Come Winter, Play in Wyoming’s Big Horn Mountains

Sheridan, WY – voted #1 Western Town in America! Name your winter sport in Sheridan where the majestic Big Horn Mountains set the scene and offer a winter wonderland of trails and vast open meadows. Here visitors will find an abundance of opportunities for invigorating outdoor recreation including snowmobiling, alpine and cross-country skiing, and snowboarding in an ideal mountain setting. It’s a beautiful place to enjoy snow sports and activities and to revel in the magnificent scenery of the area.

Sheridan, nestled in the foothills of the majestic Big Horn Mountains, is home base, while the Big Horns provide the winter wonderland! Ride the range by snowmobile on more than 218 miles of top-ten rated trails in the Big Horn Mountain Trail System. Springtime provides excellent snow conditions with fresh powder, deep snow, and warm days, and riding into April. The nearest trailhead is located just 15 miles south of Sheridan, with 100% “real” dry powdery snow. Cross-country trails are abundant in wide-open meadows and on telemark hillsides.

Deep snows, spectacular scenery and the vastness of the West are why people ride the Big Horns. Riding opportunities are both challenging and endless in these rugged and inviting mountains, offering some of the most enticing snowmobiling in the world. During the winter it’s easy to find fresh untracked powder and steep rolling hills to explore, with a diverse trail system that provides easy access.

Within nearly one million acres of national forest, the Big Horns also provide nearly 50 miles of ungroomed trails, countless miles of cross-country exploring, and exciting off-trail opportunities. Limited commercial development keeps the crowds down both on and off the trails, while first-class lodging is available just a short drive away in Sheridan. In the historic downtown, the dining runs the gamut from down-home to gourmet, and specialty shopping ranges from antiques and cowboy memorabilia to intriguing boutiques and galleries.

For cross country enthusiasts, the area offers fantastic skiing with untouched powder. Groomed and ungroomed trails criss-cross the Big Horns. Here skiers may hit the trails and escape into the inviting quiet of the forest. Downhill skiing, available in the southern Big Horns, allows skiing like it used to be – no lift lines, and exciting terrain for skiers and snowboarders alike.

In addition, Sheridan and the Big Horn Mountains offer a bevy of outdoor recreation opportunities including ice-skating and snowshoeing. Children and adults both enjoy skating at Whitney Community Ice Rink. The area also offers other winter outdoor activities including ice fishing and wildlife viewing. Wildlife is as abundant as the snow, with large animals such as moose, elk, and deer viewed throughout the winter months.

While in Sheridan, enjoy the evening entertainment, at fun restaurants, specialty shops, a movie, or a live performance at the WYO Theater. Embrace the West with a Downtown Walking Tour or at the legendary Mint Bar. Lodging options offering value and comfort at affordable prices are available to groups of any size. If in need, just ask, while experiencing the friendly hospitality here in Sheridan, Wyoming – The West at its Best!

Conveniently adjacent to Interstate 90 in north central Wyoming, Sheridan is 203 miles east of Yellowstone National Park, 240 miles west of South Dakota’s Black Hills, and 125 miles southeast of Billings, Montana. To explore winter sports and adventures visit http://www.sheridanwyoming.org or call Sheridan Travel and Tourism at 307-673-7120 or toll-free 1-888-596-6787.

Summer Embraces the West

Population – 16,900, Elevation – 3,724

Welcome to Sheridan, Wyoming – voted #1 Western Town in America! Picturesque. Historic. Vibrant. It’s where Old West meets New West – a pocket of world-class culture wrapped up in hometown hospitality and authentic real West charm . . .

Sheridan provides history with a view, from its authentic Main Street lined with historic buildings to the Landmark Historic Sheridan Inn where Buffalo Bill once auditioned acts, to the magnificent backdrop of the Big Horn Mountains. The Historic Main Street District offers Old West appeal in a modern setting for a charming window on the past and future. It is picture perfect, with specialty shopping from antiques to cowboy memorabilia to intriguing boutiques and galleries.

Home to over 30 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, the downtown comes alive with its unique specialty shops, and delightful historic trolley or walking tours. Embrace the West while exploring a mansion and museums, or relax in Kendrick Park where the buffalo and elk roam. Enjoy evening entertainment with live performances at the WYO Theater or a stop at the legendary Mint Bar. Lodging and dining options call to individuals and groups of any size. And if in need, just ask . . . and then embrace the warm, western hospitality.

