THE OMNI GROVE PARK INN GEARS UP FOR 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE NATIONAL GINGERBREAD HOUSE COMPETITION

Blue Ridge Mountain resort is now accepting applications for the largest gingerbread house competition in the country

Asheville, N.C. (Aug. 16, 2017) - One of the nation's most celebrated and competitive holiday events, The Omni Grove Park Inn's 25th annual National Gingerbread House Competition is now accepting applications through Friday, November 3, 2017. Culinary artists of all skill levels nationwide are invited to begin crafting creative gingerbread masterpieces for a chance to win more than $25,000 in cash and prizes.

Gingerbread houses will be judged on overall appearance, originality/creativity, difficulty, precision and consistency of theme. The intricate designs take hours, days and even weeks to create, and must be constructed entirely of edible materials - of which 75 percent must be gingerbread. From modeling chocolate and fondant to cast sugar and "Rainbow Dust," competitors young and old will be able to showcase their culinary skill at this special 25th anniversary event taking place on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017.

The extravagant gingerbread creations will be judged by an elite panel of world-renowned food, arts and media professionals, which has previously included the founder of the International Sugar Art Collection, a curator of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the author of "Making Great Gingerbread Houses" and many others. New for this year, the judges will put their own work on display, showcasing examples of their respective crafts to view during the exclusive reception open to competitors on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017.

The edible gingerbread masterpieces will be on display at the property from Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017 through Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. In support of various local not-for-profits, The Inn will donate half of all parking proceeds raised throughout the contest and holiday display in the spirit of holiday giving: Asheville City Schools Foundation; American Legion Baseball Post #70; Homeward Bound; United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County; Meals on Wheels of Asheville and Buncombe County; Asheville Museum of Science; and Children First/Communities in Schools. Since its inception in 2013, The Omni Grove Park Inn's annual competition has contributed more than $260,000 through the Holiday Parking Program, which charges a minimum of $20 per car for all drive-on guests.

The Omni Grove Park Inn will also continue its tradition of dressing up for the holiday season, displaying Christmas trees, thousands of twinkling lights and multiple roaring fireplaces throughout the property - as well as the sweet scent of gingerbread in the air. For the past 25 years, the competition has been a beloved celebration at the historic inn, with resort guests and visitors eagerly anticipating the hundreds of intricate and stunning holiday designs on display. The Great Gingerbread House, an impressive 10 ½-foot-wide and 10 ½-foot-high gingerbread replica of the Inn, will once again stand in The Great Hall to serve delicious house made hot cocoa.

Travelers looking to truly immerse themselves in The Inn's festive spirit can book the Gingerbread Holiday Bed & Breakfast Package. Available for stays through Friday, Dec. 29, 2017, the package includes deluxe accommodations, the Art of Breakfast Buffet in the Blue Ridge restaurant per registered guest, one gingerbread cookie per registered guest and overnight valet or garage parking (one vehicle per room). Package rates start at $301 per night.

Winners of The Omni Grove Park Inn's 25th annual National Gingerbread House Competition will be announced at an Award Ceremony on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017. For complete rules and to download an entry form, visit here. For more information or to make reservations, call 1-800-438-5800 or visit www.omnihotels.com/hotels/asheville-grove-park. Winning entries from the 2016 competition can be viewed here.

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About The Omni Grove Park Inn
Set in the Blue Ridge Mountains just minutes from downtown Asheville, N.C., The Omni Grove Park Inn provides a one-of-a-kind escape. The award-winning, 513-room resort originally opened in 1913, and showcases a wide range of Arts & Crafts furnishings from Stickley and Roycroft throughout guest areas, guestrooms and suites. The world-class Spa is an experience like no other, with 43,000 square feet of subterranean space and an array of unique treatments incorporating indigenous elements. The resort's historic 18-hole Donald Ross golf course is considered among the top golf experiences in North Carolina, and the Sports Complex includes indoor and outdoor tennis courts. The Inn also focuses on local ingredients and chef driven menus in their four signature restaurants, each offering panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Omni Grove Park Inn is well suited for meetings and events, with 25 meeting rooms and two ballrooms totaling 55,000 square feet, including the Skyline Room and Mountain View Terrace. To get additional information or book accommodations, visit omnihotels.com or call 1-800-The-Omni.

About Omni Hotels & Resorts

Omni Hotels & Resorts creates genuine, authentic guest experiences at 60 distinct luxury hotels and resorts in leading business and leisure destinations across North America. With more than 25 iconic golf courses and 16 award-winning spas featured in dynamic locales nationwide, every Omni proudly opens its doors to share the true spirit of its destination. Reflected through local color, personalized service, unique wellness options, signature restaurants and creative culinary offerings, Omni leaves a lasting impression with every guest and a heightened level of recognition and rewards delivered through its Select Guest loyalty program. As a founding member of the Global Hotel Alliance, Select Guest is further expanded through the DISCOVERY® loyalty program offering members additional global benefits. Omni is committed to reducing hunger and is on a mission through its Say Goodnight to Hunger initiative to provide millions of meals each year for food banks to feed children, families and seniors in communities in which it operates. For information or to book accommodations, visit omnihotels.com or call 1-800-The-Omni.

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