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Photo © Claire Skinner

The Resort at Paws Up

A luxury Western-style experience awaits groups at this Montana resort

Set on a 37,000-acre working cattle ranch in the hills of western Montana, The Resort at Paws Up offers a rustic, yet luxurious, option for retreats, conferences or incentive trips. Even though they are only 35 minutes from Missoula, visitors to Paws Up will find themselves in the middle of a vast unspoiled landscape. It is a perfect choice for groups that want to have a get-away-from-it-all experience yet bask in the elegance of a first class resort.

Whether it is a conference for 300 in the 34,000 square-foot equestrian center arena at the Saddle Club or an intimate retreat in the 10-seat circular board room, groups will find a western-themed space that meets their needs.  The soaring vaulted ceiling and pine-wood paneling of the 3,145 square-foot Great Angus Hall provide a rustic, yet elegant ambiance for groups up to 200. The auditorium in the 6,480 square-foot Lewis and Clark Reception Barn, formerly where cattle auctions were held, is perfect for a theater-style presentation to as many as 200 attendees.

The old-west theme lives on in the luxury accommodations at Paws Up. The resort can accommodate groups as large as 200 in the stylishly appointed multi-suite homes that are designed to accommodate groups and retreats. For a unique experience in the summer months, visitors can opt to reserve one of the 30 luxury tents. Reminiscent of a four-star hotel room, these units take tent camping to a new level.

Group activities range from adventurous to relaxing. With white water rafting, fly-fishing, kayaking, rock rappelling, cross-county skiing, dog sledding and snowmobiling among the activities available, any group will find an option that suits its needs. For a true Wild West experience, learn to drive a wagon pulled by a team of horses or saddle up and join a cattle drive.

Dining options range from two acclaimed fine-dining restaurants and a full-service bar to chuck wagon cuisine prepared on a trail ride. With cell phone service and free WiFi, groups will be able to enjoy the relaxing environment of the resort yet still keep in touch with the outside world.

Pronghorn Resort

A spectacular Central Oregon landscape is the location for meetings and events in a stylish resort setting   

With lush green fairways surrounded by the remnants of a 1,000 year-old juniper forest and the Cascade Mountains anchored in the distance, Pronghorn Resort offers refined relaxation and inspiration. The 55,000 square-foot clubhouse, designed to evoke the style of the grand lodges of the West, is the centerpiece of the resort.

The refined grace of the lodge complementing the rustic Central Oregon landscape offers several sophisticated meeting spaces. At the same time, Pronghorn provides an abundance of fun activities for team building and post-conference action.

Modern meeting rooms with state-of-the-art audiovisual capability and locally-inspired catering allow a customized experience for any group. The 528 square-foot Fireside board room is perfect for a planning meeting or executive retreat of up to 16. Larger groups can take advantage of the 6,900 square-foot Event Island for a 300-guest event or ceremony. The Pronghorn Clubhouse and its surrounding lawn provide 13,000 square feet of space for up to 500 guests. Several smaller rooms can serve as breakout rooms and the 2,146 square-foot Chanterelle Dining Room offers a rustic and refined culinary experience.

Two golf courses, the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course and the Tom Fazio Championship Course provide 36 holes to challenge any golfer. Two restaurants, tennis courts, a spa, pool and miles of hiking and biking trails offer a variety of activities for a post-conference afternoon.

The region is filled with opportunities for team building and recreational activities. Nearby Smith Rocks State Park has some of the finest rock climbing in the state. Other activities include fly fishing on the Metolius River, whitewater rafting on the Deschutes River, and winter skiing or summer mountain biking in the Deschutes National Forest.  The resort’s staff can arrange a guided adventure for any group. A short shuttle ride will take guests into Bend for an afternoon of shopping, dining or micro-brew sampling.

Whether your group wants a conference that includes vigorous activity, a retreat in a quiet setting or a combination of both, Pronghorn can meet your needs.

Big Sky Resort

A majestic Yellowstone-area resort offers a memorable meeting and event experience

Located in the heart of southwest Montana’s dramatic Rocky Mountain scenery, Big Sky Resort offers a huge selection of modern meeting spaces and nearly unlimited opportunities for group activities. With more than 5,800 acres and over 300 named ski runs, Big Sky boasts of being the largest ski resort in the U.S. Luxurious lodging, world-class winter activities and an active summer season provide year-round opportunities for conferences and retreats.

