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We've listed the most common questions about Lake Doniphan below. If you can't find what you're looking for please contact us.

General Information

Facilities

Food Service

Activities

General Information

Do you have a summary of information?

  • Confirmation of Lodging and Food Service Needs: Because early projections in size of your group may differ from the actual final count, it is critical that we are kept informed of significant changes in your group size. Fourteen (14) days prior to your event we will confirm your guaranteed minimum number for whom we will prepare. Charges will be for this "guaranteed number" or the actual count, whichever is higher.
  • Minimums: We have a minimum number of 25 for guest groups wanting meals. It is not cost efficient for us to open our kitchen for fewer people. If your number is smaller, you may pay for meals for 25 to qualify for food food service. In addition we have a minimum usage fee of $2400.00 per group. This means your final bill will be $2400.00 or your actual charges, whichever is greater.
  • Activities Reservations: Because we may have other groups on the grounds during your visit, we ask that you reserve meeting rooms, audio-visual equipment and recreational options as soon as possible after your reservation is confirmed. We try to coordinate everyone's schedule for maximum enjoyment of all our facilities.
  • Payment: Payment for your guaranteed minimum number of participants is due before or on arrival. Any additional charges will be invoiced to you and payable within 15 days. We accept payment by group check, MasterCard or Visa.
  • Arrival and Room Assignments: Your group's Contact Person will be informed of housing arrangements and check-in times. Actual room assignments are made by the group. The Contact Person, Event Director, or their designate is requested to meet your group's participants as they arrive.
  • Check-In and Check-Out Times: To accommodate the diverse schedules of our guests, we try to determine arrival and departure times group by group. Because of this variance, lodging rooms occasionally may not be accessible upon your arrival. But be assured, we will have your accommodations ready before your day is done. Departure times are also prearranged with your Contact Person. Please plan to be out of your lodging and meeting areas by the agreed-upon time, to facilitate the next group that may be arriving.
  • Not-For-Profit Groups: In order to keep our rates as low as possible for religious and not-for-profit groups, we ask that guests make their own beds upon arrival, and strip the bed linens upon departure. We also ask that these groups provide volunteers (about 10% of your number of participants) to help serve meals to their group. Please inform group members of Check Out Procedures found in the Director's Folder of information.
  • Shuttle Service: Both downtown Kansas City or the KC International Airport are only about 30 minutes away. Shuttle service is available with advance notice.
  • Our Pledge To You: Whatever your group's plans, be assured we will do whatever we can to accommodate you. Thank you for allowing Lake Doniphan the opportunity to serve you!

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Who are our guests?

Business professionals, office staffs, not-for-profit agencies, school groups, recovery groups, religious and educational organizations, family reunions, church groups, craft clubs, summer youth camps and special-needs camps.

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What is the minimum number I need to have in my group?

We have a minimum number of 25 for guest groups wanting meals. It is not cost efficient for us to open our kitchen for fewer people. If your number is smaller, you may pay for meals for 25 to qualify for food service.

In addition we have a minimum usage fee of $2400.00 per overnight group. This means your final bill will be $2400.00 or your actual charges, whichever is greater.

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What are guaranteed minimums?

The guaranteed minimum number is the number for whom we agree to prepare and for whom you agree to pay. You will not need to give us this final guaranteed number until 14 days before your event.

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What happens if my number of participants changes?

Because early projections in the size of your group may differ from the actual final count, it is critical that we are kept informed of changes in your group size. Ninety days before your event you are asked to give us a guaranteed minimum number; that is, the number of people you feel confident guaranteeing to pay for. This number can always increase, but cannot decrease from this point on. Then, in the days leading up to your event, we ask that you keep us informed if that number increases. Fourteen days prior to your visit we ask you to give us your final guaranteed minimum number, for whom we will prepare and for whom you will be charged. Once your event is over, the invoice will be for the final guaranteed minimum or your actual number, whichever is greater.

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I'm planning a year in advance. How do you handle price changes?

Lake Doniphan reserves the right to raise fees each calendar year to keep pace with rising costs. Sponsor groups will be notified of any approved fee increase no later than 90 days prior to your event. For all other groups, Lake Doniphan will honor the rate on your specific contract at the time of signing.

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What are your deadlines for payment?

Once your event has been added to our schedule and we have sent you a contract package, your group has 3 weeks to return the signed contract and 10% deposit. Payment for the guaranteed minimum number is expected on or before arrival. We will then bill you for any additional charges or adjustments.

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Do you accept credit cards?

Yes, Lake Doniphan accepts payment by group check, MasterCard or Visa.

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Our group will be flying in from around the country. Do you offer shuttle service to the airport?

Twenty-four-hour shuttle service to the airport can be arranged in advance with KCI Express Shuttle at KCIExpressShuttle.com or Super Shuttle at 1-800-BLUE-VAN and SuperShuttle.com.

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What is the policy on smoking, alcohol, and illegal substances?

Smoking is allowed outdoors but not inside any buildings. We ask you to deposit cigarette butts in the sand buckets outside the main entrances of all buildings.

We do not allow alcohol on the grounds except for sacramental purposes. Firearms, fireworks and illegal substances are strictly prohibited.

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How are emergencies handled?

