Cañon City’s Echo Canyon River Expeditions offers a Battle of the Bighorn package from May through September (depending on water levels) that combines physical and mental challenges in a competitive and fun format for corporate team-building. Although navigating Class III-IV rapids through Bighorn Sheep Canyon might be the most exciting part of the exercise, there is much more such as tackling four challenges before getting on the Arkansas River; retrieving a watermelon thrown from the Five Points overlook and carrying it to the finish line; completing a water shuttle and helmet brigade; and paddling backwards. Prize and video/photo packages and a post-race catered party at the company’s 8 Mile Bar and Grill also are available, as well as lodging in cabins and glamping tents.

Planning trips that are distinct can help inspire top performances and loyalty. Grand American Adventures, which specializes in small group excursions for 35- to 65-yearolds, has launched a series of in-depth, guided tours in the Mountain West that also can work well for incentive trips. The excursions feature an element of luxury and accommodations in upscale boutique lodges, ranches, yurts and cabins.

 

This summer, Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite is debuting $25 million in expansions. The new Explorer Cabins at Tenaya Lodge features a central gathering building, communal outdoor fire pits and more than 50 two-bedroom cabins. Also, the lodge recently introduced new Glacier Point at Sunset Tours that run from May through September and combine the expert knowledge of a local guide with the beauty of Yosemite National Park. Groups can enjoy wine, cheese and crackers or their own picnic dinner while enjoying the alpenglow.

 

Originally built in 1927 and located in Death Valley National Park, the mission-style Inn at Death Valley celebrated its $100 million transformation with a grand reopening celebration in November 2018. The property, owned by Xanterra Travel Collection, features 66 updated rooms, a renovated fine dining restaurant and cocktail lounge, the new Tranquility Spa, and a spring-fed pool bordered by a new café and cabanas. Twenty-two one-bedroom casitas have been added along with Mission Gardens, a prime location for outdoor events.