The resort has the facilities to meet the needs of any group whether it is a corporate planning retreat for 25 or a major conference for 750. The Yellowstone Conference center has 55,000 square feet of meeting space with the 7,991 square-foot Missouri Ballroom able to accommodate 750 theater-style or 500 for a banquet. It can be divided into thirds for smaller gatherings. Smaller rooms range from the 442 square-foot Board Room that holds 16 to the 1,200 square-foot Amphitheater that seats 120 for a presentation or performance. The floor-to-ceiling windows of the 2,592 square-foot Talus Room offer impressive mountain views for groups up to 200.

More than 9,000 square feet of additional meeting and banquet rooms offers flexible space for groups with as many as 300 attendees. The hotel and condominium properties at the resort offer a complete range of business and group amenities including free WiFi throughout the property. More than 800 guest rooms, suites and condominiums provide lodging for over 2,000 guests.

The resort offers a full range of team building and post-conference activities for any group. Whether it is active recreation such as the two-hour Zipline Experience (available in winter as well as summer), a high ropes course, ski lessons or golf on the 18-hole Arnold Palmer Signature Course, groups will find an activity that suits their needs. The resort offers specialized team building programs for groups of all sizes.

More relaxed alternatives include a full-service spa, a scenic tram ride to the 11,166-foot summit of Lone Peak, perusing the shops in Meadow Village and dining in one of the resorts many restaurants. The entrance to Yellowstone National Park is only an hour away providing easy day-trip options. Any group will find opportunities for a productive get-together at Big Sky.

Resort at the Mountain

A lavish Oregon resort in a verdant mountain setting, perfect for a conference or retreat

Tucked away on 209 acres of lush forest amid the western highlands of the Mount Hood territory, the Resort at The Mountain provides a scenic setting for any meeting. The resort has 157 guest rooms and suites along along with countless team building and recreation activities for groups of any size. Whether you are planning a large conference or a small private retreat, The Resort at The Mountain is worth consideration.

More than 18,000 square feet of flexible space that includes 16 meeting and banquet spaces is ready for groups ranging in size from 5 to 750. In the Main Lodge, the expansive windows of the 6,784 square-foot Cascades Ballroom frame grand views of the forest and mountains.  The room holds 750 in theater-style seating and 464 for a banquet.  Also in the Main Lodge, The Trees, a 1,779 square-foot dividable room can accommodate 120 for a reception or up to 170 in theater seating.  Both the Cascades Ballroom and The Trees can be divided into smaller spaces that have capacities ranging from 14 to 250.

The East Side Complex, located a short distance from the Main Lodge houses The Trail, a 3,224 square-foot event space accommodating 320 theater-style or 216 for a banquet. With two additional rooms, The Foliage at 1,250 square feet, that accommodates up to 100, and The Moscovy at 459 square feet accommodating 30, offer a variety of options depending on the size of the group. During the summer months, The Pavilion, with 3,200 square feet and room for a 250-person reception, is a picturesque setting for an outdoor event.

The upscale casual Altitude Restaurant and Lounge showcases locally-produced fare in a comfortable setting. The Mallards Café, open seasonally, offers familiar fare and a pub-like atmosphere. On-site catering can meet the food and beverage needs of any event.

A 27-hole golf course (three distinct nines), four tennis courts, a full-service spa and a variety of hiking and nature trails offer an abundance of post-conference activities. The Resort puts an emphasis on team building activities. Groups can indulge in some unique team building options such as a putting contest on the 18-hole putting course, a croquet or lawn bowling tournament, foot golf (combining the sports of soccer and golf) and a campfire complete with story-telling and s’mores.

Culinary adventures such as an Iron Chef competition, a cooking demonstration or a foraging scavenger hunt are among the activities provided by The Resort’s Executive Chef/Director of Food and Beverage. For active groups, The Resort can arrange white water rafting, skiing, mountain biking, and guided hikes at nearby areas.

The Resort offers complimentary WiFi, free parking and is only an hour from Portland and the Portland International Airport.  With so many amenities and activities, groups find it easy to create a productive yet relaxing conference or retreat in an inspirational setting.

