The Wyoming and Montana conference promises to be both exciting and rugged—a change of pace from the major cities where the conference has been hosted in recent years. The American West offers a chance to unwind and experience some of Hemingway’s favorite scenery. Along with these benefits, however, the rural venues and lodging may pose some challenges for attendees who have accessibility needs. The conference organizers aim to meet the needs of all attendees and will respond to accessibility needs as thoroughly as possible within the constraints of these historic and rural venues.
Accessibility questions and answers for the Sheridan and Cooke City venues are shown below. We will add more Q&As as we receive them. If these Q&As do not meet your individual needs for accommodations you are invited to communicate directly with the Accessibility Coordinator, Krista Quesenberry, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sheridan Q&A #1: Will the bus from the Billings Airport to Sheridan be accessible? Optional transportation provided by the conference between the Billings airport and Sheridan will be wheelchair accessible and air-conditioned. Those who intend to use the shuttle service and require a wheelchair tie-down would benefit from communicating their travel schedules to the Accessibility Coordinator to ensure that the wheelchair space is available at the time it is required.
Additionally, both shuttle-bus riders and drivers should be aware that the trip from Billings to Sheridan is approximately 2 hours long. Cell phone service is unavailable for about 45 minutes during the cross over the mountain, and there are few opportunities to stop for restrooms or gas throughout the drive. The shuttle bus will not plan to make any stops between Billings and Sheridan.
Sheridan Q&A #2: What wheelchair-accessible lodging and transportation options are available in Sheridan? Conference events in Sheridan will be held at the Sheridan College campus, where some housing with limited accessibility is available; for details about accessible housing options on campus, please contact the Accessibility Coordinator.
For conference-goers who plan to stay off campus, the Best Western and Holiday Inn are the recommended hotels for wheelchair-accessible rooms; the Historic Sheridan Inn offers only one fully wheelchair-accessible room but does have an elevator and bathtub benches available. The Mill Inn does not offer accessible rooms. A wheelchair-accessible shuttle will run throughout the conference between the campus locations and selected hotel sites.
Sheridan Q&A #3: Are there accessibility concerns at the Sheridan Airport? For those who choose to fly directly to the Sheridan Airport, the small facility should pose no challenges. While there are no dining facilities at the airport, the drive to dining options in Sheridan is no more than 10 to 15 minutes.
Sheridan Q&A #4: Will the Opening Reception at the Brinton Museum be accessible? This event will be held indoors and on the patio of the fully accessible Brinton Museum, which is a 20-minute drive from the Sheridan College campus. The trolley provided by the conference will not be wheelchair-accessible, so wheelchair-using attendees should arrange for their own transportation and can easily park in accessible spaces at the Museum.
Sheridan Q&A #5: Will the PEN/Hemingway Fundraiser hosted by the Ucross Foundation be accessible? This event will be held outdoors, with some indoor galleries and exhibitions made available by the Ucross Foundation for independent browsing. As with all outdoor events, sound projection and accessible restrooms will be available. Transportation will be provided for the 30-minute drive from Sheridan to Ucross, and upon arrival at Ucross guests will need to travel about 200 to 250 feet by way of a gravel path. Any outdoor sensory or mobility access needs should be indicated to the Accessibility Coordinator in advance, if possible.
Sheridan Q&A #6: Will the Travel Grants Fundraiser at the Historic Sheridan Inn be accessible? This event will be held in an accessible hotel ballroom space. Wheelchair users will need to travel approximately 160 feet from the parking lot to the main entrance, including a 20-foot ADA-compliant ramp. Guests who have trouble with sensory stimulation, visibility, or auditory interference may want to contact the Accessibility Coordinator in advance so that seating arrangements can be made accordingly. The trolley provided by the conference will not be wheelchair-accessible, so wheelchair-using attendees should arrange for their own transportation and can easily park in accessible spaces at the Inn.
Sheridan Q&A #7: Will the Hemingway Trivia Night at the Blacktooth Brewery be accessible? This event will offer limited accessible seating (unattached outdoor tables). There are no designated wheelchair-accessible parking spaces; nearby street parking (with curb-cut sidewalks and unobstructed pathways) is available but limited. For further details about accessibility limitations at this venue, please contact the Accessibility Coordinator.
