Mountain Escapes has helped with over 4500 church retreats and church ski trips. The mountains provide a beautiful setting for retreats.
We understand the special needs of church groups, and work with a variety destinations and facilities which work well for most retreats. We also understand that within the church each type of group (youth, college, singles, couples, families, etc) has its own special sets of needs and budget. Below you'll find information for each of these group types.
We value long-term relationships and have worked with many church leaders for over 20 years. Most of our business is repeat and referral. Our service and staff is consistent year after year and you can count on that for every trip. We strive to do everything possibe to ensure your reteat is a successful.
Our staff will work with you to arrange the different facets of your trip and work through the logistics. We'll offer guidance and suggestions to make the easier for the leader.
For ski groups we have local service representatives that live at the destinations. They pre-check all the facets of your trip prior to your arrival to ensure everything is correct. They also will have your lift tickets ready so you don't have to get them at the ski area. Our reps will help with lodging check-in, ski rentals, getting beginners to lessons, and will answer questions about the destination. They make a difference in the success of the trip.
We also work with many trip leaders that haven't skied before and even some groups that have never seen snow. No question is too silly to ask and we will do our best to make sure your group has a great time and your ski retreat is a success.
CHURCH YOUTH GROUPS:
Youth Ski Trips:
The majority of the church groups we work with are youth group ski trips. It's important to match the destination and lodging to the group's experience and ability, budget, meeting space requirements, and group size. Some destinations are a better value during certain dates and we work with the group leaders to find the best value for their particular trip.
Ski destinations in Colorado and New Mexico range from smaller mountains where you can see your group members often during the day, to large well known resorts with full amenities. For youth groups, it's important to have a destinations are well suited for beginner through intermediate skiers and that also provides reasonably priced lessons.
Over the years, we've found the properties that enjoy working with youth groups and provide a safe environment. Whether it is low cost off the mountain lodging, or the best values on the mountain, we can find the best location for your next ski retreat.
Youth Summer Camps and Rafting:
Some resort destinations have extremely low summer lodging rates and can make an excellent option for summer youth camps for nice facilities with meeting space for up to several hundred people. Group can enjoy horseback riding, barbeques, hiking and many other activities in cool summer temperatures. Many kids have not ever been in the mountains in the summer and it's a great time to enjoy the beautiful scenery. The mountains are an affordable option for summer camps and provide a memorable experience for the group.
Whitewater Rafting is another exciting and memorable summer activity for youth groups. We work with many rivers that have moderate whitewater that will be enjoyable for those that have gone before and still appropriate for novice rafters. It's a great option versus the normal amusement park trips that many groups do every summer.
College Ski Trips:
College groups can usually travel during their winter breaks on low season pricing dates, a time when less people are at the resorts as well. College groups can be the most cost sensitive since many college students don't have a lot of extra money. College groups tend to prefer more flexibility in their lodging location (on a shuttle route for example) since many participants like to be on their own schedule. A more popular destination may help in the promotion of a college trip since the most enthusiastic participants likely will have skied before. We've worked with many college ski groups and it's a great way to get those hard to find college students together and attract new participants as well!
Exciting whitewater rafting trips are popular for college groups. Some college groups can travel at the beginning of the summer break prior to when summer jobs start. Rafting season starts in mid - late May and it's a great time to get out on the rivers. Most rivers have camping available nearby to keep the trip costs down.
Singles Ski trips:
Many singles groups can travel over long weekends during the off peak times and can take advantage of lower pricing fpr group ski trips. Singles usually enjoy bigger destinations with quality lodging on the mountain or on a good shuttle route. Area and town activities are important especially for non-skiers. Many groups will fly to save on time off from work and recognize the value of getting to the destination quickly. Mountain Escapes can put together your entire package including flights and find the best destination for your trip.
