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Tips & Trends

Elevate Your Event

Rise above the ordinary! Humanity has always looked toward the sky for solace, guidance, and life, and any event that touches the firmament benefits from millennia of association with majesty. While convention centers and other great halls offer a sense of magnitude and space, rooftop pavilions, penthouse clubs, and mountain resorts contribute an ambience of grandeur on a vast scale. Events held at elevation come with difficulties, including smaller spaces, access issues, and other unique logistical challenges. However, nothing can compete with the simple splendor of elevated views, and the sense of rising above everyday life makes a special event truly singular.

elevation exchange

When searching for an event venue, it can be difficult to find a location that will set the activity apart from others, allowing participants to forget for a moment their normal lives and immerse themselves in the gathering at hand. Employees on a corporate retreat in the mountains are far from the usual walls and water coolers that define their daily lives, and they have room to expand their thoughts and actions to fill the newfound space. Locations such as Crystal Mountain Resort and Gorge Crest Vineyards offer expansive views of fertile valleys against a backdrop of distant mountains. These make terrific venues for activities involved in growth and fertility, whether a wedding or a human resource development.

There is an unparalleled sense of belonging in God and Nature invoked by sweeping views of farmland, treetops, and towering mountains. At Salish Lodge and Spa, perched atop Snoqualmie Falls, the thunder of falling water combines with hundreds of feet of open air to generate the experience of pristine, primal power. It is a sensation that cannot be reproduced by man. Getting out into rural areas has long been a method of escaping the daily grind of town life, and taking this tradition to high elevation contributes to that sense of rising above toil to feel something new. In Idaho, Elevation 486 blends the beauty of man and nature, overlooking the rustic hills of the Snake River Canyon. Residents of Twin Falls can achieve a minor escape here at the edge of their city, enjoying a break in the usual routine.

crystal salish

Likewise, events held at altitude within a city lift residents directly above the usual streets, doorways, and traffic of everyday life. Attendees can look down on the bustle of daily life below, glad to be removed for just a moment from the pressures of human industry. Rooftop party spaces allow folks to relax and watch the places they know so well, from an elevated and elegant locale. The Cascade Rooftop and the Ecotrust Rooftop Terrace bring a bird’s-eye view to events in Portland, places for gatherings in need of an unobstructed city skyline and a chance to soar above the mundane.

On the other hand, these venues are also a great way to convey the power of productive civilization. A corporate gathering at the Columbia Tower Club, nearly 1000 feet above the streets of Seattle, offers the opportunity to point out buildings owned, areas primed for development, or the millions of consumers in the city streets below. Looking down on tower cranes is a poetic illustration of growth. The Olympic Rooftop Pavilion in Ballard, Washington, commands views of the canals, locks, and waterways that made Seattle great, and bring in the fishing fleets to feed the Northwest’s obsession with sushi. Even private, personal events benefit from the chance to associate with progress. A wedding party held in the Space Needle allows a maid of honor to indicate the particular beach where the bride’s venerable family landed 100 years prior, eager to settle the city that now sprawls beneath the unique and towering landmark of the Northwest.

Elevated event venues may create logistical challenges for planners and guests, but the value of bonding through tribulation should not be forgotten. Disparate characters in TV shows frequently grow to know one another while stuck together in a small space, a production trick known as an “elevator episode.” The Columbia Tower Club is on the 75th floor of the tallest skyscraper in Seattle—the elevator ride is significant. Climbing the stairs is an even better bonding experience.

treetop space

These venues are often small, but small-scale always adds a degree of coziness to a gathering. The restricted size of the available space further highlights the sheer grandeur of the external setting, a handful of mortals flying close to the sun. In addition, the inherent planning issues for small-but-tall spaces can create priceless talking points. Can a birthday party be held inside a hot air balloon basket? Will pigeons plague a rooftop wedding, looking for early bird seed handouts? How many people can fit inside one of the tree houses at Treehouse Point, a unique treetop venue outside of Seattle for those who bond best while racing along wood and rope bridges and dream of living in an Ewok village.


In fact, a high venue’s difficulty to access only serves to increase the sense of departing from normal routine, traveling to a place that is both different and remote. The setting is prime for creating something different, something memorable. Almost no one experiences clouds passing beneath them on a daily basis, especially not while sipping a cocktail. Taking an event to new heights is a sure way to eliminate the humdrum and to provide a challengingly unique experience that will be talked about for years to come.

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