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Find the latest, greatest breaking news on all things Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country, right here. Check back often so you never miss a beat of the Wild West. Find out what’s new with attractions, events and the towns that make up Park County.

Cody, Wyoming Marks Buffalo Bill’s Birthday with Three-Day Celebration

 

William "Buffalo Bill" Cody

Buffalo Bill Cody’s birthday is Feb. 26.

CODY, Wyo., Feb. 17, 2017 – Buffalo Bill Cody’s 171st birthday is on Feb. 26, and even though he died a century ago, the town he founded still celebrates his birthday every year. With gusto. Three days of gusto.

“An annual birthday celebration for a man who was larger than life when he was alive seems fitting in the town he founded,” said Claudia Wade, director of the Park County Travel Council, the marketing arm of Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country. “Plus, it is just plain fun.”

The weekend celebration kicks off with free admission to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West on Friday, Feb. 24. The museum will also offer visitors free food including birthday cake, live music and family activities starting at 3 p.m. At 4 p.m. staffers will open a time capsule to mark the centennial of the acclaimed museum.

On Saturday, Feb. 25., the local Knights of Columbus hosts the Buffalo Bill Birthday Ball, a fundraising event that benefits local charities and service programs. The event is staged in the Cody Auditorium, which has been converted into a replica of the Wolfville Hall, once the largest dancing and gambling establishment in town and a favorite haunt of Buffalo Bill’s.

bbcw

The Buffalo Bill Center of the West will offer cake, music and activities.

On Monday, Feb. 24 at 11 a.m., the Cody High School FFA chapter will host its annual wreath-laying ceremony at Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s famous sculpture Buffalo Bill – the Scout.

More information is available online.

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Yellowstone Country is comprised of the towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as the valley east of Yellowstone National Park.

The area of Park County is called “Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country” because it was the playground of Buffalo Bill Cody himself. Buffalo Bill founded the town of Cody in 1896, and the entire region was driven and is still heavily influenced by the vision of the Colonel. Today its broad streets, world-class museum Buffalo Bill Center of the West and thriving western culture host nearly 1 million visitors annually.

Related hashtags:
#YellowstoneCountry
#CodyWyoming
#CenteroftheWest
#BuffaloBill
#Yellowstone
#Wyoming

Media contact:
Mesereau Travel Public Relations
1-970-286-2751
mona@mesereaupr.com
tom@mesereaupr.com

From White House to Wyoming. The Presidents Who Came to Call in Yellowstone Country

ford

Gerald Ford as a Yellowstone ranger in 1936.

CODY, Wyo., February 16, 2017 – All but two U.S. presidents since Ulysses S. Grant have visited the state of Wyoming before, during or after their terms in office. Of those presidents, several have ventured to the state’s northwestern region known as Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country, which includes the town of Cody as well as parts of Yellowstone National Park.
“With the abundance of history, culture and outdoor recreational offerings in our corner of the state, it is fitting – and not all that surprising – that so many U.S. presidents have chosen to spend time here for business or pleasure, and sometimes a little of both,” said Claudia Wade, director of the Park County Travel Council, the marketing arm for the region.

Here are a few examples of presidential visits to Yellowstone Country:
· President Calvin Coolidge visited Cody on July 4, 1927 for the opening of the Buffalo Bill Museum, one of five museums that comprise the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

· President Gerald Ford was the most familiar with Yellowstone of all presidents. When he visited in official capacity in 1976, he was returning to the stomping ground he knew as a 23-year-old National Park Service Ranger in 1936. One of his duties as a ranger was to welcome VIPs to the park. He also helped protect park rangers who fed the bears at a garbage-filled feeding truck, which was a regular source of entertainment for park visitors at that time.

· One of the 19th-century presidents who spent the most time in northwestern Wyoming was President Chester A. Arthur. In 1883, he and his large entourage visited Yellowstone Country intent on having an authentic Western experience. Arthur was known to be bit of a dandy, and in a nod to Western style during a two-month vacation during his term, he covered his business suit with knee-length leather leggings. Arthur kept in touch with the outside world and engaged in presidential business by one daily mail courier on horseback who delivered and received Arthur’s messages.

· President Bill and Hillary Clinton took a stroll around Old Faithful Geyser in 1995.

obama

President Obama and his family visited the park in 2009.

· President Barack Obama and his family visited Yellowstone in 2009 and had lunch in the park’s Old Faithful Snow Lodge.

· President Jimmy Carter fished in Lake Yellowstone and then returned to the park after his presidency and dined in the employee pub at the park’s Lake Lodge. He even signed the wall of the pub, and his signature is still visible today.

· President George H.W. Bush visited Yellowstone in 1989 to survey the devastation of the 1988 fires. Park officials briefed the president about fire science. Bush also fished in a river near Cody and visited Pahaska Tepee, Buffalo Bill Cody’s hunting lodge.

· Theodore Roosevelt was a big fan of the state, and he made several trips during his presidential tenure and returned to Wyoming to vacation after he left Washington. The robust president was far more of a natural in Western-style clothing and activities than some of his predecessors. He was a frequent visitor to Yellowstone Country, and he made his final visit to the park in 1903 during a two-week vacation. During that trip, he laid the cornerstone for the park’s Roosevelt Arch, bearing the inscription: “For the benefit and enjoyment of the people.” Although the arch is in the state of Montana at the northern entrance to Yellowstone, Wyoming celebrates the grand structure too, as most of the park is in Wyoming.

· Years later, Theodore’s fifth cousin Franklin took office, and he also left his mark on Yellowstone Country. Some would argue it wasn’t a positive mark, as it was Franklin Delano Roosevelt who signed Executive Order 9066 on Feb. 19, 1942. As a result, some 14,000 Japanese-Americans were incarcerated at the Heart Mountain Confinement Site during World War II. Another interesting tidbit about the publicity-conscious president: When he visited the park, he avoided the park hotels, many with multiple floors and no elevators, and instead was a guest of the lodge manager in his single-floor park home, which could better accommodate his wheelchair while at the same time keeping it from public view.

President W Harding at Mammoth Hot Springs; Photographer unknown; 1923

President Harding visited as well.

· President Warren Harding visited the park in 1923, shortly before he died. Upon learning of his death, staff in the park named a geyser after him and observed a moment of silence in his honor.

· Although he never visited Yellowstone, the country’s 18th president, Ulysses S. Grant, arguably had the most lasting impact on the region. In 1872, Grant signed the bill that designated Yellowstone as the world’s first national park, a move which is often called the best idea America ever had.

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Yellowstone Country is comprised of the towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as the valley east of Yellowstone National Park.

