3 Ways to Enjoy Grand Teton National Park this Spring

Welcome springtime in Grand Teton National Park! There are already signs of a new season approaching. With the arrival of the spring melt we see the Snake River  rushing, river otters playing, trumpeter swans swimming, and moose munching on willows. These are all sure signs that Jackson Hole and Grand Teton Lodge Company are coming out of winter hibernation!

Three moose seen this April munching on willows

If you have Spring Fever and are ready for your summer vacation in the mountains, let us help you plan your mountain getaway for family and friends with our Grand Teton National Park packages.

The Grand Adventure Package

A Grand Teton National Park Exploration

The Grand Adventure Package is an all-inclusive package that offers a true discovery of Grand Teton National Park.  This package was designed for the family to explore the majestic scenery, wildlife and activities of the Park for all ages. The key to this package is the amount of activities to participate in; from river rafting on the beautiful Snake River, hiking and horseback riding in one of Americas most treasured and historic National Parks to boat cruises on Jackson Lake below the statuesque Teton Mountain Range to touring our neighboring town of Jackson or Yellowstone National Park.  Create a family experience to last a lifetime.

Hot Dates: May 20-June 20, 2011 and September 15-October 1, 2011 ~ Receive 20% Off Lodging!

Stay & Play Package

A Grand Teton National Park Skins and Fins Experience

Yes you read it right! Where is a more fantastic place on earth for dedicated golfers and fisherman than Grand Teton National Park?  This is a package created for that special outing with friends that may come only every so often. Golf at the beautiful Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis Club located just outside of the Park. Don’t be surprised to see moose munching on nearby greens while gazing at the entire Teton Mountain Range on iconic 13th hole. Spend a day hiking in the inspiring mountains. Catch the “big one” with an incredible day of fly fishing on the Snake River with a private guide. Grab your friends and let the adventure begin!

Give & Getaway Package

A Way to Give Back in Grand Teton National Park

A new year is here and so is a brand new Give & Getaway package.  This summer from June 6th through 9th, volunteers who work alongside Teton Science Schools employees to preserve the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem will receive 20% off their lodging.  Working, on Vacation? With this package volunteer your vacation time to give back to the environment. Experience the Jackson Hole Region on a whole different level by participating in a Willow Restoration Program and a Trail Extension Project. In addition to volunteering partake in an interactive education class about the ecology, plant communities, and wildlife of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

Find a getaway that sounds right for you? Call one of our Package Specialist for more information at 800-628-9988. For more mountain vacation options visit our packages web page, please click: Packages

Grand Teton Lodge Company Echo Day

Grand Teton Lodge Company will participate in a Fence Pull across from Jackson Lake Lodge as part of our contribution for Echo Day on August 7, 2010. The Fence Pull results in allowing wildlife to pass freely throughout the area without being injured. We are inviting members of the Jackson Hole Community and our guests of Grand Teton Lodge Company to volunteer with our employees for an hour of their day and to be part of this effort to improve our environment of Grand Teton National Park.

If this activity sounds like the perfect way to give back to the environment we are excited to have you participate! Plan on meeting at the Jackson Lake Lodge Corrals at 10am on Saturday morning. If possible wear long pants and work type clothes, gloves will be provided for your safety. This event is from 10am-5pm, but even an hour of your time will be a huge contribution to the Fence Pull!

If you want to learn more about what really happens at a Fence Pull please read our blog “The Clearing of Devil’s Rope”. Also, to find more information about Vail Resorts Echo Day – click here!


When: August 7th
Time: 10 am – 5 pm
What: Continue/complete fence pull across from Jackson Lake Lodge
Where: Meet at JLL Corrals
Who: All GTLC Employees, Community, Guests, National Park Service


4th of July Celebrations

4th of July with Grand Teton Lodge Company was a weekend of celebration of our Nation’s birthday! The weekend events started on July 3rd with the fabulous Jackson Hole Community Band playing a selection of patriot ballads. They were followed by Granite Youth Symphony who entertained with delightful melodies.  It was a proud day to be an American with the lovely musical selections played in Jackson Lake Lodge and the astonishing Teton Mountain Range in the background. Grand Teton Lodge Company was honored to host both the Jackson Hole Community Band and Granite Youth Symphony and thank them for their for the memorable performances!

