Archive for category General

Tis the Season for Accolades in Yellowstone – Teton Territory!

There’s no doubt that Teton Springs Lodge & Spa, A Natural Retreats property, reaps tremendous business success for a variety of reasons. First, the commitment by everyone on staff to provide stellar guest service to each and every guest that cross their door is is my view, unparalleled. These folks truly care and it’s not just because it’s their job to insure our customers have a memorable stay. It’s simply the culture at this boutique hotel, and speaks volumes about the caliber of the people who steer this ship. It explains why Teton Springs Lodge & Spa won the 2014 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award in 2014.

Our livelihood is here but we also live in this glorious valley. I have to think it’s a matter of pride. Everyone I know is always anxious to show off and share this marvelous place with family & friends. It’s simply too incredible to keep it all to ourselves, and God knows, there’s plenty of incredible to go around.

When you hear people say something works because of location, location, location, there’s typically a lot of truth in it. The shops, restaurants, outfitters etc in Teton Valley all reap a certain reward because they literally operate at the base of what many consider to be the most spectacular mountain range in North America. Then there’s the Teton River, definitely one of the top fisheries in the Northern Rockies, flanking the east side of Teton Valley. Add in recreation opportunities galore, and sprinkle in some genuine western hospitality, and there you have Teton Valley’s unequivocal recipe for success.

The Beautiful Teton Valley

It’s easy to see why Teton Valley is quickly becoming one of the top destinations for vacationers the minute you walk into the new Teton Geotourism Center in Driggs. At the Grand Opening celebration on August 1st, there was an impressive show by state, regional and local political types and tourism leaders from both sides of Teton Pass. Yet what really impressed me was the showing by the local residents; young, old and everyone in between. All in attendance were wearing ear- to-ear grins, and with good reason. It’s a beautiful facility with engaging interactive exhibits and fabulous photography celebrating the past, present and future of Teton Valley. It captures the character of this region from Swan Valley to Ashton, and will undoubtedly serve this entire community well as both a museum and visitor center. It also provides tremendous economic opportunities for our local businesses. It’s staffed by smiling volunteers who make you feel like you’re entering their living room. Again, that pride thing.

Teton Valley Biking

The week after the Geotourism Center ribbon cutting, Teton Valley had even more to celebrate. The International Mountain Bicycling Association gave a huge nod to the world-class mountain bike trails in Teton Valley. With this honor of having Teton Valley designated “Silver Ride Center” status, our community instantly joined the ranks of being one of the top mountain bike destinations in the entire nation.

Again, it’s the commitment by the local community to do everything at full throttle, and our local non-profit, Teton Valley Trails and Pathways, with a gaggle of volunteers in tow, deserves a lot of the credit. Neighboring Grand Targhee earned their own special kudos from IMBA for the outstanding mountain bike trails built at the resort over the past several years. Easy to see Targhee is well on tract to become one of the premier mountain bike destinations. After all, not many places one can ride the chairlift to the top of the mountain and be staring down the three most beautiful peaks in the world. Again, location, location, location plus a lot of hard work.

Many Outdoor Activities for Just About Everyone!

Besides the fly fishing, award-winning golf on the Headwaters Course, treatments at the Stillwaters Spa, hiking, swimming and other activities at this sprawling 780 resort, Teton Springs guests flock to the neighboring national parks.  It’s no surprise to me that USA Today readers recently voted Yellowstone National Park #3, and Grand Teton #6 of their Top 10 favorite national parks in the nation. Breathtaking scenery and abundant wildlife are but a few of the reasons these treasured parks rank so high with visitors.

Personally I would rank Yellowstone #1 and Grand Teton #2 and recently on a day excursion thru Yellowstone I was treated to multiple grizzly bear sightings (and Mr. Moose!). Teton Springs offers a multitude of summer packages in the gorgeous Lodge and Luxury Mountain Log Homes but the #1 package is their terrific Parks Package where admission to the national parks is free!