Multi-day whitewater raft trips with on-the-river camping provide a life long memory for participants. These trips go through spectacular canyons and are turn-key trips, with the outfitter doing all the camp setup, meals and raft guiding. These are exciting trips for singles groups. Another option is combining rafting with lodging at a resort area which gives the group both excitement and comfort.
Couples Ski Trip:
Like singles, many couples groups can travel during the lower seasons making the larger destinations a good value. Being couples, the bedding in the units is an important concern as are non-skiing activities. Hot tubs, romantic sleigh rides all are important for couples groups along with transportation flexibility at the ski resort area.
During the warmer months couples retreats at mountain resorts can take advantage of low off-season prices in a beautiful romantic alpine environment. Many churches do couples workshops and we have several properties that work well for that type of retreat. The resort areas provide a wide variety of summer activities for couples with varying interests.
Family Ski Trips:
With family ski groups a destination needs to cater to a wide variety of ages, provide transportation flexibility, and have lots of non-ski activities. Lodging offering a variety of unit sizes is helpful since families attending can vary in numbers. For amenities, hot tubs work for the adults and a pool is great for the kids. The ski area needs to be kids friendly with excellent children programs. Value is important in order to provide a viable trip for families of varying incomes.
Summer Family Camps:
Family camps are becoming increasingly popular and allow several families to spend their summer vacations together in a beautiful setting at low off-season rates for quality lodging. Families can enjoy a myriad of summer activities including rafting (for as young as age 5), horseback riding, golf, fishing, alpine slide, biking, and shopping. Comfortable temperatures, low lodging costs, and getting together for fellowship is a great way to spend time together for a summer camp.
We work with charter bus companies in several states and can help get the best bus rates for your trip. In addition, we negotiate with airlines for group fares for 10 or more passengers to destinations worldwide. We've been able to find better airfares consistently for our groups. Please see the charter bus and group airfare section of the website for more information.
MEN'S AND WOMEN'S RETREATS:
Men's and women's retreat during the spring through fall months can take advantage of low off-season pricing at the resort areas. Many times the off-season lodging costs at the resort areas are lower than facilities near the cities.
For women's groups, more elegant properties and nice presentations for catered meals are important, along with nearby shopping and activities catering to women. Facilities with indoor access to meeting space and meals help are also helpful for women's groups.
Most men's retreats like to have access to outdoor activities on-site or nearby. Facilities don't need to be as elegant as the women's program and catered meals provided are normally best.
Mountain Escapes can help find the property that works best for your next retreat.
OTHER CHURCH GROUPS we've worked with include choir retreats, pastoral retreats, and older adult trips as well. Please contact us for any of your needs!
"As always you were amazingly helpful and worked with me every step of the way. I appreciate the incredible detail and attention that you put into every trip I bring through you."
Ft Hood, TX group to Crested Butte
"Mountain Escapes was impressive with their attention to detail, professionalism, and consistency during the process of planning our meeting. I would recommend them to anyone planning a trip or meeting."
National Business Sales Meeting in Winter Park
"I always have a million questions and requests that are always answered and taken care of."
Waples, TX group to Keystone
"Tom runs a wonderful company and is very patient with group leaders. My experience is always great for almost 20 years."
West Monroe, LA group to Winter Park
"Tom and our local rep were very helpful. Tom worked diligently to find us a resort for our group size and price. The rep was great to meet us when we arrived and checked on us frequently."
Madison, MS group to Keystone
"Tom always goes over the top- I am not that on the ball at times, but his patience and friendliness shines through."
Lubbock, TX group to Telluride
We so appreciate your working with us, making changes when needed, being so helpful and conscienitious with every aspect of our trip. Your staff was very readily available, which was both impressive and helpful. We have recommended Mountain Escapes to others, and would definitely use your company again.
Conway, AR group to Breckenridge
I do not think I could have planned and carried out the ski trip without the help from Tom and Mountain Escapes. Bruce (local rep) was very kind and helpful during the trip. He checked on the group a couple of times and made our stay easy and enjoyable.
Ponca City, OK group to Winter Park