Mount Hood, Schweitzer, Whistler, Denali—the Northwest does not want for spectacular mountain destinations. Not only do they provide a stunning setting in which to live, work and play, they also serve as a gorgeous backdrop for meetings and events. While these locales are notable winter playgrounds for snowshoeing, skiing, snowboarding, tubing, ice skating, sleigh riding and other activities, they are also outstanding options for groups in the warm summer months. Here are a few Northwest resorts that sit at the foot or at the top of some of our region’s favorite peaks.
TIMBERLINE LODGE & SKI AREA | Oregon
Timberline Lodge & Ski Area, located east of Portland, opened in 1937 as a ski resort and is the only National Historic Landmark that is still being used as was originally intended. The lodge, at an elevation of 6,000 feet on the south side of Mount Hood, “was commissioned by Franklin Delano Roosevelt during the Great Depression under the Works Progress Administration to create jobs,” says John Burton, director of marketing and public relations.
The main lodge has 70 guest rooms. A second lodge, Silcox Hut, is located another 1,000 feet up and sleeps 24. “You walk into the main lodge, it’s this magnificent, wood-eaved, stone structure,” says Burton. “It’s aweinspiring and really a cool place with a casual atmosphere. It provides a premier mountain lodge experience.”
The majority of the event space is located in the main lodge. The largest offering is Ullman Hall, which can accommodate up to 200 guests for a seated dinner and up to 275 for a cocktail party, and can also be broken down into two smaller spaces. The Ullman Foyer can host up to 50 guests standing, and the Ullman Patio can host up to 400 standing.
Summer team-building activities include biking and scavenger hunts. There is also a heated outdoor pool and a hot tub.
SCHWEITZER MOUNTAIN RESORT IDAHO | Sandpoint, Idaho
There’s space to work and there’s space to play at Schweitzer Mountain Resort Idaho in Sandpoint.
“That’s really a great balance,” says Marketing Manager Dig Chrismer. “We’re located on 7,000 acres in the panhandle of north Idaho. From the summit of Schweitzer Mountain, guests have a gorgeous view of three states and Canada, plus magnificent Lake Pend Oreille. It’s definitely a mountaincasual atmosphere.”
Within a cozy village full of restaurants and shops is Selkirk Lodge, which has 92 guest rooms and a conference room that can accommodate up to 40 guests seated and up to 50 standing. Right across a courtyard stands a condominium hotel with 30 guest rooms. “We also rent 15 off-site mountain condominiums, some of which are within walking distance,” Chrismer says.
Lakeview Lodge holds most of the event space, including the Caribou Room—which has banquet seating for 175, theater seating for 225 and standing room for 250—and the North Room, which seats 200 in a banquet setting, 250 theater-style and has standing room for 300. Outside is the 3,250-squarefoot Village Patio. At the very summit of the mountain is the brand-new Sky House, which can accommodate up to 150 guests banquetstyle, 200 theater-style and 250 standing, and can be separated into two smaller spaces.
Summer team-building activities include hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, disc golf and tennis. There is also an outdoor pool.
TALKEETNA ALASK AN LODGE | Alaska
Open from mid-May to mid-September, Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge has an authentic Alaskan feel. “Alaska is pretty casual all around, and we’re no different,” says Beth Brandon, senior manager, marketing and brand experience, for the Alaska Collection, an Alaska-based travel organization that owns the lodge. “It’s a great way to experience the charming town of Talkeetna. It’s set high on a bluff with a stunning view of the entire Alaskan Range, including its centerpiece and the biggest mountain, Denali, which is the former Mount McKinley. You can also see the northern lights."
Guests are greeted in the main lodge by a warm and inviting—and huge—stone fireplace. The lodge has 149 guest rooms, three suites and the Base Camp Bistro. Five additional guest lodges can accommodate visitors in 60 total rooms.
Also in the main lodge are the Ptarmigan Room, which can accommodate up to 80 guests seated banquet-style and up to 125 theater-style; the Caribou Room, which can host up to 80 guests seated banquet-style and up to 100 standing; and the Foraker Dining Room, a fine-dining restaurant that can be used as event space for up to 125 guests seated and up to 170 theater-style.
NITA LAKE LODGE | Whistler, British Columbia
Peace and tranquility in a lakeside setting with seemingly ubiquitous Whistler Mountain views—that’s what you can expect to find at Nita Lake Lodge.
The 77-room lodge is located on the edge of Nita Lake in Whistler Creekside, just outside the main village of Whistler. “We offer a relaxed, casual, welcoming setting,” says Nancy Steward, marketing and communications manager. “It’s a unique place to bring your group.”
The event space includes a ballroom, which can accommodate up to 150 guests seated and up to 250 standing. It can also be broken down into two smaller spaces. Additional spaces include the Train Station, which can host up to 40 guests seated and up to 60 standing, and the Library, which can be transformed into an event space for up to 40 guests seated and up to 50 standing. “Our lakeside restaurant venues can be transformed into event spaces [as well],” Steward says.
Summer team-building activities include paddleboarding, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, biking and fishing. There is also a year-round plunge pool and a hot tub, both of which are outdoors, as well as a full-service spa.
SLEEPING LADY | Leavenworth, Washington
Sleeping Lady is a 58-guest room, four-season destination at the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in Leavenworth, Washington. It is named after the mountain in the canyon above the resort that resembles a woman’s profile.
“The setting is what we call ‘rustic elegance’,” says Director of Sales and Marketing Lori Vandenbrink.
Multiple buildings are spread throughout 44 acres on Icicle Creek. Seven buildings have guest rooms and 10 have meeting spaces. “We also have a library, a play barn (which is a family hospitality room), two restaurants, a bar and a spa—all of which are freestanding,” Vandenbrink says.
While one of the guest room buildings has a small meeting space, the majority of the meeting space can be found in buildings separate from the lodging, for added privacy. The largest is the Chapel Theater & Salmon Gallery, which can accommodate up to 96 guests seated and up to 100 standing in the Chapel Theater, and up to 80 guests seated and up to 100 standing in the Salmon Gallery. The smallest eventspace buildings, the Dipper and the Nuthatch, can each host up to 22 guests seated and up to 30 standing.
Summer team-building activities include world-class rock climbing, hiking and whitewater rafting. There is an outdoor pool and a year-round hot tub.