by Michel Tallichet, courtesy Big Sky Resort
Published December 01, 2017
The Rocky Mountains stretch 3,000 miles from British Columbia south to New Mexico, and five states hug the range’s severe slopes and soaring peaks along the way: Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah.
Whether it’s spotting mountain goats on the summit of Lone Peak in Montana, enjoying views of the Grand Tetons’ granite faces in Wyoming or climbing otherworldly red spires in Colorado’s Garden of the Gods, these mountain resorts offer meeting planners and attendees plenty of function space, impressive activities and amazing vistas.
Big Sky Resort
Big Sky, Montana
Big Sky Resort in Montana, about an hour’s drive south of Bozeman, is one of the few places where you can summit an 11,000-foot mountain without ever having to climb.
Groups start by taking a scenic ride on a ski lift higher up the mountain and then board custom-built off-road trucks for a tour of Lone Mountain’s upper alpine terrain. Finally, an aerial tram glides guests to the 11,166-foot peak.
While Lone Peak Expedition is the resort’s signature activity, groups can also go whitewater rafting, horseback riding, mountain biking and zip lining, as well as skiing and snowboarding in the winter.
Big Sky has more than 55,000 square feet of meeting and conference space, most of it housed in the Yellowstone Conference Center. The 8,000-square-foot Missouri Ballroom can be divided into three separate rooms and is the resort’s largest and most-used space, said Brandon Bang, senior director of sales.
Four accommodation options make up the core village: the Huntley Lodge, the Shoshone Condominium Hotel, the Summit at Big Sky and the Village Center. Huntley, Shoshone and the conference center are all under one roof.
Indoor and outdoor function space is sprinkled throughout the property. The 2,600-square-foot Talus Room in the Summit has tall windows, and the Peaks Restaurant and adjoining terrace have a splendid view of Lone Peak and are available for summertime events. The Lone Peak Pavilion is a tented grassy pavilion at the base of the ski area.
Everett’s 8800 is a high-end, log cabin-style restaurant that sits at the top of Andesite Mountain. The restaurant can seat about 90 people inside, but paired with its massive wraparound deck, which delivers views of Lone Peak, the restaurant could host up to 200 guests, Bang said.
“To be staring from the restaurant right across to the peak is just incredible,” he said.
Coeur d’Alene Resort
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
National Geographic named Idaho’s Lake Coeur d’Alene one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, which may be why business magnate Duane Hagadone chose to build the Coeur d’Alene Resort on its banks.
If the lake is the crown, the resort is the jewel, with 338 guest rooms, five — soon to be six — dining options, including a floating restaurant, and 32,000 square feet of event space, along with a golf course, a spa, a marina and a fleet of cruise boats.
The resort just started the process of renovating all its guest rooms, said Todd Gillespie, director of sales and marketing, and the conference center just completed a renovation in October that included new carpeting, wall coverings and lighting system, as well as new furniture and artwork.
There, a 15,000-square-foot hall can be used as one large space or be broken into six smaller bays, one of which can also be halved. Across the conference lobby area, the Bayview Rooms offer 3,900 square feet of lake-view meeting space that can also be split into three smaller rooms.
A few years ago, Hagadone invested $10 million to build the 7,000-square-foot Hagadone Event Center, with soaring glass walls that look over the infinity pool to the beach and lake, as well as the golf course’s renowned 14th hole, the Floating Green. A private garden can be used for high-end board meetings, lunches or receptions, Gillespie said.
Groups may also gather on one of the resort’s five full-service cruise ships, which can hold 149 to 350 passengers. During downtime, meeting attendees can kayak, paddleboard, hike or even arrange for seaplane rides.
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