Come one – come all! This is the place to be – the 108th National

Watermelon Association Convention & Annual Meeting! 

We’ll see you there! 

What will happen at convention?

Convention Highlights

This edition of the national convention will be different than most, along with the expected business, fun & entertainment, and honors.  The entire week will surround a theme that represents the Blue Ridge environment …….. the mountains, pine trees & pinecones, bears-bears-and-more-bears, clogging (dance), Bluegrass Music, arts & crafts demonstrations, craft beers, and so much more.  And that’s just on..

Opening Night!

There is so much in between that we don’t have enough room to list it all. The auction will feature some really-cool items and ideas, and a return to our popular memorabilia and silent auctions that will go hand-in-hand with the live auction.  We are planning a special celebration on Friday evening to celebrate the retirement of our long-time Promotions Coordinator, Miss Eleanor, as she prepares for the next chapter in her life, and we say a special ‘Thank You’ for her many years of service to the association. At our closing awards banquet, some special guests will join with us as we bid farewell to our long-time Executive Director and his wife – Bob & Betsy – as they will soon after begin their retirement in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina.And you will meet his successor who will lead the association into the future. So, at this national convention a lot will happen, history will be made, and it will be a lot of fun for every generation.    


2023 NWA Convention Agenda.pdf


Golf Tournament

It is time to restart the annual tournament known to us all as the Arnold Mack Memorial Golf Tournament, named after one of the legends in our association and the industry.  The 4-person scramble will take place on Wednesday afternoon, February 22, 2023 at the Donald Ross-designed Grove Park Inn course, set at the base of Sunset Mountain in Asheville, NC. The golf course will be ready; the tournament will be ready; all we need is you. 

Get your team signed-up.  Consider sponsoring the tournament and/or becoming a tee sponsor.  This golf course is one that should not be missed. It is a Donald Ross design that must be played. 

Sign-Up Information





How can we get there?

Airport information

Asheville Regional Airport is over 60 years old and going through a huge expansion plan.  Currently, six major airlines hold gates in AVL including Allegiant, American, Delta, JetBlue, Sun Country and United. The airport is located in Fletcher, NC – 17 miles from the Omni Grove Park Inn. 

Click for information

Local transportation

There are several options to travel from the airport to the resort hotel, from taxis to mobile rider-shares to rental cars and more. Here is a lengthy list of options that you may want to consider.

Click here for local transportation from airport 

Drive and Park

The Omni Grove Park Inn offers plenty of parking, both in the parking lot and in their parking garage. 

The rates are:
  Valet Parking = $30 per day
Self Parking = $20 per day

Where is it being hosted?

The Omni Grove Park Inn
290 Macon Road
Asheville, North Carolina 28804

There’s a reason guests have been staying at The Grove Park Inn for over one hundred years. They come for relaxation, rejuvenation and to breathe in the clean mountain air. The Inn, set atop Sunset Mountain, features guestrooms with spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and its lush Donald Ross–designed golf course. Choose one of the Inn’s oldest rooms in The Main Inn furnished   with Roycroft Arts and Crafts décor. Or opt for something larger and more modern with a room or suite located in our newer Sammons and Vanderbilt Wings, including our exclusive Club Floor.  WebsiteVideo: 
Self-Guided Tour of Grove Park Inn

Click Here For Hotel History

Resort Amenities

The normal resort fee is included in the group room rate; waived for our group.  So, enjoy the numerous amenities and the splendor of The Grove Park while you are here:

    •    High Speed Internet (6 MB) in Guest Rooms & Common Areas
    •    Access to the 50,000 SF Sports Complex
    •    Access to Racquetball Courts
    •    Access to Indoor Pool
    •    Access to Elaine’s Dueling Piano Bar
    •    On-Property Shuttle Service
    •    Toll Free & Local Calling
    •    In-Room Coffee
    •    Newspaper available in the Lobby
    •    Access to the Sunset Hiking Trail
    Resort Pictures Click Here:


Hotel Room & Suites

This historic hotel, built in 1913, has three buildings tied in together with each holding its own unique characteristics.  The Main Inn, Sammons Wing and Vanderbilt Wing each have its own style of décor.  The room décor for rooms within each wing have the same décor, regardless of which direction the room is facing.
$ 229 per night = Standard Room (group rate)
The standard rooms are run-of-house, which means that you may be placed in any of the three wings of the resort hotel.  Be aware that the NWA convention will be held on the 8th floor of the Vanderbilt Wing.  
Standard King photo
Standard Double photo
$ 289 per night = Deluxe Mountain View
The Deluxe Mountain View are in the Main Inn and face the Mountains.
$ 319 per night = Premium Mountain View
The Premium Mountain View Rooms are in both the Sammons Wing and the Vanderbilt Wing and face the Mountains.
$ 579 per night = Executive King Suite

Executive Suite photo
$ 679 per night = Club Floor Room
The Club Floor is an exclusive, adult-only (21+) floor with personal concierge service. The Club Floor rooms offer a spa-like bathroom featuring a single effervescent bath and a spacious walk-in hydro-shower. Club Floor guests enjoy turndown service, continental breakfast, evening cocktails with hors d’ oeuvres in the Club Floor Lounge, access to the Spa Fitness Center, and garage or valet parking. *Guests not staying on the Club Floor are not permitted access to this level, and key card access is required for the elevator Club King photo

Hotel Reservations

PHONE:  Guests may call the Central Reservations Office at 800-438-5800 to make reservations. 