The area of Park County is called “Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country” because it was the playground of Buffalo Bill Cody himself. Buffalo Bill founded the town of Cody in 1896, and the entire region was driven and is still heavily influenced by the vision of the Colonel. Today its broad streets, world-class museum Buffalo Bill Center of the West and thriving western culture host nearly 1 million visitors annually.

Related hashtags:
#YellowstoneCountry
#CodyWyoming
#CenteroftheWest
#BuffaloBill
#Yellowstone
#Wyoming

Media contact:
Mesereau Travel Public Relations
1-970-286-2751
mona@mesereaupr.com
tom@mesereaupr.com

Three Perfect Winter Days in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country

 

ice climbing

Because of its porous soil and ample snow, the region is an ice climber’s dream.

CODY, Wyo., January 9, 2017 – Although rodeo cowboys, shootout performers and bears take a much-deserved break during winter in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country, the destination is still very much alive with topnotch winter activities as well as many of the region’s favorite year-round attractions like the renowned Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

Winter has arrived in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country, and the shops, galleries, museums, hotels, restaurants, ski area, icy waterfalls, skating rink and backcountry trails are primed and ready to welcome winter-season visitors. And although these travelers visit this northwestern Wyoming destination for a variety of reasons, Cody promises a memorable experience for everyone, especially if they are adventurous, curious or a little bit of both.

Sleeping Giants boasts two terrain parks

Sleeping Giant Ski Area features a terrain park constructed of salvaged materials.

“Some days are made for meandering through galleries and museums, and others are perfect for outdoor adventure,” said Claudia Wade, director of the Park County Travel Council, the tourism marketing arm for the region. “With a great balance of indoor and outdoor activities, visitors can choose activities based on their interests and weather and never run out of fun things to do.”

In fact, Wade often makes her own recreational choices based on the weather conditions. She enjoys snowshoeing on days when the sun is shining and there is a blanket of snow on the ground but wind is at bay. And on days of more rugged winter weather, she will wander at leisure through the five museums of the world-famous Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

snow-shoeing

Snow shoeing is popular in the area.

Yellowstone Country is comprised of the towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as the valley east of Yellowstone National Park.
To illustrate the range of winter offerings, here is a sample three-day itinerary. The Park County Travel Council also offers an online vacation planning tool.

Day One
Morning:
Have breakfast in your hotel or visit one of the town’s popular coffee shops or breakfast restaurants.

Go outside and play. Yellowstone Country is a prime destination for Nordic skiing, alpine skiing, ice-climbing, ice skating, fishing, hiking and wildlife-watching. Pack a picnic lunch if you’re planning a day in the backcountry. Many local restaurants provide to-go meals.

Here are some details about each option.
· Ice-climbing. World-class ice-climbing is available along the South Fork of the Shoshone River. The area provides one of the highest concentrations of waterfall ice-climbing in the United States. Non-climbers are welcome to watch as the skillful climbers make their slow treks up the waterfalls. Enjoy a picnic lunch at the base of a waterfall. The 19th annual Cody Ice Festival is set for Feb. 10-12, 2017.

· Nordic skiing and snowshoeing. The area offers an abundance of Nordic skiing trails including the Wood River Valley Ski Touring Park located 22 miles southwest of Meeteetse, North Fork Nordic Trails located near the East Entrance to Yellowstone National Park and Yellowstone National Park itself, which features miles of groomed trails. The Park County Nordic Ski Association posts trail, road and weather conditions and is a resource for trail information. Skis can be rented at stores in town.

· Ice skating. Outdoor ice-skating – with a warming hut, skate shop and concession with hot drinks and snacks – is available at Homesteader Park in Powell, and indoor skating is offered at the Victor J. Riley Arena and Community Events Center in Cody. Both locations provide ice skate rentals.

· Fishing. Yellowstone Country features some of the best blue-ribbon trout stream fishing in North America, and the fish do not know it is winter. Professional fishing guides and outfitters accommodate anglers of any ability. A listing of professional fishing guides and fly-fishing shops as well as year-round fishing information is available online.

· Hiking, horseback-riding and wildlife watching. Depending on the level of snow and the location, it is possible to enjoy a cold-weather hike with snowshoes or regular hiking boots. Cody Pathways is a system of multi-use trails surrounding Cody. Travelers need not go far before they are in prime wildlife viewing territory. The road from Cody to the East Entrance of Yellowstone is full of wildlife-viewing opportunities. It is not unusual to spot moose, bison, elk, eagles and big horn sheep.

Afternoon:
Return to Cody. Cody has a variety of lodging options, including hotels, motels, inns and Bed and Breakfasts.

Evening:
Enjoy dinner at the Irma Hotel. Built by Buffalo Bill, the hotel is an authentic Cody landmark that captures the essence of western hospitality. It was named after Buffalo Bill’s youngest daughter, Irma, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Locals brag that the prime rib is the best in the West.

After dinner stop at Cassie’s Supper Club and Dance Hall for a drink and glimpse of Cody’s nightlife. Cassie Waters, a Cody madam with a huge heart, opened Cassie’s Supper Club in 1933. The popular night club offered dancing, liquor (a bourbon and water was 50 cents) and eventually, food. Today, Cassie’s Supper Club is the place where real cowboys (and girls) dance to the sounds of current owner Steve Singer’s band “West the Band.”

Day Two – Stay in Town
Morning:
Have breakfast in your hotel or visit one of the town’s popular coffee shops or breakfast restaurants.

Tour the five museums that comprise the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Founded in 1917 to preserve the legacy and vision of Buffalo Bill Cody, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West is the oldest and most comprehensive museum of the American West. Its five museums are the Buffalo Bill Museum, Plains Indian Museum, Whitney Gallery of Western Art, Cody Firearms Museum and the Draper Museum of Natural History. The facility also includes the Harold McCracken Research Library. Visitors at the museum on Feb. 26, 1917 can celebrate the birthday of the town’s founder at the museum’s annual Buffalo Bill’s Birthday Bash.

Lunch:
Enjoy lunch at the museum’s café, The Eatery, or stop at a local lunch spot.

Afternoon:
Visit the award-winning Heart Mountain WWII Interpretive Center. Located northeast of Cody, this Japanese-American internment camp housed 14,000 citizens during World War II. A stop in winter is especially poignant as visitors can truly appreciate the bleak conditions endured by incarcerees.

Late afternoon:
Go gallery hopping and shopping. Most galleries and shops are located on Sheridan Avenue, Cody’s historic main street.

Evening:
Relax with a hometown brew at Pat O’Hara Brewing Company and have dinner at a local restaurant. A popular choice is the Wyoming Rib and Chop House. This restaurant is popular among locals for its baby back ribs and steaks, and reservations are recommended.