Granite Youth Symphony

Jackson Hole Community Band

July 4th festivities followed with a fantastic parade given by our employees as well as, face painting and a coloring contest! The wranglers went all out and looked terrific with their all American horses. The bellman entered bicycles and golf carts to join the parade and Colter Bay brought a boat float. Children at the parade smiled wide when the multi-colored horsed paraded by, and then screamed with joy as candy from the other various floats was tossed their way. We hope you all can join the fun next year as we continue the tradition!

Patriotic Horse in Parade

Colter Bay's Boat Float

Children Gathering Candy

One of the Bellman Floats!

GTLC Fun Facts II

Grand Teton Lodge Company was started by the Rockefeller family.

Our employees represent all 50 states  and may have worked for us for decades.  Our longest employee worked for us 52 years on a seasonal basis each summer!

The US/Russia Peace Talks of 1989 were held at Jackson Lake Lodge.

We make nearly 30 gallons of homemade ice cream every day.

The Ranch House Restaurant was developed at Colter Bay to honor the many original dude ranches of the Jackson Hole area where our log cabins originally came from prior to being relocated to Colter Bay.

We have a private meal-site on the banks of the Snake River just under the Snake River Overlook where Ansel Adams took his famous photo of Grand Teton National Park.  Join us for dinner throughout the week and then float a 10 mile section of the river with our guides.

Our staff created the artwork and details for our kid’s coloring book called the Wildwalk Passport…ask for one at the Front Desk.

Between all our operations we employ nearly 1,000 people each summer…approximately 49% of which are returning employees.

Colter Bay Marina is the only location on Jackson Lake where boat slips can be reserved….get your name in now…there is currently a 15 year waiting list!

We hope you enjoy learning a few fun facts about our operations.  If you know of more we’d welcome learning of them, so feel free to make a comment!

GTLC Fun Facts

Grand Teton Lodge Company began as a transportation company.

Jackson Lake Lodge was built in 1955.

Colter Bay is comprised of 166 guest cabins that are all authentic settler’s cabins from around Grand Teton National Park.  Each cabin was moved from its previous location to Colter Bay Village to provide lodging for guests visiting the national park.

Jenny Lake Lodge is the only inclusive and award-winning hotel in Grand Teton National Park ~ recognized by Conde Nast, Travel + Leisure, AAA, Mobil, Fromer’s, Food & Wine and many other prestigious entities.

Grand Teton Lodge Company has it’s own butcher shop, bakery, laundry facility, grocery store and recycling center all on-site within Grand Teton National Park.

Jackson Lake Lodge houses the only pool in Grand Teton National Park.

Each cabin at Jenny Lake Lodge is named after a native wildflower.

Grand Teton Lodge Company employs an Interpretive Specialist who focuses on training and guest programs to enhance Park visitor experiences.

Jackson Lake Lodge (we believe) is the largest meeting location within a National Park.  With over 17,000 sq ft of meeting space and 385 guest accommodations, meetings are affordable and inspiring.

We are proud to host nearly 30 weddings each summer….and many more happy anniversaries!

Gros Ventre Campground is the closest campground to the town of Jackson with over 300 campsites available making it easy to enjoy the Park and play in Jackson!

Jackson Lake Lodge is 20 miles from the entrance to Yellowstone and approximately 1 1/2 hours from Old Faithful.

Grand Teton Lodge Company is certified to the standards of the International Organization for Standarization (ISO) for 14000 (Environmental), 9001 (Quality) and was the first hospitality organization in the US to acheive this 9001 certifications.  These third party certifications ensure we are providing a quality operation with environmental standards in place to protect our unique setting.

We’ll provide a few more facts in upcoming blogs.  In the meantime, do you know a few you’d like to share with us about GTLC or the Park?  If so, we’d like to hear from you….

Kids Appreciate Grand Teton National Park

Each year the National Park Foundation sponsors the Junior Ranger Essay Contest.   The focus is to ask kids their ideas about how to protect and preserve the national parks. 

In 2009, the essay contest question was “Why are our national parks important to you and what is your best idea to protect our parks for the future?”

Grand Teton Lodge Company was please to learn that the 2nd place winner this year was an essay contributed by Jason Roy Maki of  Marysville, Wa.  Jason’s essay focused on treasured memories of time in Grand Teton National Park.  Below you will find the essay he contributed.

jason-maki_npfwinnerWay to go Jason!  We hope you continue to enjoy and promote our national parks…and return to Grand Teton National Park very soon.

