Simpsonwood Board Sets Closing Date for Retreat Center


The Simpsonwood Conference and Retreat Center Board of Directors has announced that November 30, 2014, will be the last day of operation for the Simpsonwood Conference and Retreat Center, ending more than 40 years as a retreat ministry of the North Georgia Annual Conference. The closure was approved at the June 2014 Annual Conference session.

As of December 1, only Gibson Lodge (the United Methodist Center) and the chapel will remain open; all other buildings will be closed and secured. A keypad-activated traffic control gate will be located just below the fork in the entrance to allow cars to turn around.

Following the close date, Simpsonwood will no longer facilitate outside meetings or on-site food services; however, Conference staff will continue to use meeting rooms in the Gibson building.  

Groups that have placed deposits for bookings after November 30, 2014 will be fully refunded.

Housekeeping and maintenance in the Gibson building and the chapel will continue under a contract with Hotel Equities. Off-duty Gwinnett County police officers will continue to provide security.

The traffic control gate will limit car traffic, but there will be no change in regard to foot traffic. 

Hotel Equities will attempt to place the staff members who will lose jobs at the closing of the retreat center in new positions within their organization. Transition plans have been developed if any employee cannot be immediately placed.

Simpsonwood United Methodist Church will use the athletic field for their annual “Walk Through Bethlehem” and will continue to use the chapel for “Sunday on Monday” worship.

In brief …

What will remain the same at Simpsonwood:

  • The offices of the North Georgia Conference will remain open on the property in the Gibson building.
  • Simpsonwood UMC will continue to use the chapel and will host Walk Through Bethlehem on the property in December.
  • Security will continue to be provided by off-duty Gwinnett County police officers.
What will change:
  • The Conference and Retreat Center will close.
  • Overnight accommodations, meeting spaces, and food service will no longer be available.
  • A traffic gate will control car access to the property.