Hope to see you soon in the Tetons. There’s plenty of summer left to explore this special place we call home.

No Comments

Sunshine, Hula Hoopes & High Altitude Tunes

Sunshine, Hula Hoopes & High Altitude Tunes Bluegrass is Coming to Town! It’s not a stretch when I say that guests flocking to Natural Retreat’s Teton Springs Lodge & Spa the second weekend of August are headed to the Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival. It’s always a diverse audience filling lobby in this quiet boutique hotel in Victor, Idaho; parents with kids in tow, girlfriends looking to unveil to the world their latest butterfly tattoo and seniors looking for a quiet refuge when the day’s music is done. Teton Springs Lodge and Spa is the place to stay.

Even the guys filling the resort’s cabins for the weekend planning a golf-filled weekend at the Headwaters Club often find themselves trading in their collared shirt for tie dye or a crisp cowboy shirt, capping their day on the links with a performance or two at one of the country’s best Bluegrass gatherings. Teton Springs Lodge golf Members of this audience come in all shapes and sizes and everyone is simply happy to just be together in the cool mountain air. Sunsets are brilliant at 8,000 feet and the temps drop blissfully at night so pack accordingly.

It’s hard to believe the Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival is celebrating its 27th year. However, what’s not surprising is the staying power and continual growth of this magnificent gathering in the Teton Mountains. Slated for August 8-10, this festival, like so many great cultural phenomenons, enjoyed humble beginnings. Back in the stone age of the late 80′s, entertainers played under an unassuming picnic tent and festival goers sat on hay bales swaying to the bluesy sounds that filled the mountain air. I remember the first few festivals when there were fewer than a few hundred ticket holders, and the Targhee staff worked feverishly to get it right. They did indeed get it right, every year adding some new dimension to the festival to keep it vibrant. It was a learning curve that propelled this festival’s growth thru the roof.

What really changed the entire scope of this once intimate affair happened when Targhee moved to their permanent festival site. Located just a few steps from the resort’s base village center, the venue is now perched proudly on what serves as Targhee’s beginner ski slope and tubing park. It’s hard to imagine while sitting back and listening to the country’s most prolific Blue Grass stars that this site, now blanketed with wild flowers, is buried with Mother Nature’s finest. It’s almost as if this snow sliding slope was designed with festivals on the
brain; the stage is grand and the setting a natural amphitheater with every seat affording front row status. In fact, the further up on the hill one plunks their belongings, the better the music sounds.

There’s great food & drink courtesy of local vendors and tons of stuff for the kids to do. But there’s no getting bored for the adults with the likes of legendary Sam Bush, Nickel Creek, Tim O’Brien & Darrell Scott, all playing to the appreciative crowd… and that’s just the tip of the talent iceberg once can expect at the Targhee Bluegrass Festival.

When you’re ready for some quiet time and a reprieve from the sun, hop into the Stillwaters Spa & Salon at Teton Springs for a massage, facial or perhaps a mini Mani or Pedi (after all, you will be unleashing those toes for the world to see Bluegrass weekend!). . And, as good as the festival vendor grub is, nothing beats resting your back in a plush chair, slicing into a fat juicy New York steak & sipping a glass of Idaho’s best chardonnay. The Range at Teton Springs is at your disposal for just that. Or, savor a picnic lunch lakeside with all the fixins.

Indulge all your senses with a visit to Teton Springs this summer!

No Comments

Make This Mother’s Day Something Extra Special for the Woman in Your Life

May has always been my favorite month in Teton Valley. Green replaces white as our most prominent color, on the valley floor at least. It’s a welcomed transition from the glorious winter season, when daily activities are often dictated by the early morning powder alert. The month of May signals a fresh beginning, a time to dust off the mountain bike and begin to obsessively monitor yet another report, but this one is all about the fishing. However, hardcore skiers and boarders can still indulge their passion for sliding downhill by earning their turns with a simple hike up Teton Pass, or anywhere for that matter in the Tetons this season. Regardless of how addicted one is to the legendary powder plentiful in these parts November thru April, there’s nothing more satisfying than carving a big arc turn thru corn snow, with a texture as smooth and delicious as Idaho’s most famous mashed potatoes.

