“Over the Pass”July 23, 2015
Earlier this month, after four years in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, GIC and our partners at the Bronze Buffalo Foundation brought the Rocky Mountain Economic Summit to a new location. We journeyed “over the pass” as the Wyomingites describe it, into Victor, Idaho, to hold this hallmark event at a new outdoor venue. Our delegates and speakers enjoyed two days at the Teton Springs Resort and Club admiring a different, yet still breathtakingly beautiful, view of the Grand Teton Mountain Range, amidst lush, rolling golf greens.
While our program took place on Friday, July 10, participants arrived a day or two early to explore the new locale and enjoy the lodge’s amenities including a full service spa, tennis courts, two golf courses with a driving range and a beautiful poolside oasis, perfect for soaking up the Rocky Mountain sunshine (fresh squeezed margaritas optional but encouraged). There are two eateries on property: a casual café offering counter-service breakfast, lunch and cocktails, as well as the Headwaters Grille, where GIC held its Speakers’ Welcome Dinner. Guests enjoyed wine and hors d’ouerves on the patio overlooking Idaho’s picture-perfect mountains followed by our private dinner in the rustic and elegant dining room.
While in this part of the country you won’t find yourself in a bustling metropolis, but with an easy 20-minute ride west of sleepy little Victor, you’ll discover the quaint village of Driggs. Along the eight-mile stretch, you’ll pass by “The Spud,” one of the United States’ few remaining drive-in movie theaters dating back to the 1950’s. You’ll also pass Linn Canyon Ranch, a horse ranch nestled two miles down a dirt road offering guided horseback rides through the Idaho hills. You’ll know you’ve arrived in Driggs when you see the friendly-faced bison overlooking the town’s one stoplight is smiling down at you. To your left, you’ll find an adorably retro corner drug store complete with a classic soda fountain with original fixtures dating back to 1900. To the right, is the wonderfully scenic route to Grand Targhee Mountain Resort, which offers plenty of summertime activities such as mountain biking, hiking or just a leisurely ride on a chairlift to admire the stunning Idaho vistas.
My previous post described additional tourism suggestions for the area, specifically in Jackson Hole; however I now have one more to add. After the conference concluded, early on Saturday morning, I drove back to Teton Village to the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, where (much to the dismay of my GIC colleagues and family back home) I became a member of the United States Hang-gliding and Paragliding Association. I and a group of 12 other daredevils piled into pickup trucks and trekked 40 minutes up the 9,000 foot Rendezvous Mountain with every intention to run off of it. The guides scouted an adequate launching point at 8,606 feet above the valley, where we donned our harnesses, clipped ourselves to our guides and ran downhill until the ground fell away and we were flying. I was the first of the group to take off and my cousin, my travel companion this trip, took off right behind me. For an indescribable and unforgettable 15 minutes, I was soaring. After a shockingly flawless landing, I chose my photo keepsakes, which hang at my desk in the GIC office, where I continue to revel in the exhilaration of my amazing experience.
I’m delighted to share with you that GIC has already confirmed a date for the eighth annual Rocky Mountain Economic Summit on July 15, 2016. I hope you’ll join GIC for our next adventure “over the pass” for a conference that offers our guests an experience unlike any of our other destinations.
Other suggestions for the area
- Teton Springs: http://www.tetonsprings.com
- Forage Bistro in Driggs, Id.: http://www.forageandlounge.com/
- Teton Thai in Driggs, Id.: http://tetonthai.com/driggs/
- Grand Teton Brewing Co.: http://www.grandtetonbrewing.com/Brewery.html