Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
2 Feb

Introducing the Inaugural PrimalCon!

PrimalCon resort

Dear readers, here we are in 2010, with MarksDailyApple.com now nearly 3 1/2 years old. Thank you for your tremendous contribution to what started as a dream in 2006, and is now a thriving internet community of passionate and deeply connected Primal enthusiasts. As we celebrate the success of the book and the continued rapid growth of the blog, we also realize that in 2010, it’s time to take this community to the next level!

My staff and I have been dreaming and scheming behind the scenes for quite some time about “what’s next?”. Well, here it is: I’m extremely excited to announce the first-ever live, in-person, Primal Blueprint weekend experience! Finally, a chance for our virtual world to come alive and come together for an incredible 3-day event we’re calling PrimalCon.

We have secured a spectacular resort right on the beach in Southern California called the Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach in Oxnard, CA. I’m almost embarrassed to say that even though it’s only 31 miles from my home, I’d never set eyes on this place until recently, and it is absolutely stunning. This is an all-suite resort with beautiful Spanish-style grounds right on the expansive Oxnard State Beach. We’re talking seconds from out your door to sand in your toes – no kidding. The weekend will consist of a stimulating mix of workouts, play, leisure, classroom education, and of course delicious Primal feasts. Here’s a quick overview:

  • Seminars at the resort will include four general sessions with me, and numerous breakout sessions on topics related to the Primal Blueprint lifestyle
  • Workouts will take place right on the sand or the expansive grass fields of an adjacent beach park. Experts in Primal strength training and sprinting will guide your activity in small groups segmented by ability. We’ll roll out some cool new stuff as we are currently building a comprehensive curriculum for Primal Blueprint Fitness.
  • We’ll have all kinds of fun, games, and relaxation, including leisurely hiking on the beach and sand dune preserve, Ultimate Frisbee matches (of course, no good conference should be without), and the top secret Primal Blueprint Mind/Body Obstacle Course Challenge on the beach (don’t even ask, just show up ready for a challenge!)
  • We’ll have lavish Primal feasts – omelets in the morning, fabulous salads for lunch and delicious barbecue in the evenings. Leave your cocktail attire at home, this is outdoors, Primal style – utensils optional!
  • We’ll have “positive natural stressors” as in Primal ocean plunges in the morning and after workouts. Don’t worry though, you can reach the Embassy Suites jacuzzi in about 41 seconds from the water’s edge (might even count as a sprint workout!).

Getting Down to Details

Size: This is the first of what we hope will be several events a year in various locations across the country and abroad. To ensure an intimate experience, the conference is limited to the first 160 people who register.

Cost: The early-bird conference fee is $695 and includes all meals and a PrimalCon event bag stocked with incredible participant gifts, apparel, and nutrition. The price will jump to $795 once there are only 30 spots remaining, so register now to lock in this special rate. You will book your hotel directly and separately with the Embassy Suites. Suites start at $149/night. If you’re not familiar with Southern California resort lodging rates, this is an absolute steal for a suite on the beach. Couples staying together in double-occupancy suite get a $50 discount on the second conference registration fee.

Schedule: Sign-in Thursday evening, April 22nd, or Friday morning, April 23rd. Agenda begins Friday morning. Dismissal is Sunday, April 25th at 1:30pm. A convenient getaway weekend and then back to work a new person on Monday morning!

Travel: Oxnard is about 90 minutes north of Los Angeles proper, about 30 minutes south of Santa Barbara on the Ventura County’s Gold Coast. Los Angeles International (LAX) and Burbank (BUR) airports are your best choices.

primalcon banner540x110

Click here to check out the incredible discounted suite package we negotiated with the resort for the conference. Once you sign up for the conference, please book your suite immediately to ensure the currently published discount room rates.

Click here to read details about the PrimalCon agenda.

I’m hoping this post will stimulate a good bit of commentary and suggestion, as we are still formulating the details of the weekend agenda. I’d like to hear from you on a couple levels:

  1. Would you attend for sure? Strongly consider? Maybe – need more info?
  2. Do you have any suggestions about what programming, including meals, would be most important or interesting to you? Other comments about the basic concept presented here? Have you been to a health/fitness retreat and had a memorable experience – good or bad – that you might share?
  3. If you’d like to receive regular PrimalCon updates as the speakers, events and meal plans are solidified sign up for this special newsletter. I’ll be sending an update every couple weeks until the event takes place in April.