“When I see or even think about a national park, it is like no other feeling I’ve ever had. A national park is like a special cabinet that contains memories that are filled with truly special natural treasures. When you see a picture of a national park on post card, on TV or in a movie, you will probably say, “Wow! That is beautiful!” But actually being at a national park and seeing it in person is even more wonderful and breathtaking. When you go to the zoo and see an animal up close it is very interesting. But imagine that same thrill in the wild – in an animal’s habitat. Habitat is the natural place where an animal lives — like the forest, the meadows, the lakes and ponds, the rivers, mountains, valleys and the prairie.

I love Grand Teton National Park the best. When I visit, I always see elk, deer, black bear, grizzlies, moose, bison, wolves, bald eagles, and more. I’ve seen an eagle and an osprey fighting over a fish. I’ve seen a little baby moose with its mother at the edge of the Snake River. I’ve seen a pair of grizzly cubs wandering out in the middle of a green meadow with their mother close by. And I’ve even seen a rare black wolf running across a snow field. But not all things are exactly what I’d call peaceful. I’ve watched a huge bison lit up against the night sky when lightning struck the mountains. I went swimming with my cousins and came out of a beautiful lake covered in leeches! Ahhhhh! I was even surprised by a black bear ten feet away when I walked around a pickup truck! Even though I’ve had a few scary experiences, it should never stop you from visiting a national park.

National parks are fun places to learn about things that you could never experience anywhere else. That’s why we have to take care of them. We have to follow all national park rules. They are more than just rules. They are choices we make to help our parks survive forever. Don’t litter a park. Don’t feed the animals because they forget how to feed naturally. Make sure campfires are dead out with water. Forest fires are caused every year by careless campers who do not put their fires out. I would like to propose a contest where school kids everywhere come up with a few things to protect and preserve our national parks. We could have a reading program where school kids read about a neat national park. Then they could maybe visit one for themselves some day. I know they will enjoy every moment. That I can promise.

We the people own the national parks. They are ours. That is why we need to protect our parks and preserve them forever.”

Source:  National Park Foundation website

Wells on Wildflowers Trivia Prize

While we received many answers for our wildflower photos, Charlotte LaGrone is our winner! Congratulations to Charlotte, who won a float trip for two! Thank you to all who participated. More trivia to come!

Wells on Wildflowers

The answers revealed:

1. Arrowleaf Balsamroot
2. Sticky Geranium
3. Goatsbeard: Yellow Salsify
4. Indian Paintbrush

Taste of the Tetons: Escargot Bourguignonne en Croute

Jenny Lake Lodge Chef Josh Bayer in the Kitchen

Jenny Lake Lodge Chef Joshua Gayer in the Kitchen

 

 This week, Chef Joshua Gayer of Jenny Lake Lodge cooks up escargot between a puffed pastry in the most delightful sauce. The chewy texture of the snails complement that of the flaky pastry. For someone who has never tried escargot before, this is quite the tasty introduction.

 

Escargot Bourguignonne en Croute

1 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp minced shallot
1 tsp flat leaf Italian parsley
1 cup white wine
¼ cup European butter
¼ cup julienned leeks
½ cup cremini mushrooms sliced
10 escargot
puff pastry
(serves two to three as appetizer)

In a medium sized pan sauté mushrooms, leeks, and shallots. Once sautéed add escargot and cook for two to three minutes.  Add garlic and cook quickly.  Do not brown the garlic.  Add white wine and allow it to reduce by half.  Take pan off of heat and add butter.  Stir the butter until emulsified with the wine.  Add parsley, salt, and pepper.  Puff pastry can be purchased at grocery stores in the frozen section. Cut to desired shape.  Brush pastry with an egg wash and bake as directed.  Split in half once baked and serve escargot between with the sauce drizzled around. 

Enjoy!

Chef Joshua Gayer

 

Escargot Bourguignonne en Croute

Escargot Bourguignonne en Croute

Welcome to Recycling

Amy Kozlowski Finds Artwork While Sorting Through Recycling

Amy Kozlowski Finds Artwork While Sorting Through Recycling

 

Four sorters, forty trash bags and a bail of cardboard. The day begins for the Grand Teton Lodge Company (GTLC) Recycling Department. “We start out at Jackson Lake Lodge, pick up cardboard from the back dock and the kitchen recycling. The Blue Heron has a bunch of bottles, so we pick up all that,” said Amy Kozlowski, GTLC Recycling Attendant. The crew also picks up recycling at Colter Bay Village, Jenny Lake Lodge, Gros Ventre Campground and Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis.   “Then we come back in the afternoon and bail our cardboard in the big bailer. Right now we have about 40 bails of cardboard, we get one everyday at least.”