Day Three
Morning:
Have breakfast in your hotel or visit one of the town’s popular coffee shops or breakfast restaurants.

Spend the day at super-friendly Sleeping Giant Ski Area, a community-run ski area located to the west of Cody near the East Gate of Yellowstone National Park. Sleeping Giant features three chairlifts, snowmaking equipment, magic carpet and two terrain parks with a wide range of features – including quarter pipes, rails, boxes and jumps – that were constructed largely of materials found on the mountain. The resort has 184 skiable acres with a total of 49 runs, a base elevation of 6,619 feet, vertical drop of 810 feet and an average snowfall of 150 inches.

Lunch:
Warm up with lunch and a hot drink at the Grizzly Grill at the base of the ski area.

Afternoon:
Get in some more turns or take a lesson before returning to town.

Evening:
Enjoy a cocktail in Chamberlin Spirits, the conservatory in the Chamberlin Inn, one of Cody’s popular boutique inns.

Follow with a final dinner at a local restaurant. Cody features Mexican, Japanese, Italian, Chinese and American restaurants.

***

The area of Park County is called “Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country” because it was the playground of Buffalo Bill Cody himself. Buffalo Bill founded the town of Cody in 1896, and the entire region was driven and is still heavily influenced by the vision of the Colonel. Today its broad streets, world-class museum Buffalo Bill Center of the West and thriving western culture host nearly 1 million visitors annually.

The Park County Travel Council website lists information about vacation packages, special events, guide services, weather and more. Travelers wishing to arrange vacation can also call the Park County Travel Council at 1-800-393-2639 or connect with Cody on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

Related hashtags:
#YellowstoneCountry
#CodyWyoming
#CenteroftheWest
#BuffaloBill

Media contact:
Mesereau Travel Public Relations
(970) 286-2751
mona@mesereaupr.com
tom@mesereaupr.com

A Century After His Death, the Life – and Controversial Burial – of Buffalo Bill Cody Still Relevant

 

William "Buffalo Bill" Cody

Buffalo Bill Cody was celebrated as a showman, scout, hunter and more.

CODY, Wyo., Jan. 4, 2017 – He built a town, a dam, a hotel, a family, a legend. He charmed a queen and hunted with a prince. He championed rights for women, children and minorities. He died tragically and was buried controversially.

 

January 10, 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of Col. William F. “Buffalo Bill Cody’s death, but his much-lauded legacy has clearly remained relevant among travelers and historians alike.

 

Born Feb. 26, 1846 in Le Claire, Iowa, by the time Buffalo Bill was 22 he had tried his hand – and was usually successful – as a trapper, bullwhacker, Pony Express Rider, Colorado “Fifty-Niner,” wagon master, stagecoach driver, Civil War soldier, hotel manager and scout for the U.S. Army. By the time he was 41, he was the most famous man in the world.

 

“Buffalo Bill Cody was a pragmatist and a showman, and those two traits were repeatedly revealed as he traveled around the world and became a legend in life and eventually, in death,” said Claudia Wade, director of the Park County Travel Council, the marketing arm the northwestern Wyoming region that comprises Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country. “As we celebrate the 120th anniversary of the town he founded and mark the 100th anniversary of his death, it is an especially good time to reflect upon his multitude of accomplishments and the impact those accomplishments continue to have today.”

 

Becoming Buffalo Bill
A lanky, good-looking outdoorsman, Cody earned his nickname after he was hired by the Kansas Pacific Railroad to supply workers with buffalo meat. A prolific hunter of American bison – he killed more than 4,000 animals in an 18-month period in 1867 and 1868 – he earned the right to be called Buffalo Bill during a contest that pitted his skills against those of hunter William Comstock. The two “Bills” competed in an eight-hour buffalo-shooting match during which Cody killed 68 bison. Comstock killed only 48.

 

State of town founder Buffalo Bill outside the Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming.

The scout is a sculpture located outside the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

A few years later, perhaps partially inspired by the success of the hunting competition, Cody launched the career which would make him the most famous man in the world – playing himself in performances that evolved into “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.” He even caught the attention of royalty. In 1887, Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show was the main attraction at Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee celebration, and the show continued to tour throughout Europe for years.

 

Cody had very long coattails, and his show brought other Western characters to the forefront of America’s imagination – from Annie “Little Sure Shot” Oakley to Sitting Bull. He was also a champion of the people, supporting children’s rights and women’s rights. And he was a cagey businessman.

 

Cody, the Town

Northwestern Wyoming is rugged, breathtakingly beautiful and, even now, relatively undeveloped. It has mountains, rivers, quirky rock formations and spectacular wildlife, the reason it is called the “Wildest Way into Yellowstone” today. It was just the kind of place Buffalo Bill Cody wanted to settle. In the mid-1890s Cody began a years-long mission to establish and build the town of Cody.

 

His vision was big. The town would have big, wide streets so horse-drawn carriages could turn around more easily. It would have a big dam, because the forward-thinking leader knew that no town could thrive without a reliable water source. It would appeal to sportsmen. It would draw tourists, especially those on their way to Yellowstone Park, just 50 miles to the West. It would be fair to women. And it would be fun, with entertainment an integral part of its culture and spirit.

 

Sharpshooter Annie Oakley poses with her gun.

Annie Oakley.

While he was clearly a maverick who liked to play by his own rules, he realized that building a town would take the cooperation and support of many people. Formed in 1900, the Cody Club – an early version of the Cody Chamber of Commerce – provided the first formal governmental body. After six years of rather frivolous endeavors – one of its major accomplishments was to establish “dollar dinners” at the Irma Hotel as an excuse for a regular party – the organizers got serious. The club eventually held regularly scheduled meetings to explore ways to promote town interests.

 

The town progressed and even thrived as leaders pushed for improvements in mail service, roads, telephone service, water works and sewers. By the beginning of World War I, the town had established itself as a highly desirable gateway to Yellowstone National Park, and tourists had begun to sample Cody’s fast-growing services including hotels and restaurants before heading into the park.

 

Death and Conspiracy Theories

Sadly, Cody did not live long enough to see how his leadership and vision transformed a region into a tourism mecca.

 

Buffalo Bill died on Jan. 10, 1917 while visiting relatives in Denver. Soon after, his wife Louisa arrived to claim his body and settle his affairs. While in Denver, Louisa was approached by representatives from the Denver Post newspaper and the city of Denver who offered her $10,000 each to bury Cody in the area where they felt his grave would be a tourist attraction. In need of cash – the Codys were broke when Bill died – Louisa took the deal and returned to Cody, where townsfolk were understandably incensed about her decision.