I look forward to hearing from you…and perhaps seeing you in the flesh come April!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I’ve been hoping an event like this would be scheduled and darn the luck I’m going to be out of the country that weekend! :-(

    I’ve signed up to receive updates in case my plans change. This sounds really great. I hope it is the first of many to come.

    Dave wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  2. I’d love to attend but with the cost of international flights kind of steep and time off work at a minimum I won’t be able to. Hopefully at some point in the future there will be one a little closer to home! (Seattle has a pretty big Primal community and is SUPER close to BC ;) ) This is an awesome step in the progress of this lifestyle though, I am very happy to see it happening!

    ccarrigan wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  3. I would be all about this with a little more notice to budget the conference fee + hotel + cross country flight. Maybe next year. Do you plan on doing the West Coast thing every year or moving it around?

    Meghan wrote on February 2nd, 2010
    • West Coast only for now, but who knows? Maybe we’ll be in Miami in 2012…

      Mark Sisson wrote on February 2nd, 2010
      • Miami would be perfect. I would definitely attend that.

        Justin wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  4. Ohhhhh, man! I wish I wasn’t a poor college student. :(

    Funkadelic Flash wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  5. This sounds exciting, I live in L.A., but it is a little cost prohibitive for me at this time. Any 1 day only pricing?

    T J wrote on February 2nd, 2010
    • Ditto!

      chris johnson wrote on February 2nd, 2010
      • No, sorry. But keep in mind you can commute to the conference if you
        don’t want to spend the money on the hotel. In the unlikely event we
        don’t sell out we might be able to accommodate you in April for
        partial attendance. Check back.

        Mark Sisson wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  6. No such luck here. I’d love to go and lord knows my husband would love to go somewhere warmer, but southern California is a bit far from the Atlantic coast of Canada…

    Christine wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  7. hmmmm, this coincides with the break of my 2 seasonal jobs… I haven’t been in a good Ultimate game in way too long. and the chance to meet up with some other PBers is way enticing. There is a definate possibility…

    Peggy wrote on February 2nd, 2010
    • I’d love to see you there, Peggy. Yes, we’re going to be eating like Primal kings, basking in the sun, and attending some killer workout and lecture sessions, but one of the biggest draws, at least as far as I’m concerned, is getting to meet people that are like-minded; getting to meet the readers of MDA, those living the PB. On a related note there are probably going to be some great networking opportunities.

      Grok on!

      Mark Sisson wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  8. Mark, I’d be there in a heart beat, but baby is due almost that day! /cry Love the idea about national meet ups! I’ve been toying with the idea of organizing a Mid West retreat on some farmland in Southern Ohio to enjoy a weekend of real primal living. Keep these going!

    Daniel Merk wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  9. I’d love to go, but am also a poor college student…also it’s quite a ways away from Oklahoma! Maybe it will come to Texas one year (:

    I think this is a brilliant idea Mark, if only I could go, I would!

    Hannah wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  10. I think this is a great idea and would love to attend. Unfortunately, I cannot afford it. I wish there were more advance notice so I could have saved and planned for it. Oh well, perhaps next time.

    Brandon wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  11. I’d love to, but this is a little too short of warning for me. I _just_ booked a cruise that leaves NYC on the 24th.
    I’ll be Primal in Bermuda, though, while you’re enjoying yourselves…probably no Ultimate on a boat, though.

    Melody wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  12. Oh man, my heart’s doing flips from excitement at the thought of how incredible an experience this would be.

    My brain’s saying: whoa, flight, hotel, reg fee…. that’s a lot of $.

    And there you have it. For now, I’ll probably have to sit it out.

    East Coast location, more advanced notice (for budgeting), steeper early early bird discounts, would all help.

    Thanks for putting this on, Mark!

    BestSelf wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  13. I hope you consider an East Coast PrimalCon.

    Linda Brueckman wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  14. Mark –
    I hate to reiterate what most everyone has already said, but the cost is also prohibiting me from going as well. I think the agenda that’s been put together, the goodie bag, the location – they all sound great and I wouldn’t fault your team one bit for looking to put on a great time. I really wish I could attend and get in on the excitement, but I truly wish the best for those that can attend.

    Would there be a possiblity of some webinars from this?

    Jeff P wrote on February 2nd, 2010
    • We’ll likely be filming some of the lectures but I’m not sure yet how or when they’ll be made public. Too bad you can’t make it, Jeff. I was hoping you’d be one of the attendees. Maybe next time!

