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


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….

Moosin’ Around Again…

Next week the staff of Grand Teton Lodge Company has promised to have my name.  It seems a lot of you have joined in the competition to come up with just the right one…I cannot wait to learn what it is!  In the meantime, I’ve been playing around alot. 

Since so many people have been interested in the lake cruise on Jackson Lake this summer, I decided to check it out for myself.  Wow was it fun!  Take a look at the photos my friends took of me along the way…

Moosin Around 029First I had to get a ticket for the trip.  The price was really reasonable…since as you know from my last adventure…I don’t get a very big allowance!

Moosin Around 017

Then I went inside to check in and met a new friend!  That’s me lookin’ up at him as we talked about the upcoming adventure to Elk Island!

Moosin Around 022

Then it was off to catch the boat cruise and see Jackson Lake!

Moosin Around 019

Before the captain came on board, I snuck up to his chair to see about a career change…he’s got a pretty big job!  That comfy captain’s chair is the TICKET!  I recommend that seat if you can grab it!

Moosin Around 020

Before we could leave, we had to learn all the steps for a safe trip.  So the captain took a moment to tell us about the safety measures on the boat…that’s me takin’ it all in.

We learned about the area along the way.  Our first mate was Biddy…I forgot to get a photo with her, but she had great stories.  She told us all about the Park and Jackson Lake and was pretty funny too!

About half way through the trip, we docked at a private island.  It was fun, there wasn’t anyone around and all the guests could hike and eat until they had their fill!

Moosin Around 025 

As you may know, I’m a moose and just like the other wildlife in the Park we aren’t supposed to eat human food, or we’ll certainly get sick.  So I just took a look at all there was to enjoy…

Moosin Around 024

Then I sat by the campfire.  Even though it was summertime, it was fun to watch all the familes.  They were playing with something called marshmallows and making this treat called s’mores. 

The kids sure thought it was fun that’s for sure!

Moosin Around 023

Eventually, with the sound of the dinnerbell, it was time to head back to the boat to conclude our adventure.  I hopped on the front of the boat for a quick photo opportunity before we left.

Special Tip:  If you are brining the kids, ask the captain about the Jr. Captain License…it’s a great way to add to the kids adventure!

Here’s something else you should know for your adventures in the Park.  We’re at high altitude and it is really dry here.  So it’s always good to drink lots and lots of water.  After our trip was over, I stopped by the water fountain for a drink so I didn’t get dehydrated after having so much fun! 

Moosin Around 031

Next time you are here, let me know…maybe I can be your escort for a fun-filled day in Grand Teton National Park!

A Walking History of Colter Bay Village

 
A Colter Bay Cabin
A Colter Bay Cabin

An historic walk through Colter Bay Village with Grand Teton Lodge Company Historian Mary McKinney is a fascinating walk back through time.  Listen how the valley began to develop and dude ranches dotted the landscape.  Hear how John D. Rockefeller Jr’s vision and generosity assisted in preserving this wonderful landscape.  Compare the differences of how these early dude cabins were constructed and with what unusual materials.  Laugh at how our housekeeping cabins were once “Chic Sales”.      

Colter Bay Village actually represents an eclectic collection of cabins from various sites around Jackson Hole. The cabins at Colter Bay serve as a window into the past, giving guests the chance to experience a bit of history during their stay. Though the cabins have been modified to accommodate plumbing and electrical needs, they have been restored and maintained to reflect as close a representation of their original construction as is possible. Many of the cabins were constructed in the 1920’s and 1930’s, but some date back to the late 1800’s. 

As tourism in Jackson Hole began to flourish in the early 1900’s, accommodations began to sprout up all over the valley. The result of this influx of tourists was the beginning of dude ranches in Jackson Hole.   A typical dude ranch was composed of a central building surrounded by many smaller guest cabins.   The largest of these resorts was the Teton Lodges at Moran, located at the site of the old town of Moran below Jackson Lake Dam. 

As one of the driving forces behind conserving Jackson Hole, John D. Rockefeller Jr. had bought thousands of acres of property with the intent of donating it as part of a national park. When Grand Teton National Park was expanded in 1950 with Rockefeller’s donation of 34,000 acres, it became apparent that guest accommodations in the park were inadequate. With funding from Rockefeller, the park service began to develop new visitor facilities and remove older resorts as they wanted to restore much of the park to its natural state. After the completion of the new Jackson Lake Lodge in 1955, the Colter Bay visitor site went into development. Cabins were transplanted to Colter Bay from the Teton Lodges at Moran, the old Jackson Lake Lodge resort, and the Square G Ranch (located near Jenny Lake) among others. In 1957 the cabins at Colter Bay Village were opened to the public. Over the years many of the other dude ranches and resorts closed or were donated to the park, and Colter Bay Village grew with the addition of the cabins from these various sites. 