Shore Lodge

A lakeside resort in the shadow of Idaho’s alpine wonderland rolls out the welcome mat for meetings and events

Famous for year-round outdoor activities, McCall, Idaho, is an attractive option for recreation enthusiasts. Throughout the long winter, visitors come to indulge in snow sports of all varieties. Warmer seasons entice lovers of water sports and mountain adventures. Whatever the draw, McCall is the favorite destination for many.

Lounging on the shores of Payette Lake in McCall, Idaho, the Shore Lodge is a centerpiece of this region’s all-season wonderland. The lodge delivers a cozy and intimate resort experience for guests in its 77 immaculate suites. At the same time, it offers a variety of meeting spaces and year-round activities that will make any conference or retreat a success.

With 13 venues totaling 19,000 square feet of meeting space, the lodge has the perfect space for groups as small as 10 or as large as 300. A massive stone fireplace, rustic wooden architecture and large windows overlooking the lake are highlights of the 2,900 square-foot Upper Payette Pavilion. This room can accommodate a banquet of 200 or seating for 300 theater style.

The 2,500 square-foot Lower Payette Pavilion, featuring the same décor and lakeside views, offers a more intimate space for smaller groups with theater-style seating for up to 250. Smaller board room style spaces, such as the 570 square-foot Mill Room or the combinable Cutthroat and Steelhead Rooms, are perfect for small gatherings and breakout sessions. The elegantly appointed Ford Theater provides tiered seating for up to 43 and is handy for a keynote presentation, lecture or even a night of movies.

Three restaurants and on-site catering can supply all of your group’s meal and break needs. All meeting rooms offer modern state-of-the-art technology and the full-service support team works hard to ensure the success of every event.

Noted for its extensive outdoor activity options, the McCall region offers plenty of team building and post-conference pursuits in any season. Winter visitors can ski, snowshoe or snowmobile at one of the area’s world-class ski areas. Warmer seasons offer hiking, biking, golf and a variety of water sports. The staff at the Shore Lodge will assist planners in setting up the perfect menu of activities for their group.

Whether it is a luxurious massage respite or an escape to an indoor or outdoor salt-water immersion pool, The Cove spa offers the opportunity to recover from a vigorous afternoon of activity or simply to relax and recharge.

The Shore Lodge is located a scenic two-hour drive from Boise and the Boise airport. Charter flights are available to the McCall airport from Boise.

Sleeping Lady Resort

Rustic elegance in an alpine wonderland is perfect for a retreat or conference

Tucked into the east side of the Cascade Mountains on the banks of Icicle Creek, Leavenworth Washington’s Sleeping Lady Resort provides a natural environment for a productive and engaging meeting. “We are a unique resort,” says Lori Vandenbrink, director of sales and marketing. “Meeting attendees will find that our cabins and meeting spaces are designed to encourage more interaction with nature and with each other,” she adds.

Originally built in the 1930s to house the Civilian Conservation Corps and later transformed into a church camp, the property has been remodeled into a luxury resort that blends into the natural surroundings. The resort can now accommodate as many as 162 guests in its 58 guest rooms. A restaurant that offers gourmet cuisine featuring produce from the resort’s 2-acre organic garden, a relaxing day spa and complimentary WiFi provide all the amenities a group will need.

With 9 meeting rooms and more than 10,000 square feet of meeting space, Sleeping Lady is ideal for groups from 30 to 190. The dramatic granite walls and staircase of the 1,539 square-foot Chapel Theater evoke the mountain setting of the resort. The chapel holds as many as 190 in a theater-style set up. The 1,140 square-foot Tadpole meeting space features expansive views of Sleeping Lady Mountain, the resort’s namesake. Many of the meeting spaces are in separate buildings dispersed around the resort’s 67-acre landscape.  Whether it is a corporate planning retreat, a training session or conference, the resort offers the perfect setting for a productive and memorable event.

“There are no televisions at the resort and that is by design,” explains Vandenbrink, “Our mission is to foster connectedness between guests and encourage interaction with nature,” she adds. Another feature of the resort is that meals are included in the meeting package. “We will cater meetings at the meeting space if the group really wants that but we encourage them to leave the meeting space, get some fresh air and come to the restaurant for meals. It’s another way to create positive interactions,” she says.