 

The Bailer

The Bailer

 

Kozlowski is a second year Recycling Attendant. “I have maintenance experience on my resume so Engineering called and said they have openings for recycling,” said Kozlowski. “I said that would be awesome because I really like to be green and I’m very concerned about the environment, so I jumped on that right away.”

Recycling and waste reduction continues to be the hallmark of Grand Teton Lodge Company’s sustainable operations and the direct link to our green house gas emission reductions. Recycle, reduce, reuse is considered in every aspect to lessen our impacts on the environment.

Yet sorting through recycling bags is no easy task. A lot of trash and other items end up in recycling.  The department takes glass, aluminum, tin, paper and corrugated cardboard—but not paperboard. “All recycling we sort through goes to Jackson, so we can only recycle what they recycle in town.”

Since 2005 more than 600,000 single-use bottles have been saved from landfills.
We have installed bulk dispensers for shampoo, soap and lotion in all Jackson Lake Lodge and Colter Bay Village Rooms. Our goal is to continue a minimum 50 percent diversion rate by recycling materials within our waste system. 

All sorts of treasures have ended up in recycling and the department is outfitted in gloves and eye protection while sorting. “We find some cool stuff that we can keep. We’ve found an inflatable raft and a lot of times people throw away magazines and books so we get to keep those.”

In 2008, GTLC recycled 229,587 total pounds of material, including 116,800 pounds of cardboard and 63,000 pounds of glass. This does not include the materials from our Jackson Lake Lodge renovation project, which had a 97 percent diversion rate. 

 

Just Some of the Bailed Cardboard

Just Some of the Bailed Cardboard

 

“We can do only as much as the people give us,” said Kozlowski. “I see people all the time throwing stuff into the trash that’s recycling.” Recycling awareness is one of the department’s biggest tasks. Work gets divvied up between four attendants and no one argues, they just get it done. “We get to be outside in a beautiful place and be doing something you can feel really good about.”

The Recycling Department continues to get the word out, hoping that every recyclable item will not end up in the trash, but rather the recycling bins.

“It’s something I can feel really good about when I go home,” said Kozlowski. “I know that what we are doing is helping a lot of efforts.  I think if I was working anywhere else I would feel guilty that I wasn’t working in recycling.”

Welcome to the Bakery

Pastry Chef John Clover and the Bakers

Pastry Chef John Clover, the Bakers, and a Few Hundred Dishes of Creme Brulee

 

John Clover comes into work at 4am. As Pastry Chef at GTLC, Clover has an important responsibility: to create delicious baked treats. The bakery produces a huge quantity of goods for Jackson Lake Lodge, Colter Bay Village and Jenny Lake Lodge.

“The goal is to be a scratch kitchen,” says Clover. The bakery makes their own lamented dough by hand that is used for croissants and danishes, pretty impressive for the size of the outfit.

“We made 350 cookies yesterday,” says Clover. “We make five sheet trays of brownies everyday, five sheets trays of Teton Treats every other day it seems, and 40 gallons of ice cream—that’s just barely keeping up with what they’re asking for.”

 

Teton Treat

Teton Treat

 

Many of the items used are organic, including corn starch, baking powder, high-gluten flour, all-purpose flour, eggs and cream. “We recycle a ton,” adds Colver as piles of empty milk cartoons whiz by.

Clover is joined by a talented staff of seven and two interns will arrive to complete the team at the end of the month. “Everyone here has been to culinary school or taken some sort of baking courses and that makes a huge difference,” stated Clover. With 18 years of cooking experience and four years as a pastry chef, Clover is no stranger to the kitchen.

“I enjoy doing cakes,” said Clover, examining a sketch of a cake he’s making with a decorative drawing of a moose. It’s fun. It’s the creative outlet on what we do.”

Along with cakes, the bakery makes every type of bread imaginable. “It’s cool to see what we do as far as bread goes,” said Clover, “We put out more bread than I’ve seen in any other kitchen.”

There are 900 handmade rolls awaiting a banquet, a high volume bakery indeed. It takes about three or four hours to complete the bread baking process, the most time consuming item made.

The bakery aims for everyday continuous improvement. “We are trying to go from 80% purchased product to less and less everyday,” said Clover. For the restaurants the bakery produces 75% of the necessary items. A completely scratch bakery may not be too far in the future for GTLC.

 

bakery1SM