ONLINE:  Guests may also access room reservations via online booking using the following weblink:

A one night’s deposit is required to confirm all room reservations.

Sports Complex

The 50,000 sq. ft. Sports Complex houses an indoor fitness and family pool kept at the ideal temperature to play in year round.  Get energized at the Fitness Club, featuring personal training sessions, fitness classes like Yoga and Pilates, treadmills, elliptical trainers, free weights and more than 20 Paramount stations.  Or play indoor tennis on the courts.The Sports Complex is complimentary usage by ‘registered’ guests.

GPI Golf Course

Framed by the Blue Ridge Mountains, this legendary Donald Ross designed golf course offers a unique 18-holes that are contoured out of our rolling landscape with tree-lined fairways, challenging bunkers and receptive bent greens. Designed by the legendary Donald Ross in 1926, the 6,400-yard, par-70 course is contoured out of the rolling landscape with tree-lined fairways, challenging bunkers and receptive bent greens. And, its elevated tee boxes mean you get amazing views with each drive. The course is considered one of the top golf courses in North Carolina. It is also among the top ten courses 100 years or older according to Golf Digest, though it certainly doesn’t show its age. Masterfully restored in 2001, it reflects the glory and spirit of Donald Ross’ original design.Tee times can be reserved by contacting the pro, Zach Hepp at (828) 252-2711 ext. 1044 or Email at [email protected] For INDIVIDUAL golf reservations, call 1-800-438-5800

Pamper yourself in our $50 million 43,000-square-foot subterranean spa featuring cavernous rock walls, arches, tunnels and 20 water features. The main pool area features two therapeutic waterfall pools, a warm mineral pool and lap pool with 6,500 fiber-optic stars embedded in the ceiling and constant underwater music. Enjoy exhilarating contrast pools, an inhalation room and eucalyptus-infused steam room. The 10 pools are mineral-based and contain traces of sodium, potassium, magnesium and zinc. Three fireside lounges await you with overstuffed chairs, warm blankets, light snacks, hot organic teas and herbal infused waters. And step outside to enjoy fireplaces, whirlpool, and a tiered outdoor terrace with panoramic mountain views. Video:

NOTE: You MUST have a room reservation to be able to set a Spa appointment! Contact Shanda or Amber for spa reservations: Shanda. [email protected] and [email protected]
or call for INDIVIDUAL spa reservations at 1-800-438-5800

In-House Shopping

Visit the Shops at The Emporium 1913 in the Vanderbilt Wing for all your retail therapy. These four interconnected shops, Cloth, Seely & Grove, The Pink Pig, and Marketplace, provide you with everything you need from logo merchandise and local crafts to unique house made treats and gourmet chocolates. Or visit the Christmas, Art and Gift Shoppes along the Carolina Hallway on the path to the Sammons Wing.

Restaurant Dining

EDISON, CRAFT ALES + KITCHEN is an inventive bar and restaurant that brings together the food culture and local flavors of downtown, with expansive indoor and outdoor seating that offers spectacular views of the mountains. EDISON serves NC craft beers, small batch bourbons, handcrafted cocktails, and regionally inspired food in a contemporary, fun, and artistic setting. Several renowned artists who celebrate the creativity of the area and call this community home are showcased in the indoor dining room, offering our patrons a true Asheville experience.

VUE 1913, AN AMERICAN BRASSERIE offers guests a comfortable and stylish setting for a leisurely meal designed only with the love of food in mind. The brasserie style format allows our chef the flexibility to truly showcase the best local rustic ingredients of each season. All dressed up with an art deco decor and panoramic view of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Vue 1913 is the perfect fit for your everyday dinner plans and your special occasions. 

BLUE RIDGE is a farm-to-table artisanal buffet overlooking the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains. The award winning Friday night Seafood Buffet, Saturday night Prime Rib Buffet, and phenomenal Champagne Sunday Brunch are the perfect way to end any week. Groups of 10 or more ….. Make your meal reservations as soon as possible.For INDIVIDUAL or smaller group restaurant reservations, call 1-800-438-5800 


THE GREAT HALL BAR is the perfect place to gather to really get a feel for the history and tradition of the Inn. Sip a signature martini and enjoy the grandeur that has made generations of guests feel they've left the ordinary behind. Flanked by immense 14-foot stone fireplaces and steeped in old-world rustic charm, The Great Hall Bar is a wonderful place to meet before dinner or a romantic nightcap. Enjoy appetizers, entrees, light fare and desserts throughout the day, and nightly entertainment.

PRESIDENTS LOUNGE caters to your before and after dinner plans with a fine selection of wines by the glass and small plates. Looking out across the cityscape of downtown Asheville you can relax and savor flights of chocolate as the sunset paints the sky. Presidents Lounge honors our rich history, having hosted ten Commanders in Chief at the Inn throughout the years.

ELAINE’S DUELING PIANO BAR is a fun atmosphere and time to have.  You might mistake our musicians for comedians. But that’s okay.  You might actually dance and sing the night away. So grab a group of friends and get here for the tunes and laughter.

108th National Watermelon Association Convention & Annual Meeting



Days and Dates

Sunday - Sunday, February 19-26, 2023

Click HERE For Resort Information




Our Triumphant Return to the Blue Ridge Mountains

The National Watermelon Association is excited & thrilled to have Asheville and the Omni Grove Park Inn host our national convention & annual meeting once again. Our first adventure at GPI was in 2007, and we come back to the Blue Ridge Mountains that welcome us every step of the way.
There is so much information to share, so we have broken it down to some basic topics:


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