The resort offers plenty of variety when it comes to post-meeting and team building activities. The focus is on human-powered activities such as cross-country skiing and snow shoeing in the winter and hiking, whitewater rafting, paddle boarding and birding tours in the warmer months. Quiet activity options include the full-service spa, yoga instruction, summer garden tours and winter sleigh rides. For shopping and sightseeing, groups can head to the charming town of Leavenworth with its German alpine ambience. The town is only a few minutes from the resort.

Suncadia Resort

Modern luxury in a majestic mountain resort setting awaits groups of all sizes

About 80 miles east of Seattle, Suncadia Resort sits on the sunny eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains.  Modeled on the historic mountain lodges of the Pacific Northwest, Suncadia offers groups a full-service resort atmosphere with modern amenities in two elegant facilities.

Set on the banks of the Cle Elum River as it cascades down from the high peaks, the Lodge at Suncadia has more than 16,000 square feet in seven meeting rooms and an additional 30,000 square feet of outdoor venues.  The dividable 5,940 square-foot Rialto can accommodate 550 for a reception or 528 guests theater-style. The adjacent Owens room will accommodate as many as 240 in its 2,688 square feet of space. Smaller rooms are perfect for breakout session or smaller retreats.

With an additional 5,000 square feet of event space, the nearby Inn at Suncadia accommodates up to 150 in a secluded, comfortable setting. Opening on to two terraces, the meeting rooms at the Inn at Suncadia provide a private setting in close proximity to the rest of the resort property. Suncadia’s meeting rooms feature state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, large flat panel displays and WiFi is available.

Suncadia excels at providing group activities. The resort offers a variety of activities specifically tailored to a group’s team building desires. Whether it is teaming up to create a chariot that can navigate an obstacle course or build a boat that can carry someone across the swimming pool and back, groups will be challenged to work together to accomplish a task. The Suncadia team will guide your group through a ropes course or on an archery challenge. Guided fly-fishing, river floating, stand-up paddle boarding, ice skating, snowshoeing and cross country skiing await, depending on the season.  Golfers will want to try out the resort’s two 18-hole golf courses.

A full-service spa, two restaurants and a lounge offer opportunities for post-conference relaxation and networking. The Swiftwater Cellars, overlooking the golf course, features a restaurant and tasting bar offering wines sourced from select Northwest vineyards.

Whether the group is seeking a quiet retreat for a planning conference or a variety of rewarding team activities, Suncadia provides an exceptional experience.

The Lodge at Sandpoint

Ambience and comfort in the shadow of northern Idaho’s scenic playground

In the shadow of Schweitzer Mountain along the sandy shores of Northern Idaho’s Lake Pend Oreille, the Lodge at Sandpoint is a rustic boutique lodge in a glorious setting. Guests have the sense of staying in a private vacation home filled with comfortable furniture and art. The floor-to-ceiling windows in the Great Room feature views across the lake to a dramatic mountain landscape.

Indoor facilities can accommodate up 150 guests for a retreat or meeting. A tent, gazebo and spacious decks offer scenic outdoor space for social gatherings. The hallmark of the Lodge at Sandpoint is a cozy ambience. Stained glass windows and art-filled walls provide a warm atmosphere. The lodge’s 29 guest rooms and suites feature waterfront balconies and all the modern amenities. Free WiFi is available throughout the lodge.

The Sandpoint area has a variety of recreation opportunities for team building and post-conference entertainment. The 43-mile long lake entices visitors for sailing or charter fishing outings in its quiet waters. Bike paths lead out in several directions. Summer golfing and winter skiing are highlights of the region. Groups looking for an educational outing should schedule a trip to the Bird Aviation Museum and Invention center in nearby Garfield. This unique museum offers exhibits celebrating early aviation pioneers and the work of inventors and engineers who have created modern technology.

The lodge’s central location in the town of Sandpoint offers guests a variety of opportunities to take in the region’s natural beauty and activity. Whether it is a stroll through the picturesque town, an afternoon checking out the galleries and boutiques, enjoying a fine restaurant or taking in one of the town’s music festivals, there are activities for everyone.