      Mark Sisson wrote on February 2nd, 2010
      • When you hit the MidWest, please let me know. Me and AcmeBike would be all over this!

        jpickett1968 wrote on February 3rd, 2010
  15. I think it’s a go!

    lars1000 wrote on February 2nd, 2010
    • That’s great, lars. You’re going to have the time of your life. Looking forward to meeting you. Grok on!

      Mark Sisson wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  16. Oh man! Now how do I convince the Mrs????

    Jose Medina wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  17. Heck yes!

    Jose Medina wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  18. Great idea, Mark! I’m really going to try to make it. I’d love to meet all of my fellow primals. There are o few of us here in the frozen north :-(

    gregandbeaker wrote on February 2nd, 2010
    • I hope to see you there. The average high that time of year is a perfect 68 degrees in Oxnard, CA. Grok on!

      Mark Sisson wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  19. Hm… Yup – the price-conscious ones among will be bemoaning our budgetary realities. $ounds amazing!

    gilliebean wrote on February 2nd, 2010
    • What? No gilliebean and husband? It won’t be a proper PrimalCon without you. ;)
      Seriously though, I wish you two can make it!

      Mark Sisson wrote on February 2nd, 2010
      • Maybe you could do an opening night or closing night event that us locals (locals with budget restrictions) could attend? Something for say… $30 each?

        gilliebean wrote on February 2nd, 2010
        • I’ve been thinking about doing some other speaking engagements along these lines. For this event, we almost certainly won’t be offering any one day or one single session passes, but I’ll see if I can work in some sort of talk in LA at some point. It wouldn’t be a full on PrimalCon but could be fun nonetheless.

          Mark Sisson wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  20. It’s a little pricey, but put me down for “strongly consider.” I’ve been havin trouble going fully primal, and this event might provide the motivation I need.

    lilia wrote on February 2nd, 2010
    • This is another reason I wanted to host this event – to give people the tools, resources and motivation they need to jump start a Primal life. The blog and book are fantastic for this but there’s something about one-on-one interaction that can make all the difference in the world. I hope to see you there, lilia!

      Mark Sisson wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  21. I just registered myself and my fiancee. Been looking for a good reason to go to sunny CA for a while now. Can’t think of a better reason.

    We are coming all the way from Boston. A nice weekend in the sun is exactly what we need.

    Chris N wrote on February 2nd, 2010
    • Looking forward to meeting you, Chris. You’re in for a great weekend. We’ll be sending you an email within the week to follow up with a few more details about the event. Stay tuned!

      Mark Sisson wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  22. Sounds great, what is the age range of the participants so far? My husband and I are 60 and aspiring PBers, but don’t want to be left in the dust…

    Lynn H wrote on February 2nd, 2010
    • Not at all. We expect a wide range of ages and fitness levels and will be tailoring the events and Primal fitness sessions accordingly.

      Mark Sisson wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  23. Hmmm! Will have to strongly consider since I live here in LA. Haven’t had time away from the kids in a while.

    Pamela wrote on February 2nd, 2010
    • Not to sound like a cheesy salesman here, but it really is the perfect getaway – 3 days just outside of LA to recharge, refocus and re-energize. As I said in the post above I was blown away by the resort. I had no idea it existed just north of where I live until a couple months ago. I visited the location and told my wife we’ll have to visit the hotel PrimalCon or no PrimalCon!

      Mark Sisson wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  24. Now I REALLY need to win the lottery. Wish I could make this fly, financilly!

    BarbeyGirl wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  25. How do I convince the Mr?! :-D

    Veronica wrote on February 2nd, 2010
    • Eat like a Primal king and queen for 3 days, play in the sun and sand, meet others living the Primal lifestyle and learn skills from industry experts that you’ll use for a lifetime of health and wellness. Does it take any more convincing? ;)

      Mark Sisson wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  26. man i wish i could afford that! I would be there in a heart beat.

    kevink wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  27. Both the conference and the accomodations look like fantastic values! The one suggestion I would have would be to get some type of medical education accreditation, such as from American Academy of Family Practice, or American Association of Nurses. This would allow anyone in the health care field (doctors, nurses, physical therapists, etc.) to write off the tuition, travel and lodging as tax deductible expenses. Also, it might qualify as a medical expense in some situations. Cheers,

    Ed wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  28. Oh Mark, I would LOVE to attend. I was actually thinking the other day that there ought to be an event like this! Unfortunately, I’ll not be able to because of the cost (I’m a librarian living in Ohio, eep!), but if all goes well & my fiance & I make the move to the west coast in the next year, I would hope to attend in the future. :)

    aboutsaffron wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  29. This sounds so awesome! Unfortunately I will not be able to make it this time as I am planning a golf vacation for May. I am not that rich… yet ;)

    Mark, do you have ANY IDEA when you will do the next one? Maybe 2011? I will without a doubt be at the next one!!! Miami in 2012 sounds great!

