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First Family Vacations At Yellowstone

Big Sky Resort keeps Obama vacation secret

eTN Staff Writer  Aug 18, 2009

A few weeks ago, The Big Sky sales team received a phone call from the White House to find out if it was available to host a special unnamed guest the evening of August 14. With the Summit Hotel in mind, the team agreed and the work commenced to host the President of the United States and the First Family for a night’s rest before exploring Yellowstone National Park.

Unlike many of Big Sky’s other 200 meetings it hosts during the year, this opportunity required a level of security never before seen in the Gallatin Valley. For the safety of the Commander in Chief, the resort had to ensure strict compliance not to reveal its mid-summer guest to friends, family, and media.

“We were so honored at the opportunity to host the President and show off Montana’s friendly guest service, quality lodging, and a variety of mountain activities,” said Big Sky general manager Taylor Middleton. “I couldn’t be more proud of our team in excelling at this historic experience, particularly under the unique secrecy involved.”

The President’s family took part in many of the area’s activities including white water rafting on the Gallatin, zip-lining, and the scenic lift. As reported, the President used his vacation time in Montana to try out fly-fishing with his Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina who attended the University of Montana.

Big Sky Resort worked with the White House staff to plan meals for Barack Obama and his family, including a special evening of s’mores prepared over a fire pit near the Carabiner Lodge for the children in the group. While the First Family relaxed at the Summit, Big Sky Resort was busy simultaneously hosting a wedding reception in the Huntley Lodge and hosting a previously-booked large medical conference.

After a good night’s rest at base camp, the family moved on mid-morning to experience Yellowstone National Park for the amazing views, abundant wildlife, and amazing geothermal features, including Old Faithful.

“There were certainly a lot of moving parts when tasked with hosting the President, but truly, the family experienced Big Sky and all of its charms just as any guest could expect when visiting our area,” said Middleton. “But perhaps with fewer Secret Service.”

Big Sky Resort keeps Obama vacation secret
Photo by Penny Preston / Image via

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