Have you ever held an event or arranged group activities at a U.S. national park? Maybe it was an executive retreat at a lodge or an incentive trip on mules to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
Next month, August 2016, our National Park Service celebrates its 100th birthday. Created in 1916 under President Woodrow Wilson, the forward-thinking idea of the National Park Service and all that it’s done to preserve our natural and cultural wonders deserves to be applauded.
To help Smart Meetings celebrate, we are asking meeting planners and suppliers to share the coolest and most inspiring places to meet, network and explore in the U.S. National Park Service lands. Top suggestions will be featured in the August issue of Smart Meetings magazine and online.
Yellowstone National Park became the nation’s first national park, following an 1872 act by President Ulysses S. Grant. To help visitors take in the full beauty of this treasured destination, Old Faithful Inn was built in 1904. It is considered the largest log structure in the world. Boasting views of the famous geyser, the 329-room property is a National Historic Landmark and member of Historic Hotels of America.
Group tours in national parks and stays in historic lodges are full of incentive and team-building opportunities. Some national parks lodges even offer meeting space.
For example, did you know that Mount Rushmore National Memorial has its own 2,000-seat amphitheater? Special use permits may be issued to rent the venue from May 1−Oct. 31. Located 23 miles southwest of Rapid City, South Dakota, Mount Rushmore is one of the driving forces in tourism for the city and the state. Visages of U.S. presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln are carved into a granite mountainside above the treetops of the Black Hills. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum and 400 workers completed this renowned work from 1927-1941.
What’s your favorite national park and why? Let us know.