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Outdoors Friendly Meeting Locations
I have the luxury of picking six business meeting locations for a group of mostly non-hunters (not anti) in the next couple years. I get to pick two May/June and two September/October meeting locations, wife gets January both years. The January locations will likely be some place in the Caribbean, Mexico or potentially a ski resort.
I want to do the June and September meetings near good outdoor activities as a lot of our meeting locations are in the typical big cities (Chicago, NY, Miami, San Francisco, etc.). We need a nice hotel, meeting facilities for 75 people and be a reasonable drive from a major airport as people will be flying in from all around the country.
Here's a few locations that I've thought of off hand;
- Vail Area - June or September
- Estes Park Area - September
- Lake Tahoe - January
- Big Cedar Lodge in Branson, MO - June or September/October
- Maine - September/October in the colors
I know there are many other places around the country that could meet the requirement, but I figured many of you may have stayed in places or know of places that may fit the bill. If you know a place by name, list it out so I can check it out to see if I think it will fit the bill.
Throw out some locations that would help expose this business group to our great outdoors!
I can only speak of Colorado myself, Vail is cool in snow weather pretty much everything else in off season (Ski Season) is pretty lame. Its great ski country but much more to see in Estes Park and surrounding Estes park.
I would pick Estes Park over Vail myself if you choose Colorado. For the non working spouses if they do go within 1.5 hours you can see a tremendous amount of Colorado and Estes Park is gorgeous anytime of the year even in June, everything is so green at that month.
Estes Park would be a great area in September. Fall colors and bugling elk in the Rocky Mountain National Park. Aspens will usually start turning toward the middle of September. If you are coming out, you could combine it with a week or so of hunting:)
June is a bit early in the Colorado high country. Still pretty cool at night, not fully greened up, and lots of runoff going on. Will be quite a bit greener by the end of June than early in the month. Could be good for a little side-line rafting adventure.
I live in the Steamboat Springs area and there are a ton of outdoor activities up in this area. A little lower elevation than Vail so it warms up a bit sooner here. You can fly into Hayden or come up from Denver on a shuttle.
Summit County (Frisco, Dillon, etc.) will also warm up quicker than Vail in June and may be worth looking at. It is closer than Vail or Steamboat to Denver. Very nice mountains around there with plenty of outdoor activities.
July/August are usually the best months for Colorado high country. Might also work out for some scouting if you were wanting to elk hunt in September:)
PS - You might want to add Cody or Jackson Hole to your list as well. Both are great locations with lots of outdoors activities and close proximity to Yellowstone. Jackson Hole is one of my favorite areas in the West.
FYI...from what I've heard Branson has gone downhill in recent years. I haven't been recently but have heard that from others who have visited.
I would disagree with Brotsky on Branson. The new (old) downtown area is awesome and ripe for conventions. Fishing is great and there is all of the tourist shows, etc.
Depends on what kind of outdoor activities you're looking to get into. The ones you mentioned are great. I'm a little biased but New Orleans is a great location, particularly if you lump fishing in as an outdoor activity you're interested in. You can come and have all of the amenities of a big city (incredible hotels, incredible food, lots of touristy things to do) and you're less than an hour drive to some marinas that are the gateways to the best fishing in the world -- be it inshore, near-shore, or offshore. Not much to do from a hiking/biking/skiing standpoint here, but the fishing can't be beat!
Jackson Hole was a place I thought of after I typed this out, added to the possibilities list for sure. I'll have to look up Summit county a bit more.
BEG, I'll be in New Orleans in May for this same group...
Keep the suggestions and critiques coming!
Phoenix is lovely in June. Some days, it's even below 120 degrees. If getting heat stroke is considered an outdoor activity, I highly recommend it!
Phoenix in June = Hell on Earth!
New Orleans in April is good, starting to get too hot in May but the fishing and food is awesome. Reminds me, need to plan a trip down there in March or April...
Maybe the Florida Keys for a winter location - figure out when the bonefish or tarpon fishing is good and set up around then.