Emergencies, including injury and severe illness, should be immediately reported to the event director of the guest group. As soon as possible, the event director should report the emergency to a member of the Lake Doniphan management team. Emergency response to 911 calls usually arrives within 15 minutes or less. Lake Doniphan also has an Automated External Defibrillator on site.

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Facilities

Are your facilities wheelchair accessible?

All but 2 of our buildings have paved sidewalks leading to them, and either ramped or level entryways. The mini lodges have roll-in shower stalls, and the Main Lodge has an elevator between the upper and lower levels, both of which may also be accessed at ground level.

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Will your staff clean my room each day?

As a retreat center, we do not offer housekeeping services to our guests. We hope that the beauty and serenity of grounds compensates for any missed amenities you might be offered at a hotel. Linens are provided for our guests to make their beds and should be removed from the beds and bathrooms prior to departure. Groups may also opt to provide their own sheets and towels for a reduced fee.

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Do you provide bedding and towels?

During the retreat season, bed and bath linens are provided in all lodges unless your group has chosen to provide their own linens in order to qualify for a reduced rate. In this case you will need to bring sheets and towels. Cabin guests are asked to bring towels and bedroll or sleeping bag.

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Can I smoke in my room?

Smoking is allowed outdoors but not inside any buildings. We ask you to deposit cigarette butts in the sand buckets outside the main entrances of all buildings.

We do not allow alcohol on the grounds except for sacramental purposes. Firearms, fireworks and illegal substances are strictly prohibited.

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Do you have comfortable chairs for all-day seminars?

Yes, all of our meeting rooms chairs have padded seats and backs from 1/2" to 2" thick.

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What audio-visual equipment is available?

We have portable TV/VCR's, CD players, pianos, overhead projectors and screens, flip chart easels, podiums and microphones. These are placed in your meeting area(s), if you have reserved them, at no additional cost. We also have pads of flip chart paper available for purchase.

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How do we reserve the equipment?

Because we may have other groups on the grounds during your visit, we ask that you reserve meeting rooms, audio-visual equipment and recreational options as soon as possible after your reservation is confirmed. We try to coordinate everyone's schedule for maximum enjoyment of all our facilities. You will be sent a Meeting Room and Audio-Visual Reservation Request form with your Contract.

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Do you provide internet access?

The Main Lodge is equipped with wireless internet and nine ethernet plug-in ports.

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Food Service

Do we get to choose our own menu?

Yes, your event director or planning committee chooses the meals for your event. If another group is here at the same time, we work at cooperatively creating the menus from our list of 23 selections.

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Can we cook our own meals?

For health and liability reasons, we do not allow groups to use our kitchen to prepare food. The Lake Doniphan staff provides all meals and a major portion of the cleanup. Guest groups are asked to provide volunteers to help serve and to wipe off tables and sweep the floor. (Groups may also pay extra to have these duties performed for them if prior arrangements are made.)

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Do you have a vegetarian or gluten-free menu?

Yes, your group may choose vegetarian or vegan meals and we have gluten-free options as well. Although we prepare one basic entrée per mealtime, we will include a vegetarian alternative for each, if you let us know in advance. Or you may choose to have all vegetarian meals!

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Can we bring in our own snacks?

Yes, groups are welcome to bring in their own. Or we can provide snacks for an additional fee starting at $1 per person per snack session.

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What are the KP requirements?

Most camp and conference centers ask us to help in the kitchen. What do you require?

We ask guest groups to supply about 10% of their number to help with serving and cleanup. This means arriving for meals 5 minutes early to serve the hot food to members of your group only, and to wipe down your tables and sweep the floor after meals.

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What if I want to skip a meal? Do I still have to pay full price?

Our rates are based on a meals and lodging package per group. We cannot make deductions for individuals who miss meals.

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When there's another group on the grounds, do we have to eat at the same time?

No, we stagger mealtimes by thirty minutes and tables are assigned to each group so that your participants may sit together.

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Activities

Do activities have to end at a certain time each day?

If you are sharing the facilities with another user group, we ask that you be respectful of each other's activities, and abide by the times your group has been scheduled for a particular activity, location or meeting room. Please observe quiet hours after 10 p.m., if you are in an area that can be overheard by another group.

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Will we have to share the waterfront with other groups when we want to go canoeing?

Many of our groups have free time scheduled into their agendas, so participants may enjoy the grounds and the recreational equipment. In most cases, all groups are welcome to share the spaces and equipment. However, if your group wishes to have a specific activity involving one of our recreational options, it is possible to reserve the equipment or areas for specific periods of time.

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What about safety?

Possible natural hazards include poison ivy, poisonous snakes (copperheads, water moccasins, rattlesnakes), ticks, harmful spiders (brown recluse and black widow), rocky and uneven ground. If your activities are confined to our developed areas, you will find shorts and sandals with a little bug spray in the evening will be all you need in the warmer months. To minimize risks:

  • Wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes and socks as much as possible.
  • When hiking through the woods, stay on the roads and trails, and wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, hats, and insect repellent.
  • When encountering a wild animal, stay well back and let it pass, or change your direction.
  • We have procedures in place to warn groups and provide protection in the event of fire or tornado.

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What else is there to do in the area?

Whether you are a history buff, flea marketer, or roller coaster thrill-seeker, there are a variety of activities within 30 minutes of Lake Doniphan. Here is a list of area activities.

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