Mid-summer destinations boast waves, beaches and a good tan, but great weather is only one condition for planning an attractive incentive trip.
The larger focus is how will a special destination inspire and reward those who work hard to achieve their company’s business goals. Nature provides the perfect little reward tucked away in Alaska’s stunning landscape.
Experiencing a retreat at King Salmon’s Katmai Lodge along the breath-taking Alagnak River, spanning the Alaska Peninsula, is far from typical and certainly memorable.
Reviewers on TripAdvisor rated Katmai Lodge overall 5 out of 5, and ranked it No. 1 out of all 16 specialty lodges near King Salmon, and the neighboring Katmai National Park and Preserve.
Katmai’s remote and picturesque riverside location provides guests an exclusive secluded environment because the lodge can only be accessed by plane or boat.
The unique expedition starts when guests are flown on the lodge’s private plane directly from King Salmon to Katmai. If traveling from Anchorage, guests fly directly to the lodge on a private charter plane.
Upon arrival, lodge staff offers exceptional hospitality, great local cuisine and comfortable accommodations. The lodge even has its own pastry chef.
“The natural beauty of Alaska alone is awe-inspiring when first stepping off the plane; even after returning year after year, this environment promises amazement,” says Katmai Lodge CEO Robin Follman-Otta. “Retreating here is special. From the lodge staff to the fishing guides, we carefully select hospitable and knowledgeable people to make the limited season meaningful and remarkable for our guests.”
During the Katmai Lodge’s season from late June to early September, it delivers an adventurous destination experience at one of Alaska’s pristine fishing locations. All necessary fishing gear is provided by the lodge. From novice to expert anglers, everyone fishes at their own pace.
Guests can customize their guide experience, even tailoring it to a teambuilding activity in nature. Typically, guides lead two guests at a time which makes a good ratio of guide per guest attention, but this can be expanded to small intimate groups.
Anglers are led by experienced fishing guides, whether wading in gear waist-high in pure fresh waters, navigating by boat or simply by waterside. After a day of viewing wildlife and fishing, lunch is prepared — a barbecue of the fresh catch. Wood-plank salmon is a favorite.
Options are available for visiting different excursion locations led by the expert fishing guides. The Alagnak River and surrounding fly-out areas, such as Margot Creek, offers more than just fishing.
Alaska natural wildlife provides the unexpected and an element of pleasant surprise for viewing soaring bald eagles and regal brown bears in their natural habitats. At Brooks Falls, mother bears and their cubs are seen fishing, bathing and cajoling together.
“Alaska scenery is awesome; the fishing is fantastic, but what makes Katmai the best lodge in the state is the staff and the guides,” says Katmai Lodge guest and commercial airline pilot Captain Ed Tatro. “The wildlife is incredible. The lodge is relaxing. The entire experience is addictive. I already have my reservations to visit next year.”
Along the Alagnak River, the fish migrate in different months, offering anglers a bountiful selection of all five species of Pacific salmon, including king, sockeye, chum, pink and silver throughout late June, July and August. Rainbow Trout, Arctic grayling, Dolly Varden, Arctic char and Northern pike swim all season long.
It is not uncommon for guests to take home catch up to 50 pounds for sharing with friends and family. The lodge expertly fillets, freezes and vacuum seals fish in a leak-proof box ready to take on the flight home.
After a day of enjoying the outdoors, guests sip cocktails and share photos of their catch for bragging rights in the cozy main lodge. Gathering in the main lodge for darts, board games and cards further enriches the camaraderie.
Some guests choose to decompress in the lodge’s heated wood-planked steam sauna.
For private occupancy of the entire lodge for a period of time, it can accommodate up to 65 people with activities including sightseeing and fishing.
Katmai Lodge offers flexible packages to meet incentive travel budgets, activities for helping teams communicate and building interpersonal skills in a fun and exciting way at a unique location, making it an inspiring travel destination.
For more information, visit the Katmai Lodge website at www.katmai.com. To coordinate a custom package for a corporate retreat or other incentive travel, call Charmel Powers at 714-557-3432. C&IT