Like an island in the middle of a lush expanse of public-space splendor, Jackson Hole offers a meetings experience in which attendees commune with nature while being immersed in arts.
“I like to call it ‘ISP’—it’s a place to bring people together to invigorate, stimulate and promote great minds for a meaningful meeting,” says Kent Elliott, destination sales manager for the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, which acts as the destination marketing organization for the area. “The natural beauty puts you in that mindset. When you fly into Jackson Hole you’re flying into the only commercially operated airport within a national park—Grand Teton National Park.”
And if the jagged, towering Tetons don’t transfix your attendees, the town’s world-class arts offering, courtesy of its wealthy citizenry, certainly will.
“The level of culture and arts in Jackson is really just incredible. We have well over 60 art galleries,” Elliott says. “There is wealth in the Jackson Hole area, but it’s an understated wealth. They’re not here to be seen, but certainly they make a difference in our community with their philanthropy.”
Standouts include the Center for the Arts and the National Museum of Wildlife Art, both of which offer a wide range of meeting space for dinners and receptions.
“Without the philanthropy in the area, those would’ve never got off the ground, because it takes a lot of money to develop those things,” Elliott says.
Many groups visiting Jackson Hole schedule meetings in the morning and then venture out to incorporate activities such as float trips or white-water rafting on the Snake River, or forays into the national parks (Yellowstone and Grand Teton).
The area boasts some of the best skiing on the continent, with its Jackson Hole Mountain Resort ski area recently voted the top ski resort in North America by readers of SKI Magazine.
Local DMCs are adept at assisting with all or parts of off-site itineraries, such as renting out the palatial homes of the local elite for dinners.
While the chamber of commerce doesn’t actively promote the renting of local private estates for events, Elliott says local DMCs will entertain “serious inquiries.”
The destination offers everything from three- to five-diamond properties, such as the Snake River Lodge and the Teton Mountain Lodge, located about 13 and 20 miles from the airport, respectively, in Teton Village.
When it comes to the pinnacle of the luxe market, Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole, also in Teton Village and featuring ski-in, ski-out access and a full-service spa, certainly fits the bill. The lodge-style property, which features 8,000 square feet of meeting space for up to 270, was voted one of the Top 25 Hotels in the United States in TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice 2013 Awards.
But whether it’s an immaculately groomed ski run, a five-star luxe mountain lodge or a world-class piece of art, meeting attendees visiting the Jackson Hole area will never be far from nature, so don’t be surprised if you spy a bald eagle or black bear off-session!