One of Wyoming’s jewels, Sheridan’s fabled western history and dramatic mountain vistas meet New West comfort and the serenity of wide open spaces. The Sheridan area was the last, most-prized hunting ground of the Plains Indians – center-stage for the culture clash that erupted on the Great Plains in the late 1800′s. The “Bloody Bozeman Trail” passed just west of Sheridan, with the infamous Little Bighorn battle 90 miles north.

Or step farther back in time with the ancient and complex geology reaching back billions of years. Visit the T-Rex Natural History Museum in Ranchester, or dinosaur sites and digs in the Big Horn Basin at Red Gulch Dinosaur Tracksite and Howe Dinosaur Quarry near Shell.

You can have it all, finding unlimited, easy-to-access recreation in the still pristine Big Horn Mountains. Hike, bike, camp, boat, rock climb or photograph the wildlife and scenery, or catch a hunting season in these golden hills. Encounter tranquil, secluded streams and some of the finest fishing around in the Bighorn National Forest’s 180,000 acres of wilderness.

Enjoy Wyoming’s “golf capital” where championship golf is the norm. Play four courses within a 35-mile radius – three within a few miles of the city center. For more introspective moments, Sheridan serves as a cultural center for the region – home and inspiration to hundreds of local artists, from painters to musicians, authors to sculptors.

Or just ride the range for intriguing day trips. Whatever you are looking for to Embrace the West, it is all right here . . . All conveniently located adjacent to I-90 in north central Wyoming, on historic routes midway between Yellowstone National Park and the Black Hills of South Dakota!

To explore exciting adventures, events. day tours, scenic photography, dining and lodging accommodations, maps, and more, visit www.sheridanwyoming.org now, or for a free packet on The West at its Best, contact Sheridan Travel and Tourism, PO Box 7155, Sheridan, WY 82801, 888.596.6787 or stt@sheridanwyoming.org.

Tuesday, February 7th

WOW!!! Out of 500 western towns competing for the honor, SHERIDAN wears her official #1 well!

The reality is setting in . . . Being the nation’s top western town in America came together with an award celebration of a life time – fun, festive, and impressive with over 1,100 people joining us at the Historic Sheridan Inn on January 28th! Wear your #1 Western Town in America commemorative pins proudly . .

The media coverage of the honor and celebration was wide, ranging from TV, print and radio, from Chicago to Kansas City, Rapid City to Billings and Casper, as well as local. Stay tuned, as our work with True West Magazine has already begun for the next feature story from their recent stay with us in Sheridan. . . .

We knocked the boots off True West Magazine Editor, Bob Boze Bell with our community’s western enthusiasm and flavor . . . And Bell strongly touts Sheridan as “by far the BEST choice for the first-ever #1 western town in America. We are really excited about what went down in Sheridan, and were kind of in shock all the way home to Arizona.”

Bell and staff could not be more impressed and pleased, and I in turn could not be more proud of all involved – our community support, the volunteer participation, the superb historical entertainment, AND of Sheridan!

What a grand performance by our local historical entertainers: Drum & Bugle Corp’s march and play to welcome celebrants and dignitaries arriving in Craig Maris’ horse-drawn carriage, the Frontier Regulars live history demonstration with the Howitzer cannon explosion, the dove release by Gwen Turner, Native American dances by Joe LaForge & Shelly White Bear, the Historic Sheridan Inn’s Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley, Calamity Jane, & Wild Bill Hickok and the grand finale of 1880’s era music by the New Sheridan Cornet Band.

Mayor Kinskey provided a warm western welcome, followed by the reading of Governor Freudenthal’s proclamation. Diane Shober, Director of Wyoming Travel & Tourism, presented Wyoming’s new Forever West tourism theme and an overview of our cooperative ventures with us on recent movies and the Spring TV advertisements filmed in Sheridan.

(left to right:) JIM SCHELLINGER, Chairman Sheridan Travel and Tourism; DAVE KINSKEY Mayor of Sheridan; PENNY BECKER Executive Director Sheridan Travel and Tourism

THEN for the reason we all came together, the presentation of the western statuette for our #1 western town award by Bell. To view our award, stop now at City Hall, or beginning in the spring at the Wyoming Information Center museum, where 150,000 visitors will enjoy viewing and reading all about it.

Attendees also enjoyed the educational displays by the Trail End State Historic Site, Sheridan County Museum, Sheridan Heritage Center, and Sheridan Travel and Tourism. Perhaps we could have used more space, however I heard not a complaint, but rather a happy and festive crowd!

