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Why This is the Year to Experience the...

February 5th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I realize the days are still short – but, yay, getting longer – and many of us are tired of winter, but it’s a great time to think of our summer plans.

Personally, I love spontaneous trips, but there are times when planning a vacation is just plain fun. My sister-in-law told me in the fall she had signed up for a group tour to visit China this spring. As we exchanged e-mails and spoke on the phone I found myself wishing I was going with her. She didn’t invite me, so I just had to make do with researching her itinerary and buying her some guidebooks for Christmas. I also added a similar trip to my “Some Day” list.

Last year I thoroughly enjoyed learning about some self-guided walking and biking tours in an unnamed location north and west of my beloved Cody, Wyoming, and I followed through with a vacation that was equal parts active, relaxing and educational. That sounds a lot like my life, except the vacation did not include cowboy musicians.

As part of my job, people ask me for recommendations for accommodations, food, shopping, hiking trails, fishing streams and the like. A common question revolves around “secret” times Read More


Not My First Rodeo

January 22nd, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

My niece was six when her family packed up the Chevy, locked up their heartland home and pointed the car in the direction of Cody/Yellowstone Country.

Like so many other Western-bound road-trippers, the family took their time so they could enjoy the pleasure of free ice water at Wall Drug, observe the giant sculpted faces of four of our favorite U.S. presidents and drive through the massive national park known for its fossils of ancient mammals, weird geologic deposits and grasslands before arriving in Cody.

With me as enthusiastic tour guide, we did it all. We toured Yellowstone, lingered for hours exploring Buffalo Bill Center of the West, and of course, watched the Cody Nite Rodeo.

Cody Nite Rodeo will begin its 80th season of nightly summer rodeo on June 1.

Of all the things we did and saw, my niece loved the rodeo most of all. She loved the clowns, the hats, the horses. And even at a young age, she couldn’t stop talking about the athleticism of the young cowboys who gave it their all.

Last year my now-teenage niece returned for a stay with Aunt Corrie, and we of course went to the Cody Nite Rodeo. Her enthusiasm for this classic event remained, although this time largely because she Read More


Comparing Notes With Other Tourism Folks

February 28th, 2016 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I don’t know about you, but I can always tell what time of year it is here in Cody without even looking at the calendar. Colorful lights means Christmas is approaching. The first day I see that huge car with the loudspeakers bolted on the roof and longhorns attached to the hood means the start of June and the Cody Nite Rodeo. Dan Miller walking down the street in a cupid outfit must mean that it’s Valentine’s Day.

Okay, I made that last one up. But I can hope…

Cody, the wildest way into Yellowstone.

If it’s late in February, it must mean that I have just gotten home from the Wyoming Governor’s Conference on Tourism. We all know that Wyoming is a big state, and I am reminded of our glorious open spaces, soaring mountain ranges and stunning beauty when I make my annual drive to our state capital of Cheyenne every year for the conference.

I lived in the big city where there are more people crammed into 10 square miles than we have in our whole state of almost 100,000 square miles (97,818 to be exact), and I am reminded of one of the main reasons I came home and Read More


Zippety Doo Dah! Zip Lines Coming to...

September 4th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Zippety Doo Dah! Zip Lines Coming to Yellowstone Country

On occasion, I feel the need for speed.

When I want an adrenaline rush in the winter, I usually head over to Sleeping Giant Ski Area just west of downtown Cody and ski the intermediate runs. My favorite ski run is Red Star because it is parallel to the ski area boundary and I get some great views of the mountains and valley below.

In the summer, at least these days, it’s not quite as easy for me to get my speed fix. I used to achieve some serious speed when I was a barrel racer at the Cody Nite Rodeo, but those days are long over. When I watch those beautiful young cowgirls with their hair trailing in the wind steering their horses around the barrels with incredible finesse, I can still remember the sheer joy of the race. And I can remember how it felt to win.

So I was super excited to hear that Sleeping Giant Ski Area is building new dual zip lines which will have  fabulous views. And the best part, at least for this former competitor, is that you can race your friends on each zip because the Canadian Read More


West Meets Midwest

August 24th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

If you see me walking around Cody next week telling stories about the town to someone who is feverishly taking notes, please don’t be concerned.

Tap your feet along to the sounds of Americana, bluegrass and songs of the American West at Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue.

You see, we are hosting a conference for the Midwest Travel Writers Association (MTWA), and this group of journalists is coming for more than just Yellowstone Country’s Western brand of hospitality.Over the years there is a good chance you have read an article by one of these writers. Before the Internet turned our lives upside down, travel writers researched and wrote their stories for magazines, newspapers, newsletters and other publications. Many of those publications are now found online, and professionals supply the stories.

This conference is our opportunity to showcase our attractions. The plan is to start with a welcome reception at the Chamberlin Inn followed by a short walk over to enjoy Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue. I know that Dan will promptly win over the female journalists in the crowd, but we cannot just send them home after his performance. We will take the next several days making a trip to Yellowstone, taking Read More


Musings on the 2015 Cody Stampede

July 10th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

The 2015 Cody Stampede is in the history books, and before I focus on the second half of the summer (don’t even think about arguing with me that summer just started June 21) I want to share a few observations.

