Before 2020, the Guilford County commissioners used to hold their annual two-day retreats in a wide variety of places.

They usually used the event to show off new restaurants, wedding venues and growing colleges like High Point University – and they even held one retreat at a very nice venue in Chapel Hill when former commissioner Bruce Davis was chairman of the board.

However, in two of the last three years, the commissioners have chosen to have the retreat at the Bur-Mil Park Event Center at 5834 Bur-Mil Club Road in Greensboro – so it was surprising to some when, this week, the commissioner’s announced that the 2023 retreat will be held at Bur-Mil once again.

Unlike regular meetings and work sessions – which usually only last a few hours and are often limited to the most pressing issues at hand – at the retreats each year the commissioners spend a great deal of time doing a deep dive into major county projects, less-pressing issues, and discussing long term plans and concerns.  The annual retreats also give county directors a chance to provide the board with in-depth reports on the state of Guilford County government.

This year, the retreat will run from 8:30 a.m. Thursday, February 2 to 5 p.m. and on Friday, February 3, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Though the board usually schedules an early afternoon cutoff time for the second day of the retreat, the commissioners often end up going hours past that planned end time.

Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston told the Rhino Times recently that he wanted to hold the 2023 retreat at a  local university such as North Carolina A&T State University or the University of North Carolina Greensboro.

“They couldn’t work out the details for the two days,” Alston said.  “I’m not sure what broke down in the discussions.”

In 2021, the commissioners held the retreat at an extremely nice venue: A large open meeting room with large glass windows on all sides overlooking the pool and golf course at Forest Oaks Country Club.  During that retreat, some commissioners enjoyed the impressive indoor virtual reality golf game that let them play on famous courses from around the world.

At Forest Oaks, at least one commissioner, Alston, got out on the club’s actual golf course after a long day of commissionering.