Buffalo Bill Blog

Archive for April, 2011

Apr
29

National Tourism Week in May

Hey, folks – I thought that I’d step aside and let the State of Wyoming tell you about National Tourism Week, which is coming up May 7-15.  They have all the information, I’ll just pass it on to you!

 Governor Matt Mead will sign a proclamation Wednesday May 4, 2011 designating May 7-15, 2011 as National Travel & Tourism Week in Wyoming. The signing, along with a travel rally will take place at 10:00 a.m. at the capitol building in Cheyenne. Following the rally, a Reach awards luncheon will take place at Little America, acknowledging the best in customer service from front line employees. Governor Mead is authorizing and requesting that communities across Wyoming observe this week through events and activities that promote Wyoming’s tourism industry.
           
Kristin Phipps, Industry Services Specialist at Wyoming Travel & Tourism and coordinator of National Travel & Tourism Week conveys, “National Tourism Week allows us to bring all facets of the tourism industry to the forefront of people’s mind. This year, in conjunction with communities across America and the US Travel Association, we are staging a travel rally in conjunction with the proclamation that will allow us to acknowledge and demonstrate how many people are involved in the hospitality industry.”

 According to Diane Shober, Director of Wyoming Travel and Tourism, “Tourism impacts every person in Wyoming and contributes $2.6 billion in travel expenditures, $108 million annually in state and local tax revenues while employing nearly 30,000 people which generates an annual payroll of $690 million.” In fact, tourism is Wyoming’s second largest industry surpassed only by oil, gas and minerals.

 The Wyoming Office of Tourism will host an open house on May 12th during National Tourism Week at the Cheyenne Welcome Center. Several communities across Wyoming also have open houses, rallies and front line employee recognition events planned. Cody is offering a “Be a Cody Tourist” pass to its hospitality employees, giving them access to Cody’s top tourist attractions. Sweetwater County and Cody are both handing out balloons, thank you posters and lifesaver rolls with a message “You’re a Lifesaver”, to every single hotel, restaurant and attraction. Buffalo’s Jim Gatchell & Occidental Hotel & Museum will be hosting their open house with free guided tours and refreshments. They have also created a Passport Program where elementary and middle school kids can hunt for clues that lead them to their local attractions. These communities have also planned the Travel rally day and REACH award presentations.

For more information on what each community is planning, visit www.wyomingofficeoftourism.gov.

Apr
22

Summer’s Coming!

You know summer’s coming when the first week of May comes along.  It’s Fire School Weekend, which doesn’t really mean anything to folks who don’t live here, but to the locals, it’s the signal that the winter is over and the busy-ness has begun!  There are several events that take place this last weekend in April and first part of May that kick off our summer season in style…

Photo by Benjamin CosselApril 29-May 1st: Fire School – firefighters (volunteers and otherwise) from around the region converge on Cody for three days of training, seminars, workshops, and camaraderie.  Want to watch a group of firefighters set fire to a vehicle, then put it out?  It happens that weekend!

Photo courtesy Cassie'sApril 29-May 1st: Cassie’s Spring Fling – entertainment, darts, a pool tournament, outdoor barbecue, and a talent show, all at one of the most historic and colorful locations in Cody – Cassie’s Steak House on the west end of Cody!

April 30:  Grand Ole Opry star Jim Ed Brown comes to Cody as part of our Cody Wild West Show concert series!  Only $25 per ticket, but there are only 300 tickets, so get yours now – call 1-800-EYE-CODY for more information on this concert, as well as upcoming events in the summer and next fall.

May 6-8: Wild West Days – The Irma Hotel is the central location for true western recreation.  The first full weekend in May the Irma blocks off 12th Street in front of the hotel for a horse sale, and the fun is just beginning!  There are rodeo events at the Stampede Grounds and the Heart Mountain Equestrian Center, as well.