You might consider Alaska in June as well. Anchorage or Juneau are both pretty neat towns with great fishing and sight-seeing around those areas.
Jackson WY already mentioned, is one of my favorites.
Coeur d'Alene, ID is another that doesn't get much attention but is amazing
Sedona AZ is a beautiful part of the State. June would work but Sept. even better.
Treeline - If you are coming down to New Orleans send me a PM. I'll take you fishing in my boat. It's always great meeting Bowsiters.
Rapid City, SD
Wasn't sure exactly what you meant by "major" airport. Based on your initial post and some others afterwards it seemed a good regional or small international airport was okay.
Hood River Oregon, beautiful area of Oregon with lots to do outdoors, whitewater rafting on the white salmon river,fishing on the Columbia.great waterfalls, and the orchards and vineyards.
If you are checking out Jackson Hole make sure you check out Teton Village - their lodge is REALLY something - a few miles from Jackson Hole. I've been there several times. In the fall on our way back home from our elk hunt, we would go in the park and play with the elk with our cow calls and bugles - we called in some real studs and had a blast.
Steamboat Springs. The Hayden airport handles big planes from many major airports. So much to do there, rafting, fishing for trout or giant northern pike, golf, hiking, mountain biking, gondola ride up the mountain to eat, couple different hot springs, shopping, way more laid back and visitor-friendly than pretentious (and VERY expensive) Vail. I'd take Steamboat over Vail any day and I've spent a lot of time in both.
+3 on Jackson Hole in Sept/Oct..... Grand Teton is must see drive thru and elk /moose are everywhere.
Good luck, Robb
If you have reason to be in Western Pennsylvania check out Nemocolin Woodlands.
LOL Take them to Sturgis, South Dakota the first week of August you will be RockStar after that!!!!
A bunch of great recommendations last year on this, so I'm going to bump it up and I've also added Banff Alberta to my list of possibles for this trip.
To clarify major airport, we need to get people from all over the country to an airport with only one layover and be within an hour and half drive. I'm stretching it with the 1.5 hour drive as it's usually 30 minutes to a major city, but I'm dragging these city folk outdoors... :)
Anywhere else for a summer or fall location? How about a sunny January location with some good fishing? We've been as far as Hawaii and Aruba, so I thought about Costa Rica?
I'd scratch Banff off the list. Canada has that DUI thing on the books and it might keep someone from your group from getting into the country. I know a couple of people who have had this unpleasant experience. One was going to Toronto with a group for work and the other was on a black bear hunt with friends. If you do consider Canada, I would definitely make this entry restriction clear to the group. On one of the bear threads, a Canadian attorney is listed as a contact to accommodate people in this department, so long as they plan ahead!
Yeah, we've run into that before as we've had meetings in Vancouver, Toronto, Victoria, etc. We've taken the position as a group that it doesn't matter to us much. Thanks for the heads up though. Seems like you hear about that with hunting travel, but rarely do you hear of it for other business travel. it seems.
I disagree with Estes over Vail. Vail has better golfing, and whitewater rafting. The scenery is just as spectacular, and has at least as good horseback riding, hiking (lift assisted if you prefer), jeep tours, fishing, dining, and shopping - and with less crowds.
There's a Ritz in the desert near Marana, AZ that is pretty neat for corporate outings.
I just recently stayed at a JW Marriot outside of Tucson that was pretty cool and geared towards business outings.
Don't rule out Montana. Some great outings to be had in Bozeman, Whitefish/Kalispel.
If Canada is in the picture, the whole Banff, Canmore, Kananaskis country is beautiful and full of outdoor activities.
The Smokey Mountains in Tennessee is pretty neat as well. There is a great place called Blackberry Farms that I've stayed at a time or two. They offer fly fishing lessons, archery lessons, equestrian stuff and you have the whole Smokey Mountain/Appalachian trail thing going on.
Your list has some great locations as well. I tend to gravitate towards places that don't get/have a lot of tourist traffic. Aside from the Canada places I list, the others are pretty low key.