If you travel to Jackson Hole, and you need a comfortable place to stay the night, look for a mountain that resembles a Native American chief, laying on his back with his arms folded across his chest. Now turn 180 degrees. You will be facing my family’s motel, located 1 mile north of Jackson Hole.
When I was 11 years old the Flat Creek Motel was built just down the hill from my house. I remember walking through one of the framed units with my dad. We leased the motel for a couple decades, but about 6 years ago the motel returned to our hands, and is now owned by my mom, my siblings and me.
The motel is rustic but comfortable, and every room has a view. (Besides having a spectacular perspective of Sleeping Indian and Snow King, it is also faces the largest elk refuge in the world). My nieces and nephews change the sheets, clean the rooms, make promotional videos and run the desk. My brother works the web cams. My sister-in-law decorated the lobby. My other brother is one of our certified fuel tank operators, my sister does the bookkeeping and marketing. Another sister (and more nieces and nephews) writes blog posts. My brother-in-law manages the finances. My stepfather fixes electrical problems. Another sister does the flowers . . . This is all just a smidgen of the things my siblings do to make this motel a comfortable place to kick off your boots rest your head.
I don’t get to help out very much with the motel because I am the black sheep who moved to the East Coast, but I did create the logo and I print the business cards. (You can see the logo on Instagram @flatcreekinn.)
This summer we brought our kids out West to experience the motel for themselves.
I entered the lobby and was greeted warmly by a handsome young man . . .
. . . who happens to be my nephew. In the lobby there are photos of my dad, back when the property was a firework stand and gas station. There is also a jack-a-lope mounted on the wall. (Very rare.)
And check out the sweet, retro keys he gave me for my room. No flimsy credit card keys at this motel.
Our room was clean and warm. Our towels were folded into trumpeter swans. Our kitchenette was stocked with utensils and dishware, as well as a toaster, knives and whatever else we would need. (I’ve stayed in Airbnbs that were not as well equipped.) At 10 pm we realized we’d forgotten to get picnic supplies for our excursions the next day, but it was no problem because we found everything we needed at the motel’s convenience store. How cool is that?
I had the best night sleep I’ve had in a long time. Maybe it was because of the ultra-comfortable mattress I slept on. Or perhaps it was because I spent the whole day paddling a canoe in a glacier-fed, emerald-green lake at the foot of the Tetons.
Don’t hate me.
The next night I had an even better night sleep. Was it that fabulous mattress again? Was it listening to the sandhill crane out in the elk refuge? Or was it because we’d spent the day in Yellowstone checking out the bison and geysers?
Who knows? All I know is that I was sad to leave, and that I will definitely be back.
Thanks, Flat Creek Inn. #flatcreekinn #thatswy
To book your dream vacation to the Tetons click here.