 

Buffalo Bill posing with Lakota tribe leader Sitting Bull.

Chief Sitting Bull with Cody.

According to local legend, among those who were unhappiest were the town’s undertaker and two of Buffalo Bill’s old friends, Fred Richard and Ned Frost. These three hatched a plan to travel to Denver to switch bodies and bury Cody on Cedar Mountain where he had often said he wanted as his final resting place. When a local ranch hand died and his body went unclaimed, the three trimmed the unfortunate ranch hand’s beard in the Buffalo Bill style, loaded the body in the undertaker’s vehicle and drove to Denver.

 

At Denver’s Olinger Mortuary, the trio from Cody switched bodies and immediately left for Wyoming with the body of the real Buffalo Bill. In accordance with Buffalo Bill’s wishes, the friends secretly buried his body on Cedar Mountain overlooking the town he built. To this day, many residents of Cody – including the grandson of Fred Richard – believe that the body buried in Denver is that of a Buffalo Bill lookalike, while the real Bill rests peacefully above the still-thriving town.

 

Or so the story goes.

 

Becoming a Destination

Changes came to Cody fast throughout the next two decades. In 1925, a museum. In 1928, an airport. Then schools, more hotels and restaurants, dude ranches, shops, a rodeo and a hospital. The enterprising and perpetually optimistic town of Cody was continuously enhancing its offerings; its future as a tourist destination seemed secure.

 

And then came World War II, a dark period for the entire country. One of a handful of Japanese-American internment camps, the Heart Mountain Relocation Camp was built on a rocky, desolate bluff between Cody and Powell. More than 14,000 Japanese-Americans were incarcerated within the barbed-wire enclosures of the bleak camp, which became Wyoming’s third-largest city. A few remnants of the camp remain today, and the award-winning Heart Mountain WW II Interpretive Center opened in 2011.

 

By the time the camp closed in 1945, Cody – and the country – was once again ready for some good times. The post-war economic boom included a population increase for Cody. Yellowstone continued to be a main draw for visitors. By 1957, annual visitation to the park had increased to more than one million.

 

One of the most important players in the drive for tourists was the Buffalo Bill Museum, now the Center of the West. What began in a log cabin in 1917, as a historical tribute to the town’s namesake ultimately became a world-class destination that today draws more than 200,000 visitors annually. It expanded quickly, and today it is comprised of five museums in one: Plains Indian Museum, Whitney Gallery of Western Art, Buffalo Bill Museum, Cody Firearms Museum and Draper Museum of Natural History.

 

Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country Today

Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country has established a permanent place as a Western vacation destination with year-round recreational offerings. Countless adults of today remember visiting Cody on the classic East-to-West road trip that millions of families enjoyed.

 

Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country is visited by more than 1 million travelers every year. The area includes more than 35 hotels, B&Bs, guest houses, dude ranches, campgrounds and RV Parks. Other popular attractions include Heart Mountain WW II Interpretive Center,  Cody Nite Rodeo, Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue, Old Trail Town/Museum of the Old West, Pahaska Tepee, Cody Trolley Tour, Buffalo Bill Dam Visitor Center and the Irma Hotel.

 

In addition, the area continues to be renowned for its plentiful wildlife, and it offers fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking, rock and ice climbing, river float trips and kayaking. Park County features three golf courses, and downtown Cody offers a wide range of retail options from souvenirs to fine art.

***

 

Yellowstone Country is comprised of the towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as the valley east of Yellowstone National Park.

 

The Park County Travel Council website lists information about vacation packages, special events, guide services, weather and more. Travelers wishing to arrange a vacation can also call the Park County Travel Council at 1-800-393-2639.

 

Related hashtags:

#YellowstoneCountry

#CodyWyoming

#CenteroftheWest

#BuffaloBill

 

Media contact:

Mesereau Travel Public Relations

(970) 286-2751

mona@mesereaupr.com

tom@mesereaupr.com

12 Things to do in Yellowstone Country this Winter

 

sleeping-giant

Sleeping Giant Ski Area has been providing wintertime fun to Cody residents and visitors since 2009.

CODY, Wyo., November 18, 2016 – Although the rodeo cowboys have hung up their spurs for the season and the bears have lumbered to their dens, Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country is still vibrant during the winter season, when the northwestern Wyoming region offers an array of authentic, one-of-a-kind indoor and outdoor Western experiences.

“When Cody is cloaked in snow and ice, it becomes a wonderland full of intriguing, informative, physically challenging and just-plain-fun experiences and adventures,” said Claudia Wade, director of the Park County Travel Council, the marketing arm for Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country. “Although some activities are available year-round, they become quieter and more intimate during the winter season, which encourages visitors to linger and immerse themselves in our authentic corner of Wyoming.”

Wade said that some of Cody’s frequent visitors plan their trips during the winter when they can spend hours exploring places like the acclaimed Buffalo Bill Center of the West and Heart Mountain WW II Interpretive Center.

ice-climbing

The region offers some of the world’s best ice climbing.

Yellowstone Country is comprised of the towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as the valley east of Yellowstone National Park and surrounding areas.

Here are 12 things to do in Yellowstone Country this winter:

1 – Ski Sleeping Giant. Located west of Cody near the east gate of Yellowstone National Park, Sleeping Giant Ski Area has 184 skiable acres with a total of 49 runs, a base elevation of 6,619 feet, vertical drop of 810 feet and an average snowfall of 150 inches. Summer-season visitors can experience the Sleeping Giant zip line, which opened earlier this year. Regular season ski passes are $350 for adults.

bbcw

The Buffalo Bill Center of the West is five museums under one roof.

2 – Visit a Western treasure, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. The Buffalo Bill Center of the West (BBCW) was founded in 1917 to preserve the legacy and vision of Buffalo Bill Cody, and it is the oldest and most comprehensive museum of the West. It is comprised of five separate museums: the Buffalo Bill Museum, Plains Indian Museum, Whitney Gallery of Western Art, Cody Firearms Museum and the Draper Museum of Natural History. The facility also includes the Harold McCracken Research Library. BBCW is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays during the months of December, January and February.

3 – Climb a waterfall. One of the highest concentrations of waterfall ice climbing in the U.S. is located along the South Fork of the Shoshone River just outside of Cody, and climbers from around the world travel to Cody to test their skills. Non-climbers are welcome to watch as the artful athletes make their slow treks up the ice. The 19th-annual Cody Ice Festival is scheduled for Feb. 10-12, and offers clinics for beginners, advanced climbers and women only.

heart-mtn

The Heart Mountain camp housed as many as 14,000 incarcerated Japanese-Americans during World War II.