It always seems there are cowboys competing who are named Cody. Don’t believe me? Look it up. I saw five just in the final standings. You won’t find too many Clevelands or Bostons.

The action never stops at the four Cody Stampede Rodeo performances.

Some other great Western first names were Cimarron, Shane and Levi. There was even a guy named Jesse James. My favorite, however, was Clayton Moore who won the steer wrestling competition. And he did it without any help from a trusted sidekick named Tonto.

When the second Cody Stampede board member walked past me wearing a pink shirt, I wondered what was happening. Turns out on July 2, they along with the Cowboy Up Drill Team and several spectators were “Tough Enough To Wear Pink” making a statement in support of breast cancer research. Well played, all of you. I tip my 10-gallon hat in your direction.

Opening Ceremonies of the Cody Stampede Rodeo.

The Stampede paid out almost $350,000 Read More


This is why Cody is the Rodeo Capital of...

June 12th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

When the arm jerker broke from the chute the crowd was seeing daylight.

That’s when I knew that things were back to normal here in the “Rodeo Capital of the World.”

You see, we don’t just throw a rodeo during our county fair. We do it every night June 1 – Aug. 31 with our Cody Nite Rodeo. Actually, that’s not completely true. On Tuesday, June 30 at 7 p.m. the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) Cody/Yellowstone Xtreme Bulls event will take place, and from July 1-4 the biggest names in rodeo come to town for the Cody Stampede.

The Cody Nite Rodeo is thrilling for spectators.

First, let’s talk about the Nite Rodeo which has been happening since 1938. Every night our rodeo grounds open the gates at 7 p.m., and the action begins at 8 p.m. Performances are typically around two hours long with events such as bronc riding, bull riding, bareback riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, team roping and barrel racing. I always get a kick out of the kids in the audience who are invited to participate in the calf scramble.

The audience is also entertained by the rodeo clowns whose outfits and humor sometimes mask the serious and highly Read More


Get your Quirk on in Buffalo Bill’s...

March 26th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Some of my friends think I’m, well, unusual. I believe the best ice cream flavor is anything but vanilla; I choose cars painted in colors not found in nature (presently highlighter yellow); my fashion choices often combine classic cowgirl, Grandma’s lace and ‘60s mod; and my decorating style is what my friends kindly call “eclectic.” So it is only fitting that I live in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country.

Cody’s Trolley Tour will take you through 100 years of history.

 Many towns claim to be unique, but Cody takes being unusual to a whole new level. I call that level quirky. No other town that I know of has such a strange and wonderful mix of sights and experiences.

The famous Cherrywood bar at the Irma Hotel.

Here are just a few examples of the quirkiest of Cody’s experiences:

Savor a key lime truffle handmade by a saddle bronc rider. Rock the Cowboy Boogie in the one-time home of a successful madam with a heart of gold. Eat Rocky Mountain Oysters at a room-long bar that was presented to Buffalo Bill Cody by Queen Victoria. Learn about gun safety from a wacky group of local actors with a penchant for to-the-hilt dressing in old-timey cowboy clothes. See Read More

Active Travel is Nothing New in Buffalo...

February 9th, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Comments(1)

When you live in a town like Cody that is dedicated to tourism, you need to be a bit of a travel expert, so I tend to try to hone up on my travel industry knowledge, particularly during the winter months. And while doing just that last weekend, I’ll bet I came across a dozen articles discussing the “emerging” trend of active travel.

Are you kidding me?

Excuse me while I harrumph. Active travel, at least here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country, is hardly new. In fact, our town founder Buffalo Bill himself was an active travel expert, whether he was performing his Wild West show in Europe or hunting near his hunting lodge, Pahaska Tepee.

Buffalo Bill’s hunting lodge, “Pahaska Tepee” which means “long hairs lodge.”

Of course, a century ago, horseback riding was as much transportation as recreation, and wildlife was spotted and then often hunted. Still, Cody visitors were moving, seeing, doing and playing all the time. Ernest Hemingway came here to fish, hunt and find inspiration. The Prince of Monaco visited as Buffalo Bill’s guest to hunt in the wilderness and enjoy the company of like-minded friends. And visitors to Yellowstone National Park were climbing, hiking, exploring and discovering.

Read More


Winter is the Time to Dream

February 2nd, 2015 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I heard someone describe the various phases of travel as “dreaming,” “planning,” “experiencing” and “remembering.” That makes sense to me. Here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country, we welcome the bulk of our visitors during the months of June, July, August and September and most of them probably spent time dreaming about Cody before they got here.

I do the same thing. During the winter, I find that my eyes linger on the pretty pictures in magazines of destinations to which I’ve always wanted to travel. I know I’ll never see some of those destinations – I’m a girl on a budget, after all – but it is fun to fantasize that someday I will. That exclusive beach resort in the Caribbean is probably not going to see the name “Corrie N. Cody” on the register anytime soon. In Cody, though, few people will stop dreaming about this destination because of budget concerns. There are plenty of options for all budgets, from camping and RV sites to quaint and historic inns. And all of Cody’s museums and attractions are reasonably priced.

Dreaming of a Cody Sunset?

Next step is planning. That’s when you get serious and start looking at your calendars, chequebook, clothes, Read More