Break up with the beach and send incentive winners to these luxury mountain getaways in Montana, Utah and Colorado.
Big Sky Resort
There’s nothing quite like an escape to the majestic Rocky Mountains in Montana’s Big Sky country. Guests hailing from the Southeast and Northeast regions will be especially taken aback by the amount of snow (more than 400 inches annually) and sheer size of the peaks. The location is made even more special for incentive groups at Big Sky Resort through activities like wine and cheese receptions at 11,000 feet atop Lone Peak, which has views of three states.
Airlift into Bozeman, Montana, a 45-minute drive from Big Sky, has been improved, with daily nonstop service to Denver, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City and Seattle, plus seasonal service to Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco.
The resort has added two new intermediate runs and one beginner run for the 2016 ski season, as well as a new ski connection providing access between two of the lifts. Everett’s 8800, the resort’s newest mountaintop restaurant opened in December 2014, is an elegant space with an expansive deck and large fireplaces—a welcome respite after a day on the slopes.
Swap out your ski boots for walking shoes to take advantage of local shopping options. The resort has free bus transportation to Big Sky Town Center and Meadow Village, both with a range of local stores selling items from jewelry to outerwear to luxury goods.
Accommodation options sleep more than 2,000 guests and range from hotel rooms and cabins to luxury condos and four-star chalets. For groups in town on bleisure, the nearby Yellowstone Conference Center has 55,000 square feet of meeting space.
Waldorf Astoria Park City
The perfect meeting would be both rejuvenating and innovative. Get the best of both worlds at Waldorf Astoria Park City in Utah, which has a unique Gathering Room for meetings—right in the middle of its 16,000-sq.-ft. spa.
Located 35 minutes from Salt Lake City International Airport at the base of Park City Mountain Resort, one of Utah’s largest ski resorts, the hotel has a dedicated gondola to Canyons Village and a variety of new offerings to attract incentive groups. For the adventurous, there’s the Wasatch Extreme experience, which includes two days of heli-skiing in the backcountry of the Wasatch Mountains, a private session with a ski stylist (because how you look is as important as how you turn!) and dinner at High West Distillery in Park City. For those who want to trade in their skis for skates, private ice-skating lessons with Patrick Meek, a member of the U.S. National Speedskating team, are available; and guests who’d rather chill can hang out at Powder Champagne Ice Lounge, with a 14-ft. bar of carved ice, live entertainment and cozy fur blankets.
For VIPs, the Waldorf Astoria suites are arguably Park City’s most luxurious. The 2,000-sq.-ft. bilevel suite has four bedrooms, five gas fireplaces, a full gourmet kitchen and three private balconies, while the Presidential Residence can host a banquet for up to 64 people.
“Do you want to build a snowman?” Guests at Keystone Resort in Colorado can compete against one another to build the best one out of ice. In between off-mountain snowmobile excursions and group ice sculpture competitions (a literal team icebreaker, if you will), incentive winners can bask in the luxury of the resort—think yoga classes led by Olympic skier Michelle Roark or reviving oxygen massages at the spa—and the beauty of the Rocky Mountains. Another teambuilding activity, offered through partner company CBST Adventures, is the Winter Rescue Challenge in which team members combine GPS and beacon technology with tactical exercises in wilderness safety to enhance their skills in risk and resource management.
The resort’s lodging options range from individual townhomes and luxury condominiums to the lodge and conference center within Lakeside Village, which has more than 60,000 square feet of meeting space. Regardless of where guests stay, snow activities abound, from tubing and night skiing to sleigh rides and dogsled tours. The picturesque mountain town of Keystone is filled with local restaurants and boutiques surrounding a frozen lake that serves as an ice-skating rink in winter and a prime spot for stand-up paddleboarding in summer.