May also marks the opening of several of our major attractions – The Buffalo Bill Dam Visitor Center opens its doors May 1; Old Trail Town will begin showing visitors how the west really was beginning mid-May; the Dan Miller Cowboy Music Revue will begin entertaining audiences around the 20th of May; the Dug-Up Gun Museum opens its doors this month as well; before May is over the Cody Cattle Company will start their twice-nightly dinner shows; and Tecumseh’s Old West Miniature Village and Museum will be open daily in May.  Of course, you can visit the Buffalo Bill Historical Center year-round – no matter when you come to town, that’s got to be on your must-see list!

So whether you’re planning to pass through, or stay for a few days, May is a great time to visit us here in Cody!

Until next time, I’ll be lovin’ life in Buffalo Bill’s Country…

 

Corrie N. Cody

Apr
13

Cody Wild West Shows

We are SO lucky to live here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country.  And it’s not just because of the scenery, and the people, and the slower pace of life, and the restaurants.  It’s because famous country singers come here to play their music!

photo courtesy the Cody Enterprise

Now, there are a lot of folks who live in the area who are pretty well-known – we’ve got artists, actors, WWE wrestlers, famous politicians, and other recognizable personalities who have homes here and live here either full-time or part-time.  Most of these people love the anonymity of living way out here in the mountains, but there are a few who are very visible members of the community and strive to make Cody the best little town in the Rockies.

One of these personalities partnered with the Park County Travel Council a few years back in order to liven up the slower winter months.  Dan Miller, who has been a television personality since the late 1980s on The Nashville Network, ESPN’s (now GAC’s) Extreme Bulls, The Outdoor Channel’s “Best of the West” series, and other television shows through the years, headlines a music show in downtown Cody in the summer, Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue.  It’s a fantastic show!  Entertaining, funny, western and country music – everyone who goes to the show just can’t believe that kind of quality and talent is tucked away here in little Cody, Wyoming.  Anyway, Dan offered to contact his big-name country-music-star friends in Nashville and ask them to come to Cody during our slower season.  And come they did!

photo courtesy the Cody EnterpriseThe Cody Wild West Show series kicked off in January of 2009 with a visit from music legend Lacy J. Dalton.  She was followed the next month by country hit-maker T.G. Sheppard.  And the next month – what a show – Mel Tillis!  Since that flashy beginning, there have been a total of fifteen different acts that have put on shows here in Cody.  Gary Morris (“Wind Beneath My Wings”) was here twice, as was the incredible Suzy Bogguss (“Letting Go,” “Someday Soon”).  Others who have shown up with fantastic performances include The Kentucky Headhunters, Asleep at the Wheel, BJ Thomas and The Bellamy Brothers. 

Dancing in the street!

The concerts take place throughout Cody, although most of them are at the Historic Cody Theatre – that concert hall’s intimate quality (just 300 seats) and amazing sound make for an incredible night of entertainment!  However, for groups like the Bellamy Brothers or the Kentucky Headhunters, other venues here in Cody are put to use.  In conjunction with the Irma Hotel, last summer the Bellamys (and special guest Suzy Bogguss) played a street dance that was sold out!  And the fabulous Texas swing band Asleep at the Wheel played at the Cody Auditorium, also to a packed house, and folks were dancing in the aisles.  The high school auditorium is also a location that’s been used frequently, since it’s a better place for entertainers like Mel Tillis, with his 11-piece band!

One of the things that I think is so cool about the concert series is how impressed the performers are with the hospitality they receive while they’re here.  As a producer, Dan treats the entertainers with genuine respect and personally makes sure they’re well taken care of.  And when I talked to Dan, he said that almost as important as the concerts themselves is the feedback that he receives from the entertainers.  He told me, “I’ve known these guys for a long time, and to have them feel as strongly about Cody as I do is very rewarding to me.” 

