Insider, local knowledge is key if you’re looking to tick off all the must-do activities, see all the highlights and have an authentic experience on your next ski trip. Locals are chock full of ideas and inspiration to make your ski trip unforgettable, so who better to tap for insider guidance, than the local lodging concierges? That’s why we’ve created a new Ski.com Blog series: Concierge Conversations, where you can glean great destination-based tips and recommendations and learn a bit more about some of the area’s top lodging options.
We tapped Snow King Resort’s Marketing Information Coordinator, Ariel Koerber, who’s been living in Jackson Hole for three years, to answer a couple questions about her favorite aspects of her homebase and place of work.
Some of Ariel’s Favorite Things
Ski.com: What drew you to the Jackson Hole originally and what has kept you there?
AK: What originally drew me to Jackson Hole was just how laid-back and relaxed most people in Jackson are. I’m from the East Coast, so it’s exceptionally refreshing that most people aren’t on edge all the time, and as a result you get a very friendly little town. The people are really what makes Jackson.
Ski.com: What are your three favorite things to do in Jackson Hole in the winter?
AK: Skiing is a big reason people come to Jackson Hole, if you didn’t do it while you were here at least once it’d be like going to Paris and never seeing the Eiffel Tower.
I love snow tubing at Snow King Mountain, it’s something people of all ages can enjoy and it’s just a block from Snow King Hotel.
Whenever I have guests in town I always take them on the Elk Refuge Sleigh Ride, it’s a great way to support what the National Elk Refuge is doing and it just sets the tone of ‘winter wonderland’ for me every season.
Ski.com: In your opinion, what are some secrets or lesser known facts/attributes about Jackson Hole that visitors should know?
AK: Jackson Hole was named the top “8th Friendliest City” by Conde Nast Traveler 2016.
Jackson is a big foodie town—there is good food basically everywhere. All of the chefs are about sourcing quality ingredients from as close to home as you can get. This includes our own Chef Matt Arter at onsite restaurant, Haydens Post.
When I first moved to Jackson, I was surprised the world didn’t stop because it snows! Being from the mid-Atlantic, one inch of snow can shut down a town. It’s refreshing that no one rushes to the grocery store just because it’s snowing!
Ski.com: What are some secrets or lesser known facts/attributes about the Snow King Hotel?
AK: Our outdoor pool and hot-tub are year round! The heated pool may be a bit chilly for some, but the hot tub is absolutely serene after a day on the slopes.
The town of Jackson has a free town shuttle, also known as the START bus, stops right outside our lobby front door. If it’s a bit chilly to walk the six blocks into town, you can hop on the free town bus no problem.
We offer complimentary shuttle to and from both the Jackson Hole Airport and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Between our hotel shuttle and the town free bus, most people never even bother renting a car when they’re here in Jackson. That helps make vacations a little eco-friendly for folks while they’re hanging in the Wild West.
Ski.com: If you could only ski or ride one run at Jackson Hole for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
AK: I would say that Amphitheater at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is a great intermediate run. If you’ve never skied out West, it might be a little intimidating because it is such a long run. Many people can easily ski it, but I think it can still provide enough of a challenge with its sharp incline in the beginning and technical turns that you never really get bored of it, even when you’ve mastered it.
Ski.com: When guests ask you for the local’s scoop on après-ski/dining/nightlife what do you recommend and why?
AK: This winter I will thoroughly be enjoying Hayden’s Post, our restaurant on property, lounge menu which will be featured in our local foodie magazine (Dishing) in the elevated après feature. My favorite would be our twice baked fingerling potatoes, with their perfect blend of earthy, sweet, and smokey makes for an experience that is best enjoyed by the fire with good friends.
The Mangy Moose in Teton Village is an après institution of sorts. They offer great concerts for a cover, and a great authentic Jackson Hole experience.
Ski.com: When guests ask you for recommendations for family experiences, what is your go-to itinerary and don’t-miss spots/restaurants and why?
AK: My favorite ‘fun for the whole family’ activity in Jackson Hole is hitting up the Elk Refuge sleigh ride. They provide flannel blankets, the transportation from the visitor center, horses, sleighs, and elk. If you hit this attraction in the middle of the winter, it truly feels like you’re in a classical holiday carol or a snow-globe on your grandma’s mantel.
A great family friendly breakfast and lunch can be found right on property at our very own Haydens Post. You’ll find the classic kids chicken tenders and fries, but you’ll also have salads and chicken with pineapple skewers on the kids menu. The location makes for a great stop during a day of skiing or snow tubing on Snow King Mountain. Also, the cinnamon bun is to die for and will be thoroughly enjoyed by the whole family.
Ski.com: When guests ask you for recommendations for upscale experiences, what is your go-to itinerary and don’t-miss spots/restaurants and why?
AK: One of my favorite upscale experiences is at BIN 22 in Jackson. They offer an amazing charcuterie and other tapas selections. It’s definitely meant for sharing and great glass of wine. While BIN 22 is upscale, it’s cool without being pretentious. It’s a great place to end a night or enjoy conversation with good friends.
Ski.com: What winter event or time of ski season do you look forward to most and why?
I love March in Jackson Hole. The town & slopes slow a little bit, as it’s not a popular time for people to visit, but the snow is still going strong and there’s fun events going on around town. One of my favorite traditions is the Snow King Mountain Pond Skim & Jackalope Jump, it’s a great spectacle that raises funds for Special Olympics Wyoming.
Ski.com: What do you think makes the Snow King Hotel popular?
Snow King Hotel has one of the best locations for fully enjoying all Jackson Hole has to offer in the winter. We offer complimentary shuttle to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, in teton village, daily for guests. At the end of a day at JHMR, guests can get the good skiing going by hitting up Snow King Mountain for night skiing from 4pm to 7pm. In addition, for those non-skiers you’re traveling with we’re in the heart of the town of Jackson and next door to Snow Tubing and the Cowboy Coaster at Snow King Mountain.
Ready to book your stay at the Snow King Hotel in Jackson Hole? Our 70+ Mountain Vacation Specialists are standing by for your call at 800-610-8911. You can also get started by filling out a form for a free, custom quote.