Happy spring! Our Sirens team, on a visit to Skamania last week, had a beautiful mix of sunshine and temperamental rain, much like you might expect from the Pacific Northwest in April. Which means that our pictures from our rooms at Skamania range from this:
But don’t let me get ahead of myself with the amazing pictures of the Columbia River and the Cascade Mountains! We were there to do things other than gawk, and I promise we did.
As many of you know, moving a conference takes a lot of time, consideration, and care. Things that we’ve long since figured out about Vail – the conference schedule, the marketplace, Jake the Bus Driver – have to be reconsidered and reconfigured. So off we went to Skamania to meet with our hotel team.
You’ll be pleased to know that Skamania remains simply wonderful: cozy public spaces, thoughtful staff, glorious views. Our team has voted, and we think it’s actually prettier than Vail. (Seriously, take a look at the pictures above.) And it’s only 207 feet above sea level!
The lobby has all-day coffee, tea, and cocoa; a Forest Service office with advice about surrounding trails and wildlife; and a fabulous sitting area that offers a three-story real-wood fireplace:
And, oh, the view from the lobby looks like this:
The hotel has two restaurants, though, alas, no marketplace, so item number one was to discuss how to offer attendees quick-shop meal options throughout the day. I’m happy to report that we’re well on our way to not only doing so, but doing so with locally sourced food. The new chef – who stopped by our breakfast – is charming, fun, and best of all, interested in continuing Skamania’s commitment to local food sourcing. Here are some of his creations:
Green eggs and ham:
And winter desserts:
We’re also well on our way to rolling out custom catering menus for our Sirens meals. We’ve emphasized our desire for local, creative options, so we’re waiting to see if that means Columbia River Gorge fish, pasta with local vegetables, the most fabulous tofu curry, or something entirely different! (Can you tell I’m pulling for the tofu?)
By the way, if you’re taking the Sirens Shuttle, more information is coming soon! But the views along the shuttle route to Skamania look like this:
The view from Vista House:
To the view of Multnomah Falls, the second-highest, year-round waterfall in the United States at 620 feet:
If I were you, I might think about taking the shuttle just so I could gawk without becoming a hazard!
If you feel like relaxing, Skamania – of course! – has a spa and some amazing pools and hot tubs! (We did not take pictures, since there were people, but the outside hot tub is especially fun.) And if you’re feeling more adventurous, there are hiking trails…with evidence of a sasquatch:
Now that we’ve met with the Skamania team, we’ll have more information about our schedule, our menus, our shuttle, and other programs coming in the next couple months. In the meantime, though, remember that our programming submissions deadline is May 6, 2012. And if you have any questions or concerns, just ask!