Dan credits the people of Wyoming and Montana, who come to these concerts, for their genuine western hospitality.  The audience greets the acts with such warmth and gratitude, the entertainers themselves have been spreading the word in Nashville that Cody, Wyoming is THE place to book a show.  Billy Dean (“Only Here for a Little While,” “Billy the Kid”) absolutely loved it when he was here in January of 2010, so much so that he recorded some video with his camcorder and posted it to his Facebook page, along with some footage from the concert that was shot by the Wyoming Office of Tourism!

The best thing is, the hits just keep coming!  Dan’s good friend Jim Ed Brown will be making an appearance in Cody at the Historic Cody Theatre on April 30.  If you’re going to be in the area, be sure to get tickets – they’re a steal at just $25!  Go to http://www.codywildwestshow.com/ to get more information.

Be sure to check the web site often for updates, too – because you never know who’ll show up next here thanks to the Cody Wild West Shows!

Until next time, I’ll be dancin’ up a storm here in Buffalo Bill’s Country!

Corrie N. Cody

Apr
01

Bikers Love the Beartooth All-American Road!

Motorcyclists are an amazingly hardy bunch.  They ride in all kinds of weather, for miles and miles, taking a minimal amount of luggage with them, they don’t complain much, they’re as comfortable by themselves on the open road as they are with a pack of other bikers, and they aren’t generally shy about expressing their opinions… which is why we here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country were thrilled to find out that members of the American Motorcyclist Association voted the Beartooth Highway northwest of Cody as their favorite road in America!

Nearly 100 roads were listed on the ballot, and American Motorcyclist magazine tallied the votes, publishing the top 15 roads in their April issue.  Among the top roads were U.S. Highway 550, from Ouray to Durango, Colorado (#4 on the list); the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park (#6); the Natchez Trace, from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee (#11); and the Pacific Coast Highway, Highway 1 in California (#5).

So what makes the Beartooth Highway so popular?  Well, it is one of the highest and most rugged areas in the lower 48, with 20 peaks reaching over 12,000 feet in elevation! The road itself is the highest-elevation highway in Wyoming at 10,947 feet, and because it straddles the state line, it’s also the highest road in Montana (10,350 feet). A section of the Beartooth Highway has been awarded the National Scenic Byways “All-American Road” status – it’s a 54 mile section of road beginning 8 miles south and east of Red Lodge, Montana and ending just east of Cooke City. It was first referred to as “the most beautiful drive in America” by Charles Kuralt, “On the Road” television correspondent.

I talked to Kim Capron, who’s the Project  Coordinator for the organization “Friends of the Beartooth All-American Road.”  Folks that she has talked to have told her that there are two main reasons they love to drive the Beartooth All-American Road:

1.)  The Drama of the Drive.  Because of its elevation, the Highway provides access to high mountain tundra, amazing wildlife, and spectacular scenic vistas.  If you’re not a high-country backpacker, it’s hard for most of us to touch, see and smell and experience most of the out of the way wild places left in the world.   The Beartooth Highway provides relatively easy access to spots like that.  And let’s not forget the “switchback” section of the Beartooth Highway!  Most folks she visits with love the excitement and challenge of actually driving the Road.  The phrase “I drove the Beartooth Highway” is almost always said with a sense of pride!

2.)  Visiting the gateway communities on the way to and from a Beartooth Highway visit.  People just love to tell stories about their visits to Cooke City and Red Lodge, Montana, as well as Cody, Wyoming.  Everyone has a favorite restaurant, downtown shop, attraction, or “watering hole” in every community – and of course, Kim always hears about how friendly the people are!

If you’re planning to travel the Beartooth Highway, on two wheels or four, be aware that the road is open to travelers seasonally from May to October.  And if you want to know more about the highway and all there is to see and do, visit their website at www.beartoothhighway.com.

Until next time, I’ll be ridin’ high here in Buffalo Bill’s country!

Corrie N. Cody

Keep Informed

Be the first to know about exclusive travel specials and great vacation deals.