“Sheridan’s culture is Western, in all of its varieties and meanings. The pace of life is Western. When you’re in Sheridan, no matter where you hail from, you are Western. It’s that magic which really makes the town stand out,” writes the True West staff.

Sheridan was selected from the 500 entries judged on its history and heritage; efforts to preserve, maintain and promote that heritage; and success in attracting tourists. The judges noted that Sheridan has several historic districts and dozens of historic sites—and hosts numerous Western events each year. The town raised a million dollars for a new history museum, scheduled to open in 2006. And renovation work continues on the historic Sheridan Inn, where Buffalo Bill Cody auditioned acts for his Wild West show in the 1890s.

Thanks to our community for it’s support and involvement in making an outstanding celebration for our enticing tourism destination, Sheridan – The West at its Best! And now we begin the work together to expand our #1 Western Town in America promotions for the year . . .

For those interested in availability of the #1 Western Town in America commemorative pins, or the True West magazine feature article, or further information, please contact Sheridan Travel and Tourism at 307-673-7120.

Monday, January 16th

Sheridan’s Other Well-Kept Secret

SHERIDAN, Wyoming—It’s no longer a secret that Sheridan, Wyo., is at the top of the list when it comes to destinations in the West.

Branded the 2006 Top Western Town by TrueWest Magazine means visitors can be certain they will experience the best of western history and hospitality at this small northern Wyoming town. But what many visitors likely don’t know about Sheridan is that it’s one of the few places remaining where outdoor enthusiasts can truly enjoy a myriad of winter sports without running into more than an occasional moose or elk.

“We have the best snow we’ve had in six years for the month of December, with 2-3’ snow base and most trails already groomed,” says Penny Becker, Director of Sheridan Travel and Tourism. “This winter’s early snow has set the stage for a rewarding outdoor season.”

This unspoiled part of the western U.S. is still something of a well-kept secret. Outdoor enthusiasts can snowmobile, cross-country ski, view wildlife, or snowshoe in the valley of the Little and Big Goose Creeks, also known as the Valley of the Bighorns. The majestic Bighorn Mountains set the scene for this winter wonderland, and offer visitors an unlimited array of trails and vast meadows in which to sharpen skills and enjoy the freedom of open space this corner of the West still provides.

Snowshoers and cross country skiers can explore a multitude of flawless trails that grace the backcountry of this wild terrain. Sibley Lake Ski area has approximately 15 miles of groomed trails offering a variety of loops and tours for skiers of all skill levels. Trails are well marked and include directional maps at intersections. An added benefit for skiers is a warming hut nestled in the forest where a warm, relaxing break – complete with lunch – can enjoyed.

Snowmobilers can coast along mountain ridges, cut through thick timber or fly through open meadows. SnoWest Magazine praises the Big Horns as “one of the West’s best-kept secrets – offering solitude, scenery and great snow.” The area’s trail system was this year rated by SnoWest as the nation’s top six, with the nearest trailhead just 15 miles southwest of Sheridan.

The Burgess Junction trail system, located in the northern Bighorns, features 218 miles of well-marked groomed and un-groomed snowmobile trails. Among these is Paint Rock Trail, which offers experienced riders 52 miles of trail winding along the Cloud Peak Wilderness boundary. “The riding elevation is between 8,000-9,600 feet and that tall enough to scrape 115-250 inches of snow out the storm clouds as they pass by,” notes SnoWest. This trail system connects with the Ten Sleep trails in the southern Bighorns, offering an additional 188 miles of both groomed and un-groomed trails.

Visitors will find affordable lodging for a weekend stay, and Sheridan’s historic downtown offers excellent restaurants and specialty shopping. Visit www.sheridanwyoming.org for information on area activities, lodging and to access trail maps, snow reports and forecast conditions for northern Wyoming.

Named the 2006 Number One Western Destination by True West Magazine, Sheridan is conveniently located adjacent to Interstate 90 in north central Wyoming, midway between Yellowstone National Park and the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Thursday, January 5th

#1 logo How the west is still being won in Sheridan, Wyoming – Choosing an authentic Western vacation just got a whole lot easier. Sheridan has been named the number one Western Town in America, and it’s not for the reasons you might think . . .

Cannon firing Sure, the area is steeped in western history, and Buffalo Bill Cody once called the Sheridan Inn his home for a time in the 1890s. But according to True West Magazine, which announced today its “Top 10 True Western Towns of the Year,” this small northern Wyoming town takes first place honors because everything about it is authentically Western.

“The culture is Western, in all of its varieties and meanings. The pace of life is Western. When you’re in Sheridan, no matter where you hail from, you are Western. It’s that magic which really makes the town stand out,” writes the True West staff.

