Tech Companies Flee Cubicles, Meet Outdoors

Photo credit: The California Parks Company

Tech companies are discovering what families in Airstream trailers have known for generations. Parks are a great place to reconnect, unwind and be inspired. From Lake Mohave Marina in Bullhead City, Arizona, to Lake Chabot in California’s Castro Valley, teams of engineers, business developers and accountants are ebiking, swimming and Segwaying into the great outdoors—and loving it.

Joanne Tan-Casem, director of sales for The California Parks Company, reports that in the last three years the list of Silicon Valley companies that have bused employees to lakes and forests has grown exponentially. “It is no longer about scary ropes courses,” Casem says.

Fresh Air Options

A San Francisco Bay Area favorite is Angel Island State Park, where tram and scooter tours are a 15-minute ferry ride away from the Embarcadero. An East Bay gem, The Ranch at Little Hills, is a 25-acre spread with no animals but lots of room for inflatable sumo wrestling matches and blow-up bumper ball races for up to 1,500 people. This green space alone hosted 125 events in seven months last year.

Some companies are staging overnights a couple of hours away from headquarters to meet at Camanche Recreation Area in Ione, California. By taking advantage of the rent-my-tent program, they can access a turnkey adventure complete with pre-set-up campsites, smores-making supplies, equipment to show an outdoor movie and party barges for up to 40 that come with a driver and snacks.

Despite its name, The California Parks Company markets more than 20 locations all over the western United States. It is a privately owned event management company partnering with public agencies, such as California State Parks.