4 – Put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Visit the award-winning Heart Mountain WWII Interpretive Center, a Japanese internment camp which once housed nearly 14,000 Japanese-American citizens during World War II. This stop is especially poignant in the winter as visitors can truly appreciate the conditions endured by its Japanese-American residents. The Interpretive Center includes an exhibit depicting the typical barracks-style accommodations.

5 – Try some Nordic skiing. There are more than 30 miles of groomed ski trails between Sleeping Giant Ski Area and Pahaska Tepee Resort at Yellowstone’s eastern gate. Enjoy the quiet solitude of the forest and watch for wildlife. Skiers can bring their own lunches or purchase a hot lunch at the Grizzly Grill located in the friendly lodge at Sleeping Giant. Cross country skis can be rented in town.

6 – Ski and stay overnight in the Yellowstone Country wilderness. The Wood River Valley Ski Touring Park operated by the Meeteetse Recreation District and located 22 miles southwest of Meeteetse offers more than 15 miles of groomed trails ranging from the gentle South Fork Trail to the challenging Brown Creek Trail. There is also a cabin on the South Fork Trail available for overnight lodging. There is no fee for skiing, but donations are encouraged to support trail maintenance. There is a minimum cabin donation of $30 per night and a two-night reservation limit.

7 – Watch the skaters. Winter enthusiasts who enjoy watching winter sports may take in a Yellowstone Quake Hockey Team game. A non-profit, community-based organization, this Tier III Junior A hockey team is comprised of skilled players under the age of 20 who are preparing for advancement to a college program or other professional opportunities. The team plays at the Victor J. Riley Arena, and games are scheduled through mid-February, with 22 home games. Tickets are $10 at the door.

8 – Be a skater. Outdoor ice-skating is available at Homesteader Park in Powell, and indoor skating is offered at the Victor J. Riley Arena and Community Events Center in Cody. Both locations provide ice skate rentals. Admission is $5 and skate rentals are $2. There is also outdoor skating at Homesteader Park, equipped with night lighting and a warming house. Skate rentals and concessions are available on the weekends.

9 – Ride a sled. Winter adventurers who like to feel the rush of cool air on their faces will find a special thrill in Yellowstone Country. There are plenty of places to explore throughout the forestlands outside the park borders on snowmobiles. Gary Fales Outfitting provides winter snowmobile excursions through Yellowstone’s East Entrance.

10 – Catch – and release – a trout. Yellowstone Country features some of the best blue-ribbon trout stream fishing in North America, and the fish do not know it is winter. Professional fishing guides and outfitters accommodate anglers of any ability.

11 – Shoot replicas of the guns shot by Buffalo Bill Cody. The new Cody Firearms Experience offers travelers a unique history lesson as well as a chance to test shooting skills. Guests shoot replicas of guns like the Indian Trade Musket and Colt Model 1873 Single Action Army Revolver in a state-of-the-art indoor shooting range. Packages start at $39, and special online pricing is available.

12 – Take a hike. Depending on the level of snow and the location, it is possible to enjoy a cold-weather hike with snowshoes or regular hiking boots. Cody Pathways is a system of multi-use trails surrounding the town. Travelers need not go far before they are in prime wildlife viewing territory. The road from Cody to the East Entrance of Yellowstone is full of wildlife-viewing opportunities. It is not unusual to spot moose, bison, elk, eagles and big horn sheep.

***
Related hashtags:
#YellowstoneCountry
#CodyWyoming
#CenteroftheWest
#BuffaloBill

Yellowstone Country is comprised of the towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as the valley east of Yellowstone National Park. Cody is the only Yellowstone gateway with access to two entrances.

The area of Park County is called “Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country” because it was the playground of Buffalo Bill Cody himself. Buffalo Bill founded the town of Cody in 1896, and the entire region was driven and is still heavily influenced by the vision of the Colonel. Today its broad streets, world-class museum Buffalo Bill Center of the West and thriving western culture host nearly 1 million visitors annually.

The Park County Travel Council website lists information about vacation packages, special events, guide services, weather and more. Travelers wishing to arrange vacation can also call the Park County Travel Council at 1-800-393-2639 or connect with Cody on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

Media contact:
Mesereau Travel Public Relations
(970) 286-2751
mona@mesereaupr.com
tom@mesereaupr.com

Registration Opens for 2017 Cody Ice Festival

 

ice-festCODY, Wyo., Nov. 4, 2016 – Registration has begun for the 19th annual Cody Ice Festival scheduled for Feb. 10 – 12, 2017 in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country. The festival promises a line-up of affordable clinics for beginners and experts alike and the biggest ice of any festival in North America.

Under new management this year, the popular event promotes safety, stewardship, education and camaraderie. The festival has partnered with Montana Alpine Guides with professional mountain guides setting ropes and offering instruction at every clinic. Clinics are priced at $118, except for the two-day Camp Light and Fast Alpinism clinic, which is priced at $175. Active military and veterans receive a 10 percent discount.

ice-fest-2Clinic purchases include gear demos, optional shuttles to the South Fork of the Shoshone, gift bags and nightly speakers, including Carlos Buhler, one of America’s leading high altitude mountaineers. There will also be a nightly barbecue and beer garden in downtown Cody. On Saturday night, events will include presentation of the first annual “Jack Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award” for excellence in the mountains and contributions to alpinism; a raffle for a complete ice-climbing setup provided by equipment manufacturer Grivel and live Western-style music.

The festival is directed by Ari Novak, a well-known Bozeman-based alpinist and ice climber who is excited to offer the biggest ice in North America as well as the best ice climbing teachers of any ice event. The Cody Ice Festival is the only place in North America where climbers can find ice routes that are five and six pitches long.

“We want the Cody Ice Festival to be a welcoming, fun, educational, affordable and inspirational experience for every climber, regardless of experience,” said Novak.

Ice climber Vern Nelson Jr. climbing in a mejestic WI5 formation in Cody Wyoming.

Ice climber Vern Nelson Jr. climbing in a mejestic WI5 formation in Cody Wyoming.

World-Class Ice Climbing Region
Ice routes can be found in the North and South Forks of the Shoshone River, the region to the west of the town of Cody, Wyo. The South Fork of the Shoshone is home to the highest concentration of frozen waterfalls in the United States, with more than 200 climbable pitches within a 10-mile radius. Creatively named routes include “Broken Hearts,” a classic route that can be as long as seven pitches of ice climbing. Another route, “Mean Green,” offers 300 meters (approximately 3/16 of a mile) of climbable ice. “Miami Ice,” is a route made famous by world-renowned alpinist Alex Lowe, who lost his life climbing in Tibet. The single-pitch route is one of the most popular climbs in the region. Cody is home to plenty of long moderate and advanced ice routes offering a memorable experience for climbers of all abilities.

