Over the Years...(Im Laufe der Jahre...)

The Helendorf has played host to groups of all sizes that span all aspects of American life. What follows is just a sampling of typical guest list.

Weddings and Anniversaries

The Helendorf is ideal for weddings and anniversaries! Quite simply, there is no site more picturesque for making or renewing vows than on our Riverside Terrace overlooking the banks of the pristine Chattahoochee River.

(We recently held a 50th wedding anniversary for over 250 people in our banquet hall, heralded as a huge success! As our gift to the happy couple—especially given the size of their party—we provided our facility free of charge.) 


The Helendorf is a favorite reunion destination for families, fraternities and sororities, military organizations and more, such as:

  • The 10th Mountain Ski Division and U.S.S. Stern WWII veterans and their families
  • American veterans formerly stationed at Japan’s Sugamo Prison where the infamous Tojo was executed in 1948
  • The USAF Para Rescue Association

Sporting Events

The Helendorf is the sports enthusiasts’ destination, no matter what the season! From being the headquarters of the Helen to the Atlantic Hot Air Balloon Race… to the Gate Tower Guest Rooms rising from the first tee of the old Helen Valley golf course, the Helendorf has always catered to the sports enthusiasts, like:

  • Malcom Forbes, who won the first Helen-to-the-Atlantic Balloon Race, and Senator Tom Rutherford, one of the balloon pilots in the early years of the balloon race
  • Tour de France-winning cyclist Greg Lemond and sport writer Mike Magnuson, who stayed during the Tour de Georgia, along with the bicycle race press, sponsors and teams
  • Participants in the Helen-to-Atlanta Canoe Races which, as the name implies, start on the Chattahoochee River in Helen, crossed the mighty Lake Lanier and end in Atlanta!
  • The National Off-Road Bicycle Association (NORBA) for the National Championships
  • The Argentine Olympic Rowing Team for the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics
  • The Southeastern Off-Road Bicycle Association (SORBA) for the 2000 Helen Fat Tire Festivals.

Charity Groups

Every June, the Helendorf hosts the Yaarab Shriners Helen Summerfest Ceremonial—culminating in a Grand Parade of both newly inducted and long-standing members.

The Helendorf takes pride in supporting charities like the Shriners and other community groups. Recently we were honored to host "Newborns in Need", an organization that makes handmade items for infants. In fact, “Newborns in Need” used our banquet hall to set up their sewing machines and sew—making wonderful clothes for those in need.

The Knights of Columbus are regulars on the Helendorf property, hosting fund-raisers and Fasching parties.

Auto and Motorcycle Rally’s

No matter the season, the Helendorf is always playing host to auto enthusiasts and motoring adventurers, including:

  • Gold Wing Road Riders State Rally
  • Southern Worthersee (SoWo) Volkswagen Club
  • Mini Cooper Club and Rally
  • Heart of Georgia Corvair Car Club
  • Alpine Rod Run
  • Sports Car Club of America

With ample parking for all guests and a large lower parking lot for display parking, the Helendorf is driven to satisfy!

Celebrities of All Sorts

The Helendorf has hosted our share of the rich and famous, from movie actors to musical artists:

  • In 1977, during the filming of “Smokey & the Bandit, ” Jackie Gleason, Hal Needham and most of the film crew stayed here
  • In 1980, we had Diane Lane and her mother Colleen Farrington, former Playboy Centerfold Miss October 1957, as guests
  • Glen Campbell, Randy Travis and Travis Tritt have also been guests

And Then Some

From the Society of Medieval Anachronism, to the Georgia Professional Photographers Association, to the Sons of the Confederacy, there are very few groups the Helendorf hasn’t hosted.

Helen, Georgia’s ‘group’ headquarters.