Two Jackson motels reinvent themselves—Mountain Modern makeover

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Jackson Hole is not unlike many tourist destinations—always reinventing its amenities and improving the guest experience. The trend this season has been especially noticeable in upgrades to lodging facilities, particularly motels. Get ready. The motor inn of yesteryear is gone the way of the station wagon, steamer trunk, and foldup map.

This is the new age of five-star motor lodges.

At Buckrail, we became curious about the new look of Mountain Modern Motel and the facelift at the Anvil Hotel. Both lodging properties recently changed ownership and both look much improved.

Mountain Modern makeover

Mountain Modern is giving the motel a long-awaited makeover where families, couples, and solo travelers will instantly kick into “mountain time” upon arrival.

First, we popped over to the former Painted Buffalo Inn. It was larger than we remembered. In fact, motel sales manager Spencer Long reminded us the 135-room facility has street frontage on both Broadway and Pearl.

Crystal Creek Capital purchased the property in May 2016. In exactly one year, renovation has made the place virtually unrecognizable. The motel now bears the name Mountain Modern Motel, of course, but tat’s only the beginning.

Sense of place is in your face at MMM. The TruexCullins Architecture + Interior Design overhaul involves an instinctive contemporary design featuring vibrant, larger-than-life wall coverings celebrating Grand Teton backcountry, the National Elk Refuge, or a Jackson fly-fishing scene. Even when you finally douse the light on the nightstand and hit the pillow, you’ll feel like you are still out in wild Jackson Hole, sans bugs.

The rooms are modeled off of successful elements of the tiny home movement. Every inch of space is utilized, maximized. They seem roomier than they were before but are no bigger by dimensions. It’s part trick-of-the eye, part better use of the space.

The enormous landscape wall wrap, custom-built shelving units for outdoor gear, and rugged counter space for cleaning backpacks and coolers are just a few of the touches of utilitarian genius the guest will find. The folks at MMM know you most likely spent a long day in the outdoors—whether you were scaling the Grand or taking photos of bison from your car—when you get “home” you want to flop somewhere and unwind.

And MMM knows you have gear. Bikes, bags, boots—guests will enjoy the expansive gear closets where a wet sleeping bag or muddy hiking shoes can be hung on a peg to dry. Each room pops with bright color—plaid-to-the-bone red is the signature look at the new MMM—and the rooms are as rugged as they are comfortable.

The lobby is a modernized base camp. Oversized trail maps, canteens and coolers, binoculars and backpacks—everything in the communal space is meant to be used (rented). Grab a seat, jump on the wifi, unfold an adventure map, enjoy a beer or coffee, and be sure to ask the helpful crew at MMM to pack you a lunch for the day. They will be happy to.

So what are you going for? we asked Long.

“We are trying to encourage guests to ‘find their wild’ during their Mountain Modern stay,” Long said. “The choose-your-own-adventure appeal is thanks to the spirited staff—we call them ‘Wise Guides’—who are regional experts at uncovering and sharing locals-only gems. From the Fly Guy armed with a treasure map to Wyoming’s best streams to the Hops Guy who taps into Jackson Hole’s buzzy beer scene—these Wise Guides have the ultimate insider status.

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