Commercially guided ice climbing made its debut in 2011 in Shoshone National Forest outside of Cody, Wyo. as the National Forest Service issued the first permits to outfitters to lead ice-climbing trips.

The region is comprised of porous volcanic soil that allows for easy water seepage. The mountains receive large amounts of snow that melts into a high number of drainages. These factors result in spring-fed waterfalls that are constantly regenerating themselves and freezing into high-quality ice climbs. Climbers are still discovering new waterfalls in the region, and some have made dozens of “first ascents” over the past few years.

More About the Festival
The Cody Ice Festival will offer participants discounted rates at Cody-area hotels and transportation to the climbs. The festival will culminate on Saturday night with a traditional Western-style dance and live music that celebrates heritage and culture of the region.

***
Yellowstone Country is comprised of the towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as the valley east of Yellowstone National Park.

The area of Park County is called “Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country” because it was the playground of Buffalo Bill Cody himself. Buffalo Bill founded the town of Cody in 1896, and the entire region was driven and is still heavily influenced by the vision of the Colonel. Today its broad streets, world-class museum Buffalo Bill Center of the West and thriving western culture host nearly 1 million visitors annually.

The Park County Travel Council website lists information about vacation packages, special events, guide services, weather and more. Travelers wishing to arrange vacation can also call the Park County Travel Council at 1-800-393-2639 or connect with Cody on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

Media contact:
Mesereau Travel Public Relations
(970) 286-2751
mona@mesereaupr.com
tom@mesereaupr.com

THE MYSTERY OF BUFFALO BILL CODY’S TWO GRAVES

bbbill

During his heyday, Buffalo Bill Cody was the most famous person in the world.

CODY, Wyo., Nov. 3, 2016 — Most people only get one grave, but William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, always the showman, has two.

Although thousands of people pay to visit Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave on Lookout Mountain just outside of Denver each year, some people in Cody believe the true burial location is an unmarked grave on Cedar Mountain overlooking the town that Buffalo Bill built.

The story of Buffalo Bill’s two graves includes enough intrigue for a full-length movie and involves a bold plan, a middle-of the-night trip to a Denver mortuary, an unlucky ranch hand bearing a likeness to Buffalo Bill and a passionate group of riled-up townspeople in mourning for their beloved town founder.

As the 100th anniversary of Buffalo Bill’s Jan. 10, 1917 death approaches, it is a good time to revisit the mystery of Buffalo Bill’s two graves.

 

bbbill2

Cody’s Wild West Show brought him fame and fortune.

What we know for sure
While visiting relatives in Denver in early 1917, Buffalo Bill Cody died. Soon after, his wife Louisa arrived to claim his body and settle his affairs. While in Denver, Louisa was approached by representatives from the Denver Post newspaper and the city of Denver who offered her $10,000 each to bury Cody in the area where they felt his grave would be a tourist attraction.

Although Bill Cody was at one time regarded as the best-known person in the world and his Wild West Show was incredibly popular and profitable, he was also prone to bad investments and was incredibly generous. As a result, he and his wife were broke when he died, and Louisa accepted this offer.

When Louisa returned to Wyoming and the town of Cody, its residents turned out to greet her with the expectation that she was bringing the town’s founder home to be buried. The townsfolk were shocked and more than a little upset when Louisa informed them that she had sold Cody’s body and that he was to be buried in Denver.

The rest of the story
Among those who were especially unhappy were the town’s undertaker and two of Buffalo Bill’s old friends, Fred Richard and Ned Frost. Buffalo Bill had long ago told his dear friends that he wanted to be buried on Cedar Mountain just outside of town. The vistas from the top of the mountain include the town and surrounding valleys. Buffalo Bill’s three heartbroken friends hatched a plan to travel to Denver to switch bodies and bury Cody on Cedar Mountain. When a local ranch hand died and his body went unclaimed, the three put their plan in motion. After trimming the unfortunate ranch hand’s beard in the Buffalo Bill style, the three loaded the body in the undertaker’s vehicle and drove for two and a half days to Denver.

At Denver’s Olinger Mortuary, the undertaker, Frost and Richard presented themselves as old friends of Cody and asked if they could view his body. After their request was granted, the three returned later that night, switched bodies and left for Wyoming. “All the way home they were convinced that the sheriff in every town they drove through was waiting to arrest them,” says Bob Richard, Fred Richard’s grandson. “Instead, they returned to Cody and quietly buried Buffalo Bill on Cedar Mountain overlooking his town.”

Once they had completed their job, they proceeded to make the rounds to all 13 of Cody’s saloons where they riled up the townsfolk and convinced them they should all go to Denver to bring Buffalo Bill back to be buried where he belonged. A caravan of 100 cars with three to four men in each then left for Denver. In Denver, meanwhile, the locals heard about the plan to retrieve Cody’s body, and they hurriedly and unsuspectingly buried the ranch hand’s body on Lookout Mountain even though permission to do so at the site had not been granted. For good measure, 20 tons of concrete was poured on top of the casket.

The caravan was met by law enforcement officials who convinced the disheartened townspeople to return home since the retrieval of the body was now impossible. They complied without incident, deeply saddened that their friend and leader would never get his wish.

Buffalo Bill’s friends quietly told others about the showman’s true resting place, although they closely guarded the exact location. Except to say that it has an expansive view of Cody, just as Buffalo Bill would have wanted.

Or so the story goes.

***
Related hashtags:
#YellowstoneCountry
#CodyWyoming
#CenteroftheWest
#BuffaloBill

Yellowstone Country is comprised of the towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as the valley east of Yellowstone National Park.

The area of Park County is called “Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country” because it was the playground of Buffalo Bill Cody himself. Buffalo Bill founded the town of Cody in 1896, and the entire region was driven and is still heavily influenced by the vision of the Colonel. Today its broad streets, world-class museum Buffalo Bill Center of the West and thriving western culture host nearly 1 million visitors annually.

The Park County Travel Council website lists information about vacation packages, special events, guide services, weather and more. Travelers wishing to arrange vacation can also call the Park County Travel Council at 1-800-393-2639 or connect with Cody on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

Media contact:
Mesereau Travel Public Relations
(970) 286-2751
mona@mesereaupr.com
tom@mesereaupr.com

What’s New and Notable in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country in 2017

 

buffalo-bill

Buffalo Bill Cody died 100 years ago this coming January.

