Last year Rachel Clarke Events had a request to develop a team building event for a European client. The top three priorities of the team building program was to encourage outdoor adventure, independence and exploration. Death Valley National Park was chosen as the event destination for its dramatic Lunar-like landscape and sense of the Wild West Adventure.
As we began the process of designing and developing the event we discovered an alarming factor, cell phone reception was not available throughout the National Park. Our plans of using car GPS and coordinating via phone were no longer an option. Nevertheless, we worked around the setback and came up with a system of Pit Stops and Check-In Points, some of which are highlighted below, as a contingency plan. As the corporate group speed off in a fleet of hired cars we were confident of our procedure.
A comfortable 2-hour drive took the group out of the cookie-cutter suburbs and across wide-open desert plains just before reaching Pahrump, which is an isolated town on the border of California and Nevada. From there they passed through Death Valley Junction before entering the largest National Park in the contiguous United States.
PITSTOP – AMARGOSA OPERA HOUSE
Death Valley Junction designated a National Historic Landmark, the Amargosa Opera House, which was originally built in the 1920s as a borax company town for local workers. In the 1960s, a New York actress/dancer renovated the hall into an opera house, where she performed dances and mimes for over 40 years, until her retirement in 2012.
PITSTOP – BADWATER BASIN
Badwater Basin are vast salt pans which contain the lowest point in the United States – 282 feet below sea level, where huge hexagonally-shaped saucers ﬁll a seemingly endless 200 square mile panorama to the Black Mountains on the horizon.
CHECK IN POINT – FURNACE CREEK RESORT
An elegant hideaway for more than 87 years Furnace Creek, a AAA rated four-diamond resort, oﬀers the perfect vantage point to explore the beauty of a region that is virtually untouched and extraordinarily distinct. The group relaxed at the natural spring pool and replenished with a sit-down BBQ lunch by the Palm Gardens with sweeping views of open terrain.
CHECK IN POINT – DANTE’S VIEW
A very steep, winding road in the park leads all the way to the top for the most breathtaking viewpoint. This mountaintop overlook is more than 5,000 feet above the inferno of Death Valley.
On a very clear day, the highest and lowest points in the contiguous 48 states of the United States: Mount Whitney 4,421 m (14,505 ft) high and Badwater −86 m (−282 ft) can be seen. Dante’s View was also the ﬁlming location in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
Dante’s View was the last check-in point for the team building adventures. The sun was setting rapidly yet one vehicle was missing and with no technology available we were unable to contact the last group. We started to make our way down the mountain per our contingency plan when we saw a car appear. Four sun kissed Belgium’s were waving their team bandannas laughing and were eager to tell us their tale. Aware they were running late they insisted on continuing to the last check-in point for a once-in-a-lifetime finale to their adventure.
Talk to us today about how we can help inspire your next incentive group. RCE Vegas is resourceful, creative and eco-friendly.