. The property offers 310,000 square feet of meeting space with a wide range of room sizes. Its accommodations include one- to eight-bedroom cottages, numerous suites and a 12,000-square-foot Estate House, which could also be used for breakout meetings among government officials.
"The Broadmoor is a beautiful property that looks like it could be secured for the high-profile attendees," noted Bonnie Browning, executive show director for the American Quilters Society and one of the respondents who selected the property. She cited security as a top concern, followed by ease of transportation, and the quantity and quality of space. "They have a variety of buildings where countries could be separated."
In recent years, the G7 summit has been held in venues such as the Sea Island Resort, Scotland's Gleneagles Hotel, and Deerhurst Resort in Ontario, Canada. In advocating for Doral, Trump noted via Twitter that it is "big, grand, on hundreds of acres, next to MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, has tremendous ballrooms & meeting rooms, and each delegation would have its own 50 to 70 unit building."
At least a few of our readers agreed, with Doral getting the highest number of write-in votes — 5.3 percent. "Trump's Doral was the perfect choice," wrote one. Another who selected Doral wrote, "Not sure I see the issue. Let Trump just be President."
Other write-in votes included Camp David, French Lick Resort and Puerto Rico ("Let's support a destination that is rebuilding," the respondent wrote.) As it happens, Puerto Rico's Dorado Beach Resort was the site of the second G7 summit, in 1976.
"Quite frankly, there is a reason we have Camp David here in the U.S." added Stecker. "It is designed for high-level officials to easily get in and out with complete discretion and safety, which is why it has hosted major meetings like the G8 meeting during President Obama's term, the 1978 Camp David Peace Accords and the 2000 Camp David Summit, among many other high-profile events with heads of state present."