Craftmanship of a Unique Cabin
Craftmanship of a Unique Cabin

Today there is no trace to be found of many resort sites that now makeup Colter Bay Village. All the cabins from the old Jackson Lake Lodge that were not transplanted were destroyed. After picking up much of the town of Moran and transporting it to Colter Bay, the remaining structures were demolished in 1957. Only the post office still survives, transported to present-day Moran near the park’s east entrance.

Mary McKinney
Mary McKinney

Ms. McKinney’s interpretive historic walk is complementary and is scheduled each Tuesday and Friday afternoon at 5pm.  Meet Mary for a wonderfully delightful afternoon at the Colter Bay Village Cabins Guest Lounge.
 

 

From Don’s Corner -Adapted from “A Brief History of Colter Bay Village” by Mary McKinney (GTLC Historian)

GTLC Moosin’ Around

 

Well, he’s yet to have a name, but our moose mascot sure doesn’t hesitate to get out and about!  He’s making friends quickly with the nearly 1,000 employees we have this summer and they’ve invited him on many excursions.  We’re excited to showcase a few of his adventures here for you. 

Be sure, he’ll be seen playing in the park more and more….we hope you enjoy his adventures.

“Hi everyone!  I thought my first adventure would be a horseback ride.  Being without an allowance I had to work cleaning the corrals before I could take my ride….This wrangler stuff is hard work!”

Earnin' My Keep! 
Earnin' My Keep!

“After all that work, I needed a rest before going riding!”

 

Resting Up for Adventure...
Resting Up for Adventure...

 

“A short rest, and I hopped atop my trusty steed…and off we went!”

Giddey Up Butterfly
Giddey Up!!

 

“After a long day of hard work in the corrals…it was off to the employee housing for a good night’s sleep with some of my co-workers.”

Me and My Gang!
Me and My Gang!

 

“The next morning it was time for a hearty breakfast…the food sure is good here!  Must be the fresh air and outdoor adventure!”

Moosin_Around_Breakfast

 

“Off for another day of fun…can you guess where I am in this next photo?”

Bet You Can't Find Me!

“I hope you’ll tune in as I’m off on another activity within the park.  When are you headed out this way??”

Contributed from Moose Corner

 

 

Introducing… Our Historian

Historian Mary McKinney at Colter Bay Village
Historian Mary McKinney at Colter Bay Village

 

“This is my 31st summer coming to the Tetons and I realize the more I know, the more there is to learn,” says Mary McKinney, GTLC Historian. She is endlessly fascinated by this unique place that carries so much history. “The flowers, animals, mountain names, trails, ranches…it’s like peeling an onion and getting to the core of things, one layer after another layer.”

As a child, McKinney was enthralled with stories of the past. She was particularly captivated with Narcissa Whitman, the first white woman to travel on the Oregon Trail. The history of the Settler’s coming out west lured McKinney to seek a degree in history.

“My poor children thought they were raised crawling along the Oregon Trail,” McKinney laughs, as she recalls the numerous trips to the sites.

In 1979, McKinney began visiting the Tetons, as her daughters worked summers here. Initially the family was taking camping trips through National Parks in the west and by 1986 there were five McKinney’s working at the Lodge.

“It’s a beautiful place with a manageable size; you feel you can actually get to know it” states McKinney.  “It simply seems like the most beautiful place on Earth to my family.” So beautiful, all four of her daughters were married in the Park.

McKinney began as GTLC historian by gradually learning about the settlers’ cabins at Colter Bay Village, the ranches where they originate, and some of the architectural history of Jackson Hole. She studied a bit about Jenny Lake Lodge, which was founded by a western cowboy and a romantic story. The Lodge was originally named Danny Ranch, after the cowboy’s love.

Sharing her wisdom with the public, McKinney leads history talks on three properties. The Jackson Lake Lodge tour focuses on history and artwork, from the eight wildlife paintings by Carl Rungius that hang in the second floor lobby to photographs of the early days of Jackson Hole. Jenny Lake Lodge highlights the diverse history of Jenny, the name change and how it nearly shut down at one point only to re-emerge with elegance. Colter Bay Village brings the 166 settlers’ cabins to life, with a rich history on these rustic homesteads that date as far back as the 1890’s.

A wealth of resources are available on the history of Jackson Hole including GTLC and Jackson Hole Historical Society archives, the University of Wyoming, and the Rockefeller archives in New York. While McKinney gathers information from these archives, she reveals that her best resource is simply talking to people. Guests will share their experiences and their parents’ experiences and a bit of otherwise unknown history is shared with the world. “When people are acknowledged for their stories, they feel a sense of ownership of a place and they want to come back again.”

McKinney embarks on the lengthy, annual drive from Georgia to Wyoming, as the Tetons draw her back year after year.

“At the end of a walk around the cabins, very frequently someone will say, ‘they all looked alike before and now none of them look alike. I’ll never make that mistake again.’ They see the individuality of the cabins,” says McKinney, as she expresses why she keeps returning to the Park each year. “When people appreciate this place it’s thrilling to me; when they realize it’s not just your ordinary hotel grouping, but a special place with special stories.”