There’s a hallway corner you walk around in the new Cloudveil that suddenly leaves you facing a huge grizzly bear ambling your way.
And if you do the natural thing — immediately about-face — you find yourself facing an equally imposing bison, also headed down the hall right at you.
But there’s no danger of mauling or trampling. The images, though realistic and life-size, are videos on door-size screens, designed to put guests in a wilderness mood that the new hotel has tried to instill into much of its decor.
The goal, said Jamie Yarrow, head of the hospitality group at Crystal Creek Capital, the owner-operator, was to create a luxury hotel in downtown Jackson that previews many of the outdoor attractions that lure people here for their vacation.
“The idea is to bring the outside in with a connection to the park system while they’re still downtown,” Yarrow said last week as final work was done on the Center Street project. “The idea is to ‘let Jackson Hole change you.’ That was a big part of the design.”
General manager Bruce Grosbety said that “every inch of this hotel was carefully curated with the destination in mind — bringing the elements of the outdoors inside and creating an experience deeply rooted in transformation and restoration.”
It’s billed as a luxury hotel, with rates starting at $450 a night.
The 100-room hotel, named to honor Cloudveil Dome in the Teton Range, welcomes its first guests today. It’s the first major construction on Town Square since 1997, when Coldwater Creek finished work on its building at the corner of Cache and Broadway, now the home of Lee’s Tees. Work on The Cloudveil began two years ago.
But The Cloudveil, though considerably bigger than that job, is considerably less obvious. Even with two buildings totaling something near 75,000 square feet, the face The Cloudveil presents to Center Street and the square is unobtrusive. The entrance to the hotel seems to stand only a story high, though there’s a second story that’s stepped back. The apparent size from the sidewalk is also broken by giving some of the frontage over to the The Bistro, a tenant restaurant run by Fine Dining Restaurant Group (see 12C).
Yarrow said the conception of the hotel goes back at least a decade.
The site was the home of Jackson State Bank starting in the 1950s and then Wells Fargo for about 10 years. And while it was in a zone that allowed a hotel, the spot wasn’t judged by many as a good place for one. That wasn’t the case with hotel people, Yarrow said, and when Wells Fargo let it be known it wanted eventually to move from the location the announcement attracted big interest.
Yarrow said Crystal Creek “always knew a hotel would go there ... and we had a relationship with Wells Fargo for quite some time ... there was discussion for almost a decade.”
That included outmaneuvering close to a dozen other developers who saw enough opportunity to make inquiries.
But to people walking by, the site didn’t seem quite so natural a place for a big hotel. Included in the problems to be overcome were that Wells Fargo wanted to keep the corner for a small branch and that there’s another corner lot taken out of Deloney and King. That left a jigsaw puzzle-shaped lot of about 1.09 acres.
“People had no idea how we could fit a hotel in that spot,” Yarrow said.
But the fact that the land also borders King Street on its east side, its back, became part of a plan that actually improved the design, Grosbety said. Instead of figuring some way — likely awkward and unattractive — to get guest cars and service vehicles in on the already busy front side, the designers put all motor access on the back side.
“All the auto traffic is put to the back of the buildings,” Grosbety said.
Visitors who do drive in will meet valet parking attendants to take their cars to one of the 86 spots provided under the building. The guests walk up a wide outdoor stairway between the two buildings of The Cloudveil — connected by a “sky bridge” — and into the lobby. They’ll find themselves coming from the opposite way that people will enter from the street, but find themselves in the same big space.
That lobby is about 4,000 square feet, with seating for 55 people, and Grosbety said management hopes to see a mix of guests and locals in the space, seeing it as “like a big living room rather than a hotel lobby.” There’s also access to The Bistro, so people waiting to be seated can do their waiting in something more comfortable than most grills offer.
The lobby art, all done by locals, is another reminder of the wilderness land around Jackson. There are aspen tree trunks as decoration, screens showing videos of the scenery and a lot of rock. Not just the usual decorative rock details, but two outstanding examples: There’s a 3,000-pound boulder that serves as the front desk, and the mostly open stairway to the two upper floors has a sheet of granite that goes straight up along with the stairs, open all the way like a big rock face.
The Cloudveil also has a 2,500-square-foot meeting space on the second floor, an area that can be divided in two if wanted. Just beyond that people can walk out onto a patio for outdoor gatherings, open with wide views of Snow King Mountain and East Gros Ventre Butte. There will eventually be food service on the deck, and the idea is that it will become a public space. People on street level won’t be able to ignore the lighted deck, which will advertise the hotel.
“From below you’ll be able to tell there’s something going on up there,” said Erik Dombroski, the Yarrow Group’s vice present of sales and marketing. “It’s unique to the destination, for sure.”
Also included is a pool on a soon-to-be landscaped area between the two buildings and on-site housing for more than 20 employees. The Cloudveil needs a crew of about 70 to keep it going, Grosbety said.
The Cloudveil was created by CLB Architects and the IBI Group, with interior designers TruexCullins on the inside. The general contractor was Dick Anderson Construction, which has headquarters in Montana but does a lot of work in Wyoming.
Though it’s opening its doors just today, interest has been high, promising a good inaugural season, Dombroski said.
“Like everywhere in Jackson, it’s looking pretty strong for the summer,” he said.
The Cloudveil is one of 190 independently owned hotels that make up Marriott International’s Autograph Collection. Crystal Creek Capital also owns and operates Mountain Modern Motel, the former Painted Buffalo, which it bought in 2016 and revamped, and the SpringHill Suites by Marriott, built in 2017. It built and marketed One Town Hill, a condo and commercial project at the base of Snow King.
Yarrow and Grosbety first worked together at the Four Seasons in Boston. Yarrow opened the Four Seasons Hotel in Teton Village in 2002. Grosbety was previously at Snake River Lodge and Hotel Terra in the Village.
Like everywhere in Jackson, it’s looking pretty strong for the summer.” — Erik Dombroski The Yarrow group