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Spreading the Word of Cooperation

February 23rd, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Just returned from the Wyoming Governor’s Conference on Tourism, and I am ready to spread to word.

Over the years I have become good friends with my counterparts from various towns all over the state. The conference provides an opportunity for us to compare notes about things like festivals, rodeos, museums and who has the best-looking cowboy musicians. (I’ll let you in on a secret: Cody does.)

We brainstorm and share ideas, and we always want to see each other succeed. Sure, there are times when people forget just where the last great idea came from, but we all understand that even though we are thousands of feet above sea level, the rising tide raises all of our boats.

It’s easy to get “Buffalo Bill’d” during your Cody visit.

This attitude of cooperation is one reason Wyoming is such a great place to visit. As the least populous state in the union, Wyoming is blessed with some of the world’s truly spectacular natural features. At the same time, we don’t have an exorbitant number of people concentrated in our tourist attractions and generating huge businesses.

Nevada has Las Vegas which has as many people on a given day as Yellowstone sees all summer. Personally, Read More


Active Travel is Nothing New in Buffalo...

February 9th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Comments(1)

When you live in a town like Cody that is dedicated to tourism, you need to be a bit of a travel expert, so I tend to try to hone up on my travel industry knowledge, particularly during the winter months. And while doing just that last weekend, I’ll bet I came across a dozen articles discussing the “emerging” trend of active travel.

Are you kidding me?

Excuse me while I harrumph. Active travel, at least here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country, is hardly new. In fact, our town founder Buffalo Bill himself was an active travel expert, whether he was performing his Wild West show in Europe or hunting near his hunting lodge, Pahaska Tepee.

Buffalo Bill’s hunting lodge, “Pahaska Tepee” which means “long hairs lodge.”

Of course, a century ago, horseback riding was as much transportation as recreation, and wildlife was spotted and then often hunted. Still, Cody visitors were moving, seeing, doing and playing all the time. Ernest Hemingway came here to fish, hunt and find inspiration. The Prince of Monaco visited as Buffalo Bill’s guest to hunt in the wilderness and enjoy the company of like-minded friends. And visitors to Yellowstone National Park were climbing, hiking, exploring and discovering.

Read More


Winter is the Time to Dream

February 2nd, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I heard someone describe the various phases of travel as “dreaming,” “planning,” “experiencing” and “remembering.” That makes sense to me. Here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country, we welcome the bulk of our visitors during the months of June, July, August and September and most of them probably spent time dreaming about Cody before they got here.

I do the same thing. During the winter, I find that my eyes linger on the pretty pictures in magazines of destinations to which I’ve always wanted to travel. I know I’ll never see some of those destinations – I’m a girl on a budget, after all – but it is fun to fantasize that someday I will. That exclusive beach resort in the Caribbean is probably not going to see the name “Corrie N. Cody” on the register anytime soon. In Cody, though, few people will stop dreaming about this destination because of budget concerns. There are plenty of options for all budgets, from camping and RV sites to quaint and historic inns. And all of Cody’s museums and attractions are reasonably priced.

Dreaming of a Cody Sunset?

Next step is planning. That’s when you get serious and start looking at your calendars, chequebook, clothes, Read More


It’s Time for the Olympics in...

January 19th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Since the holidays ended I have been working out furiously and watching my diet.

The reason is not that I need to lose weight because of the Christmas cookies and New Year’s Eve parties. Rather, our little town of Cody will be hosting the 2015 Wyoming Senior Olympics Winter Games February 19-22.

Events will include alpine and Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, basketball, pickle ball, racquetball, swimming, an indoor mile walk and ice hockey.

I love winter sports in Cody. I can spend a weekend switching among downhill skiing, snowshoeing and cross country skiing. My skating skills were never really strong enough for me to be a decent hockey player, but my jump shot often hits nothing but net. I am a decent racquetball player, and pickle ball has truly piqued my interest although I have not tried that sport. Yet.

These winter games are now open to any athlete 50 years and older. Several hotels in town are offering special deals to participants. Details are on the website.

Wyoming Seniors will compete in all sorts of winter sports in Cody, WY. Feb. 19-22.

So, you’re probably wondering just how old I am. While I will admit that I can flawlessly sing along to the Urban Cowboy Read More


Cowboy Christmas for One of Cody’s Own

January 6th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

For cowboys, Christmas can come anytime of the year, and that’s exactly what happened to one of my favorite Yellowstone Country cowboys, Al Schultz, and his roping partner Mark Aragon. And Cody couldn’t be more proud.

The two won a world team roping championship in Las Vegas early in December, and they split a purse in the staggering amount of $240,000. Christmas definitely came early for these two cowboys.

Many cowboy champions begin competing at the Cody Nite Rodeo.

For those of you who know something about the world of rodeo – and here in the home of the Cody Nite Rodeo, most of us do – the competitive spirit of the professional cowboy is sometimes as big as his Stetson. But for Al and Mark, the competition they won was one for which they didn’t think they even had a shot. As my pal Lew Freedman wrote in the Cody Enterprise: “Coming into Vegas it seemed they had the same chance of winning as they did capturing the World Series of Poker.”

Al Schultz and son-in-law Mark Aragon – World Champion Team Ropers.

But the roping gods were aligned during the competition, and the two roped spectacularly. On the first day, Al Read More


Cody, Wyoming Wishes You a Merry – and...