May is also extremely noteworthy for another reason. It’s a time to celebrate the women in our lives. While Mother’s Day is officially recognized but one day a year, hopefully this tribute to our moms, grand moms, wives, sisters, girlfriends, aunts, nieces, virtually anyone you share a maternal bond with, will linger long past one simple day designated on the calendar. Some cynics blame the greeting card giant Hallmark for creating this day of appreciation for those special women in our lives. It would have been a brilliant marketing move if they had, but they really can’t take the credit. This day in May has been around in some shape or form since the early 20th century, and while it has become decidedly more commercial, the relevance still shines through. Or it should.

Visit the Spa & Salon, Fly-fishing, the Range Dining and More

The folks at Teton Springs Lodge & Spa, now a member of the Natural Retreats Family, have the perfect solution on how to step out of the box and make this Mother’s Day extra special, and why not a Mother’s Weekend?!

While flowers are sweet, and breakfast in bed a luxury, imagine your special someone’s surprise and utter delight in waking up in a deluxe lodge room at Teton Springs. Start the celebration on Friday with a scrumptious dinner in the Range, Teton Valley’s latest and greatest restaurant nestled in the village at Teton Springs Resort with nationally celebrated Chef Rick Sordahl leading a highly touted culinary team.

Saturday choices could include a day of fly fishing on the legendary South Fork of the Snake with Teton Springs partner South fork Lodge Outfitters. These expert guides almost guarantee you’ll catch fish and they relish the chance to teach beginners. Talk about the gift for mom that keeps on giving and giving and giving…

Or, a visit to the Stillwaters Spa & Salon; they’ll celebrate moms the entire month of May with special promotions. As good as a back rub from our sweetie feels, nothing can compete with the hands of a professional and this staff is top notch.

Scrumptious Mothers Day Brunch and Get-away Packages

Mother’s Day begins with a short walk back to the Range for a scrumptious Mother’s Day brunch from 10:30 to 2:30 followed by a round of golf on the award-winning Headwaters Course. These masterfully designed links, created by the master himself, Byron Nelson, makes its 2014 debut on May 9. And, it’s worth noting, the Headwaters Golf Club celebrates its tenth anniversary this summer, and this facility has definitely gotten better with age, with its large smooth greens & mature trees guarding the fairways. One thing that hasn’t changed, the spectacular Teton & Big Hole Mountain views afforded the players in all directions. There’s a “Swing Into Spring” package that’s makes this Mother’s Day plan sweeter than any box of bob-bons, and given the occasion, definitely go for the one bedroom suite upgrade. The luxury of this upgrade is a real value and will set you
back less than a dozen roses would and the memories will linger long after the pedals fall from the vine.  (In fact, I’m confident the nice folks at Teton Springs Lodge will give Mom a complimentary one bedroom suite upgrade if you mention that you read it in this blog post).

The Most Beautiful Nature Drives and Hikes

If golf isn’t your thing, but a short road trip brimming with spectacular scenery and viewing wildlife is, take to the parks. Grand Teton, with its jaw-dropping saw-toothed peaks, and Yellowstone, our nation’s oldest and most revered national park, are but a short drive from Teton Springs. With few cars on the road this early in the parks season, it’s the optimum time to visit our national treasures. There are few cars on the road, and, it’s only fitting on this Mother’s Day weekend that you’ll be treated to rare glimpses of baby buffalo, moose, deer and elk, unveiling themselves to the viewing public.

Hats off to Moms everywhere! The folks at Teton Springs Lodge & Spa look forward to making this Mother’s Day and entire summer memorable for all the special women in our lives.


No Comments