CODY, Wyo., October 13, 2016 – With openings of new tourism-enhancing attractions, the centennial of the National Park Service and numerous other notable milestones, 2016 has been an eventful year in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country. And next year is shaping up to be another big year that will certainly support Cody’s strengthening position as an authentic Western destination and the preferred gateway into Yellowstone National Park.

“With so many big events and milestones, 2016 has felt like one big celebration,” said Claudia Wade, executive director of the Park County Travel Council, the marketing arm of the destination. “The fun will continue into next year, as we celebrate a new round of anniversaries and events that showcase the evolution of Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country. We think our town’s founder would have been immensely proud.”

What’s New and Notable in 2017
· 100th anniversary of the death of Buffalo Bill Cody. The legendary showman’s death in Denver on January 10, 1917 and his controversial June burial – funded by The Denver Post and local legislators — is still a matter of legend and intrigue today. Some long-time Cody residents are convinced the town’s founder is buried on Cody’s Lookout Mountain – as was his wish — not in a grave in suburban Denver.

ice-fest

The Cody Ice Festival promises the biggest ice of any festival in North America with clinics for beginners and experts alike.

· 100th anniversary of the formation of the Buffalo Bill Memorial Association, which started the Buffalo Bill Museum, the first of five museums of Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Formed just weeks after Cody died, the association’s modest museum has morphed into a world-class facility with five museums and an acclaimed research library under one massive roof. The museums include the Buffalo Bill Museum, Draper Natural History Museum, Plains Indian Museum, Whitney Western Art Museum and Cody Firearms Museum. The Center is an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. A recipient of TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence for 2013, 2014, and 2015, the Center was recently named the “Top Western Museum” by True West magazine.

· 15th anniversary of the Draper Natural History Museum. With internationally acclaimed exhibits focusing on the ecology and natural history of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the Draper museum’s exhibits are presented as the “Greater Yellowstone Adventure,” with three interconnected galleries – the Expedition Trailhead, Alpine-to-Plains Trail and Seasons of Discovery. The Draper was the first American natural history museum established in the 21st century.

· 130th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, where Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show was the main attraction. The show continued to tour throughout Europe for years. The much-chronicled friendship between Buffalo Bill and Queen Victoria was lauded by international diplomats and citizens on both sides of the ocean. As a gesture of goodwill and thanks, the queen sent Buffalo Bill a room-long Cherrywood bar that is still in use in the dining room of the Irma Hotel.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Irma Hotel turns 115.

· 115th anniversary of the Irma Hotel. In 1902, seven years after he founded the town of Cody, William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody built the Irma Hotel on the town’s then main street – 12th Street – and named it after his youngest daughter. The Irma is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

· The 19th-annual Cody Ice Festival Feb. 10-12. Under new management, the popular festival promises the biggest ice of any festival in North America and clinics for beginners and experts alike.

· 50th anniversary of Old Trail Town. This enclave of 26 authentic frontier buildings includes one used by Butch Cassidy and his infamous Wild Bunch Gang. One of the town’s many gravesites belongs to Jeremiah “Liver Eating” Johnston – portrayed by actor Robert Redford in the 1972 film “Jeremiah Johnson.”

ott

Old Trail Town features authentic frontier buildings and more.

· 75th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s signing of Executive Order 9066 on Feb. 19, 1942. As a result of the order, some 14,000 Japanese-Americans were incarcerated at the Heart Mountain Confinement Site.

· 85th anniversary of Ernest Hemingway’s visit to Cody. In 1932, having just completed the manuscript for Death in the Afternoon in his Key West, Fla. home, Ernest Hemingway traveled to Yellowstone Country to enjoy some time fishing in Clark’s Fork River. In the evenings he’d swap stories with the locals at the Irma Hotel Bar across from the Chamberlin Inn, where he stayed during his visit. The guest register showing his name and opened to the page containing Hemingway’s signature is on display in the Inn today, and the room in which he stayed – now called the Hemingway Suite – is available to overnight guests.

· 60th anniversary of Yellowstone National Park visitation surpassing the million mark. In 1957, the park recorded annual visitation of more than one million after years of increasing interest in park travel during the post-war economic boom. In six decades, visitation has increased four-fold with annual visitation of around four million.

Recapping 2016
· This year’s milestones included the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, Buffalo Bill’s 170th birthday, the 5th anniversary of the Heart Mountain WW II Interpretive Center, 20th anniversary of the Cody Gunfighters, 35th anniversary of the Plains Indian Museum Powwow, 100th anniversary of the Cody-Sylvan Pass Motor Company, the opening of a new zipline at the Sleeping Giant Ski area and the opening of the Cody Firearms Experience.

###

Yellowstone Country is comprised of the towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as the valley east of Yellowstone National Park.

The area of Park County is called “Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country” because it was the playground of Buffalo Bill Cody himself. Buffalo Bill founded the town of Cody in 1896, and the entire region was driven and is still heavily influenced by the vision of the Colonel. Today its broad streets, world-class museum Buffalo Bill Center of the West and thriving western culture host nearly 1 million visitors annually.

Related hashtags:
#YellowstoneCountry
#CodyWyoming
#CenteroftheWest
#BuffaloBill
#Yellowstone
#Wyoming

Media contact:
Mesereau Travel Public Relations
(970) 286-2751
mona@mesereaupr.com

Cody Illustrates Town’s Artistic Chops with Week of Events Showcasing Top Western Artists

scout

“Buffalo Bill – The Scout” was created by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in 1924.

CODY, Wyo., Sept. 7, 2016 – Almost as soon as the summer-season visitors to Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country return home, taking memories of Cody Nite Rodeo and other seasonal attractions with them, the focus of Cody locals, regional travelers in-the-know, and art buyers from around the country turns to the annual Rendezvous Royale.

A week-long celebration of the art of the northwestern Wyoming region, the Rendezvous Royale is set for Sept. 17-24. The line-up of events includes an online Silent Auction, an invitational design exhibition called “By Western Hands,” and the Sept. 17 “Boot Scoot ‘N Boogie,” a street festival and dance showcasing the town’s art community. After a week of workshops, exhibitions, an art walk and other events, Rendezvous Royale culminates in a gala weekend including the Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale on Friday night and the Buffalo Bill Quick Draw and Brunch Saturday morning. The Annual Patrons Ball Black-Tie Gala at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West rounds out the week.

“This is the event of the year for many of us who live and work in Cody, and it reflects not only the caliber of the world-class western artists who make our beautiful corner of Wyoming even more spectacular, but also the unwavering commitment of our community to organize and orchestrate this annual celebration of the arts,” said Claudia Wade, director of the Park County Travel Council, the marketing arm for the region.

whitney

The Whitney Western Art Museum offers some of the world’s best western artwork.