Nestled at the base of the unspoiled Big Horn Mountains, this town not only gives history buffs a reason to celebrate, it makes for an unforgettable family vacation and then there’s the adventure seekers, who can climb, hike, bike, even hang glide in wilderness that is still something of a well-kept secret. In fact, Sheridan’s list of Top 10 Activities for vacationers holds appeal for all, from the smallest of family members to retirees.

Releasing Doves Dozens of Western towns applied or were nominated for the award, which is being handed out for the first time. Each was judged on its history and heritage; efforts to preserve, maintain and promote that heritage; and success in attracting tourists. Finally, True West contributing editors, writers, historians, travel experts and friends evaluated how each town succeeded in meeting the criteria. They then arrived at a Top Ten list—with Sheridan at the top.

The judges noted that Sheridan has several historic districts and dozens of historic sites—and hosts numerous Western events each year. It has raised a million dollars for a new history museum, scheduled to open in 2006. And renovation work continues on the historic Sheridan Inn, where Buffalo Bill Cody auditioned acts for his Wild West show in the 1890s. True West Executive Editor Bob Boze Bell will travel to Sheridan to present the award to local officials on January 28, 2006.

For an interview or further information, please contact Mark Boardman, True West Magazine, mboardman@twmag.com 888-687-1881 or Penny, Becker, Sheridan Travel and Tourism at stt@sheridanwyoming.org 307-673-7120 or visit www.sheridanwyoming.org.


Friday, March 4th

Tourism Promotions Going Exceptionally Well. Tourism promotions are going exceptionally well for the Sheridan area, which makes work stimulating and rewarding for Sheridan Travel and Tourism (STT). And with the 4% lodging tax collections to begin in July, we look forward to promoting the Sheridan area through new and exciting avenues!

As the marketing arm for our community, we try to keep you abreast of tourism activities and the $68.1 million in tourist spending in Sheridan County last year. We realize that some of you are well aware and actively involved, while others have a peripheral awareness. Editorials are written to provide a stronger community awareness and appreciation of tourism and our efforts to expand Sheridan’s economy, and our draw as a tourism destination.

For our 2004 finale, STT completed a 3-day tour featuring the Christmas Stroll and holiday festivities for an editor of multiple magazines in the United Kingdom. This promo promises to bring us international articles next fall in preparation for the holiday season and historic Mainstreet District shopping. We also hosted two writers from California, representing several publications, which provided newspaper articles, with magazine articles yet in the development stage. As always we are pleased to have many quality local and state partners enabling us to better promote and host publicity opportunities!

2005 promotions are well on their way with presentation of several Sheridan vacation packages this spring through: AAA Sweepstakes’ readership of 5,000,000, and Denver Public Broadcasting Service to 1,000,000 viewers. Our vacation packages feature the 75th WYO Rodeo, Buffalo Bill Days, historic sites, museums and trolley tours, championship golf, several nights’ lodging and meals, and more! Our beautiful and welcoming community offers a great western experience to travelers, and we as a community have reason to be proud. This was recently confirmed by outside sources . . . through a tourism assessment by travel marketing specialists cooperatively brought into Sheridan by STT and WY Travel & Tourism. And through nominations in the February issue of Mountain Living Magazine! Congratulations to Sheridan nominees in 3 categories of Mountain Living’s Best of the High Country Awards: Best Rodeo – WYO Rodeo; Best Dude Ranch – Eaton’s Ranch; and Best Places to Buy Land – The Powder Horn.

Sheridan Travel and Tourism recently finalized our summer advertising campaign, which promises to reach a circulation of 12,000,000! Visitors are now enjoying the fresh new look with our advertisements, website, logo, photography, and more.

Being selected to the Sheridan Press’ Movers, Shakers and Newsmakers TOP 25 is a pleasant career reward for the work and devotion to tourism these past 5 ½ years! It truly is an honor for Sheridan Travel and Tourism as an industry, and for me as Executive Director. The community’s kind and encouraging response has rejuvenated enthusiasm as we bring forth exciting new promotions, opportunities, and new volunteer commissioners onto the dedicated STT Board.

Your involvement, support and communications enable us to better promote the Sheridan area. Please contact us with your promotional ideas, concerns, and tourism updates year round, and join us for the Sheridan Travel and Tourism Board meetings at City Hall the third Tuesday monthly . . . We look forward to working together with you in 2005 as we promote tourism – the #2 industry in WY!