    I’ll be signing up to receive updates so I know what this event is all about!

    -Todd

    Todd Dosenberry wrote on February 2nd, 2010
    • Yeah, I have no idea when the next one will be, or even IF there will be another. If this one is a success we might do another one next year sometime.

      Mark Sisson wrote on February 2nd, 2010
      • That would be wonderful! It will be a success Mark… we all know it :)

        Todd Dosenberry wrote on February 3rd, 2010
  30. I’m going to start saving for PrimalCon 2011 right now!!!

    musajen wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  31. Do you think they’d let us park our RV in the parking lot??

    Jeanie wrote on February 2nd, 2010
    • We can likely set you up with some RV parking space. There is a city owned parking lot next to resort. I’ll contact you via email.

      Mark Sisson wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  32. Oh, how I’d love to attend the PrimalCon! If only I can convince the mister…

    maba wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  33. A 13 hour drive… Not too bad. I’ll have to work on my tan And find some money… I could sleep in my car.

    Gotta find a way.

    Caveman Sam wrote on February 2nd, 2010
    • Use your Grok power, Caveman Sam!

      Mark Sisson wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  34. First off, great location. Have done the Strawberry Fields Triathlon there a number of times (before I went Primal ). Sounds like if I want to meet Mark, I’ll need to bring my bodyguards (The Conejo Valley Posse).

    Would love to bring my wife and kids to the Primal BBQ on Saturday night. Would be willing to pay for them for just the dinner.

    OMFW (aka Frank) wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  35. I’d love to go. But I need more advance notice. Gotta give my vacation scheduled for the year in January. No time off during this, this year…. Oy! I hope whomever goes has a great time!

    Katt wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  36. Holy cow that sounds awesome!!! Too bad it’s all the way in CA…so add two $$$$ plane tickets onto that price ;) Would definitely consider going to an east coast/mid-america PrimalCon though, this is really a great idea!!

    hannahc wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  37. Seriously – I’m only a teacher! I want to come more than I can say, but I can’t afford it.
    Maybe we can talk you into doing a more centralized location – I second the nomination for Texas, like maybe Dallas? ;)

    With enough heads up, I could save up for it…

    lady_daraine wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  38. I understand times are tough and money can be tight but for those of you saying “I can’t afford it”, try changing that to “How can I afford it?”. Our brains love to solve problems and by asking yourself how you can afford it you’ll be surprised over the next few days the ideas you come up with. I’m sure many of you are skeptical but give it a try. What do you have to lose?

    Dave wrote on February 2nd, 2010
    • Yes, sticker shock is powerful. I’m building in an extreme amount of value into this convention. I hope everyone that can make it will try as it’s bound to be a weekend worth remembering.

      Mark Sisson wrote on February 2nd, 2010
      • I can afford it. I just don’t have the time off then. Sigh.

        Katt wrote on February 2nd, 2010
    • Believe me, I would LOVE to go, & I don’t think the price is bad at all! But unless I put aside our goal of getting rid of the rest of our plastic debt this year, there’s no way we can pay for the admission & the cost of air. :(

      Sarah wrote on February 3rd, 2010
  39. i would half expect primalcon to be deep in the woods. no computers allowed. we would be ifasting like crazy and writing in the sand w sticks!

    jellysoda wrote on February 2nd, 2010
    • I like it. You could call it “PrimalCore.” In the mean time, beaches and barbecues sound mighty fine to me.

      Furious Mittens wrote on February 2nd, 2010
    • Yeah, we considered getting more caveman with it, but the PB is all about living Primal in the context of the 21st century. I’d never give up the Grok stuff because it’s too much fun, but I’m also all about modern comforts and conveniences.

      Mark Sisson wrote on February 2nd, 2010
  40. Oh, it sounds wonderful! Unfortunately, I can’t get away during the school year (without playing hooky). If I could find a cheap flight from Baltimore to LA, I’d be there though. If folks in their 60s are going, I’ll feel better since I am 51 :) Off to Travelocity…

    Laurie Donaldson wrote on February 2nd, 2010

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