December 23rd, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

This morning as I was sitting in my favorite Cody coffee shop biding my time until my next guests’ flight arrived, I was expecting to see a parade of stressed-out shoppers getting in line to latte-up before heading back out to cross the next thing off their list. Didn’t happen. Sure, the tables were full and the line was long, but the smiles on the faces of the java-lovers were genuine and easy, not at all like that Grinch-like toothy, forced smile that we all use when we’re trying too hard.

And those quick, easy smiles illustrated my thoughts. In Cody, Wyoming, living, celebrating, visiting, touring and learning is easy. It’s the way we do things in Yellowstone Country.

It’s as easy as having our small, efficient airport just five minutes from town. As easy as having a wide range of hotels and guest ranches with friendly staff and rooms for any budget. As easy as shopping in our small, friendly, well-stocked shops and not having to worry about parking and crowds. As easy as being welcomed to join our year-round festivals and events and not being made to feel like a stranger.

Like most of my friends, I live and work in Read More


Shopping Local, Cody Style

December 22nd, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 I love to shop in Cody. I love to shop for clothes, jewelry, shoes, boots, coats, sports equipment, furniture, one-of-a-kind treasures, memorabilia, artwork, books, music and jewelry (which is so much fun to shop for, it deserves a second mention). Heck, I even love to go grocery shopping. But I detest the impersonal nature of shopping malls, strip malls, big box stores and online shopping.

Fortunately for me, everything I need to purchase for everyone on my holiday list is right here in Cody/Yellowstone Country. Here are some of my favorite places.

Museum stores – Both the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and Heart Mountain have distinctive gifts including locally made jewelry and pottery, clothing, posters and artwork and many, many books and DVDs. I found a great DVD called “The Legacy of Heart Mountain” for the history buff on my list.

Unique one of a kind furniture is perfect for the hard-to-buy-for person.

Galleries and artist shops – I love Cody’s unique galleries, many located along our main street, Sheridan Avenue. The folks in these stores invite shoppers to browse and ask questions, and they never, ever use high-pressure sales tactics to sell their beautiful pieces. Many of the galleries carry Read More


Hey Fifth Graders, Wanna go Skiing at...

December 11th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Even though I am a spontaneous person who usually waits for the many activities in Cody to “speak” to me before I decide what to do, I already know what I am doing this weekend.

Our local ski hill Sleeping Giant Ski Area opens for the season Friday, December 12, and I plan to get in as many runs as possible all season.

Sleeping Giant Ski Area – Little Mountain, Big Fun.

If you see me on the hill, there’s a good chance I will be with my niece who is in fifth grade this year. You see, Sleeping Giant is offering free skiing all year to fifth graders nationwide, regardless of where they live, in celebration of the hill’s five-year anniversary.

Located just outside the East Gate of Yellowstone National Park 49 miles west of Cody, the 180-acre downhill ski area is owned and operated by the non-profit Yellowstone Recreations Foundation. It has three great chairlifts, snowmaking equipment, a fun magic carpet for the kids and two terrain parks. These terrain parks are awesome with quarter pipes, rails, boxes and jumps – that were constructed mostly of materials found on the mountain. Our little ski resort has 184 skiable acres Read More


It’s True. And we Have the Awards to...

December 5th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Comments(1)

Our little slice of heaven here in Cody, Wyo. just received four awards from one of my favorite magazines – True West.

I have read this publication whenever possible for as long as I can remember. Even the name of the magazine gets straight to the essence of our existence. It reminds me of the time I visited a friend in New Hampshire who was incredibly proud of his collection of Yankee magazines.

If Buffalo Bill Cody were alive today he would, at the very least, be a regular columnist if not the editor and publisher of True West.

The historic Irma Hotel years ago.

True West has published since 1953. Its mission is to “capture the spirit of the American West with authenticity, personality and humor by linking our history to our present. Whether you call it the Wild West, the Old West or the Far West, America’s frontier history comes to life in True West, the world’s oldest, continuously published Western Americana magazine.”

The magazine’s annual Heritage Travel Guide recognizes readers’ and editors’ favorite towns, parks, forts, hotels, saloons and restaurants.

Cody winners this year include Editor’s Choice for “Best Old West Town to Live In,” “Best American Indian Collection – Buffalo Bill Read More


Yellowstone Country is Calm before the Storm

November 20th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

It’s quiet here in Cody, Wyoming this week, just like it usually is around this time of year. It is a week I love.

It always seems to happen the week before Thanksgiving that I notice fewer visitors walking around our little Wyoming town. In fact, this entire Northwestern Wyoming region seems to be quiet because our neighbor to the West, Yellowstone National Park, is still closed to allow the National Park Service to get ready for the winter season, Sleeping Giant Ski Area hasn’t opened yet and most of our guests who come for Thanksgiving haven’t yet arrived.

Every display can be thoroughly studied at the Whitney Gallery of Western Art.

But even though it is quiet, there’s a great deal going on. You notice it in the restaurants and coffee shops first. Locals like me linger a little longer than usual talking quietly with friends. You see a lot of nodding and smiles, and you hear quite a bit of soft laughter coming from the booths and tables.

You see it in the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and Heart Mountain WWII Interpretive Center too. Visitors take their time to savor the exhibits, reading the signs in full, staring at Read More