The Art of Cody
Art has been central to the character of Cody for nearly as long as the 120-year-old town has existed. A recent story in U.S. News & World Report listed Cody among 10 destinations for art-lovers, citing the “interesting and quirky backstories” for many of the town’s most distinctive works of art.

For example, patrons of Rendezvous Royale will see the Smithsonian-affiliated Whitney Western Art Museum, open year-round and offering some of the best displays of art of the American West to be found anywhere. The museum got its start with a single striking piece of art – the massive sculpture of the town’s founder called “Buffalo Bill – The Scout” – created by New York heiress Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in 1924. The museum itself was established in 1959 and includes historic paintings, sculptures and prints created by artists such as Frederic Remington, Charles M. Russell and Thomas Moran.

bbcw

The Buffalo Bill Center of the West hosts many of the week’s events.

The town is also home to numerous galleries, including furniture galleries inspired by the town’s most famous furniture designer and builder, Thomas Molesworth and his Shoshone Furniture Company. Molesworth’s company supplied distinctive, Western-inspired furniture to regional guest ranches and hotels as well as to Easterners such as Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The Cody Country Art League across the street from the Center of the West is dedicated to promotion of art and artists, and it has a variety of displays and art shows housed in the original Buffalo Bill Museum, now on the National Register of Historic Places.

A short four-block walk north of Sheridan Ave. takes visitors to the Historic Cody Mural & Museum, in the rotunda of the Church of Latter-Day Saints in downtown Cody. The massive mural by Chicago artist Edward Grigware depicts the beginning of the church and experiences of early members during their exodus from the East to Utah. The artist was not a member of the church so he spent nearly a year studying its history and expansion into the West. His stunning interpretation draws visitors of all faiths from around the world.

***

Yellowstone Country is comprised of the towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as the valley east of Yellowstone National Park.
The area of Park County is called “Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country” because it was the playground of Buffalo Bill Cody himself. Buffalo Bill founded the town of Cody in 1896, and the entire region was driven and is still heavily influenced by the vision of the Colonel. Today its broad streets, world-class museum Buffalo Bill Center of the West and thriving western culture host nearly 1 million visitors annually.

Media contact:
Mesereau Travel Public Relations
(970) 286-2751
mona@mesereaupr.com

Cody Ice Festival to Offer Biggest Ice in North America

 

Ice climber Vern Nelson Jr. climbing in a mejestic WI5 formation in Cody Wyoming.

Many of the climbs feature multiple pitches.

CODY, Wyo., July 28, 2016 – The 19th-annual Cody Ice Festival scheduled for Feb. 10 – 12, 2017 in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country promises a line-up of affordable clinics for beginners and experts alike and the biggest ice of any festival in North America.

Under new management, the popular festival promotes safety, stewardship, education and camaraderie. The three-day event includes ice climbing clinics by day and nightly speakers and presentations developed to inspire and encourage festival participants. Enhancing the festival experience even more, there will be nightly raffles for ice climbing gear and bottomless beer pours with the purchase of a pint glass.

Ari Novak – a well-known alpinist and ice climber – is the new director of the Cody Ice Festival. Formerly creative director of the Bozeman Ice Festival, Novak is also a renowned photographer and speaker. Novak has put up first ascents in Montana’s Hyalite Canyon and is a professional climber for Trango, a manufacturer of ice- and rock-climbing equipment.

ice climbing 2

The Cody Ice Festival clinics — for beginners, advanced climbers and women only — are led by professional mountain guides and athletes.

“Our goal is to help participants become better ice climbers and alpinists, from the novice to the advanced,” said Novak. “At the Cody Ice Festival we offer participants access to the biggest ice in North America as well as instruction from the best ice climbing teachers. We want the Cody Ice Festival to be a welcoming, fun, educational, affordable and inspirational experience for every climber regardless of experience.”

Clinics
The Cody Ice Festival is the only one in North America where climbers can find ice routes that are five and six pitches long, and clinics are the least expensive in the country, at $118. (An ice climbing pitch is the section that is climbed between two belay points.) Each clinic is led by a top professional mountain guide and a professional athlete. Active members of the military and veterans receive a 10 percent discount off the price of the clinics.

ice climbing 3

Because the region is comprised of porous volcanic soil that allows for easy water seepage, spring-fed waterfalls are common.

Registration for clinics opens Nov. 1. The festival will include clinics for advanced climbers and beginners as well as all-female clinics taught by female athletes.

World-Class Ice Climbing Region
Ice routes can be found in the North and South Forks of the Shoshone, the region to the west of the town of Cody, Wyo. The South Fork of the Shoshone is home to the highest concentration of frozen waterfalls in the United States, with more than 200 climbable pitches within a 10-mile radius. Creatively named routes include “Broken Hearts,” a classic route that can be as long as seven pitches of ice climbing. Another route, “Mean Green,” offers 300 meters (approximately 3/16 of a mile) of climbable ice. “Miami Ice,” is a route made famous by world-renowned alpinist Alex Lowe. The single-pitch route is one of the most popular climbs in the region. Cody is home to plenty of long moderate and advanced ice routes offering a memorable experience for climbers of all abilities.

Commercially guided ice climbing made its debut in 2011 in Shoshone National Forest outside of Cody, Wyo. as the National Forest Service issued the first permits to outfitters to lead ice-climbing trips.

The region is comprised of porous volcanic soil that allows for easy water seepage. The mountains receive large amounts of snow that melts into a high number of drainages. These factors result in spring-fed waterfalls that are constantly regenerating themselves and freezing into high-quality ice climbs. Climbers are still discovering new waterfalls in the region, and some have made dozens of “first ascents” over the past few years.

More About the Festival
The Cody Ice Festival will offer participants discounted rates at Cody-area hotels and transportation to the climbs. The festival will culminate on Saturday night with a traditional Western-style dance and live music that celebrates heritage and culture of the region.

***

Yellowstone Country is comprised of the towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as the valley east of Yellowstone National Park.

The area of Park County is called “Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country” because it was the playground of Buffalo Bill Cody himself. Buffalo Bill founded the town of Cody in 1896, and the entire region was driven and is still heavily influenced by the vision of the Colonel. Today its broad streets, world-class museum Buffalo Bill Center of the West and thriving western culture host nearly 1 million visitors annually.

The Park County Travel Council website lists information about vacation packages, special events, guide services, weather and more. Travelers wishing to arrange vacation can also call the Park County Travel Council at 1-800-393-2639 or connect with Cody on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

Media contact:
Mesereau Travel Public Relations
(970) 286-2751
mona@mesereaupr.com
tom@mesereaupr.com