Sheridan Q&A #8: How accessible is the city of Sheridan? Accessibility varies greatly throughout the city of Sheridan. It is a busy tourist destination, so all expected accommodations are available, but they may not always be equally available at all businesses. The historic downtown portion of the city is very walkable with well-maintained sidewalks, though many of the historic buildings will not provide accessible entrances or seating options (including the landmark Mint Bar, which has a three-step entrance and narrow passageways indoors). The city’s shopping and dining centers are located in two areas, about a 5-minute drive from one another, with an additional 5-minute drive to get to the Sheridan College campus. This means all attendees should plan to drive or participate in the daily shuttle for all off-campus needs, including transportation to hotels, restaurants, and shopping.
Sheridan Q&A #9: Are there health risks associated with the altitude in Sheridan? The elevation in Sheridan is more than 3,700 feet above sea level (significantly below the threshold for high altitude, which is about 8,000 feet), but parts of the drive to and from Sheridan will exceed that altitude. Conference attendees with health concerns (such as hypertension, asthma, diabetes, or pulmonary illness) may want to discuss with their doctors the specific risks and considerations of their individual conditions; however, attendees without relevant health risks should experience no effects from the altitude. Clicl here for more information about altitude sickness.
Have an additional question? Send it to Krista Quesenberry at email@example.com
Cooke City Q&A #1: Are the buses for the Cooke City portion of the conference accessible? The optional bus that transports conference attendees from Sheridan to Cooke City will also shuttle those riders around the conference sites in Cooke City and Silver Gate. The bus does not have wheelchair-accessible seating or restroom facilities, but it is equipped with air conditioning, Wi-Fi, and electric charging capabilities. Aisle widths on the bus will be either 16” or 19”. Wheelchair users should arrange for personal transportation between the two conference sites, if possible; please contact the Accessibility Coordinator for additional information. The route from Sheridan to Cooke City lasts approximately 7 hours, broken up by a stop in Cody, Wyoming, at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. The first leg of the trip (to Cody) takes slightly more than 3 hours, and the second half of the trip (to Cooke City) takes about 2 hours. In and around Cody, cell phone access is available, but passengers should anticipate having no standard cell or data access between Sheridan and Cody, then after leaving Cody for the remainder of the conference.
Cooke City Q&A #2: What accessible lodging options exist in Cooke City and Silver Gate? The Super 8 hotel and the Antlers Lodge in Cooke City each offer a single ADA-compliant wheelchair-accessible room with roll-in shower and designated parking. Details about these rooms can be provided by the Accessibility Coordinator and/or by contacting the facilities directly. Otherwise, many of the lodging options in Cooke City and Silver City are historic and rustic, without mobility accommodations available. The Accessibility Coordinator has worked directly with each hotel, motel, and cabin rental facility in both towns to document ground-floor accommodations and other mobility-friendly options that are not quite ADA-compliant but may meet individual conference goers’ needs. Photos and details documenting accessibility options can be provided upon request.
Cooke City Q&A #3: Is the Yellowstone Chuck Wagon Dinner accessible? The cookout is a horse or wagon ride to a dinner venue out in the wilds of Yellowstone, which the park staff do their best to make available and enjoyable for all. On the wagons, there are limited wheelchair seats available (19” by 32” open space, without tie-downs), and wheelchairs must be lifted (park staff are available for assistance) or users must be able to climb the 3 steps (30”) to enter the wagon. Wheelchair users who cannot use the wagon seating and service animals may be able to be transported by official park staff (in park vehicles) to the campsite. Accessible restrooms are available at the campsite. Most of the entertainment at the campsite is projected over a microphone for clear hearing throughout the event. Please communicate with the Accessibility Coordinator if you plan to attend this event and your specific needs are not mentioned here. Additionally, the Yellowstone staff and National Park Service offer a range of other accessibility options, as well as accessibility guides. The contact for the accessibility office is 307-344-3351, and the staff requests notice of accessibility needs at least three weeks in advance.
Cooke City Q&A #4: How accessible is traveling around Cooke City and Silver Gate? While everything in these small towns is compact, the routes are not always clear or level. There are very few sidewalks, so expect to travel across gravel, grass, or asphalt (often littered with rocks, debris, and loose gravel), as well as up some slight inclines while moving about town. For current dining in Cooke City, the Prospector Restaurant (in the Soda Butte Lodge) and the Bistro (outdoor seating) are accessible; Pilot's Perk has a ramped entry but narrow passages, and MontAsia has a walk-up window with a single, low step to traverse. Other restaurants in Cooke City and Silver Gate will require at least one step at the entrance and/or have tighter seating areas, though on-the-spot accommodations may be possible by request.
Cooke City Q&A #5: What medical services are available in Cooke City? Cooke City and Silver Gate do not have a pharmacy or any medical facilities in town. However, there is a local volunteer first-responder facility in Cooke City with a typical 911 response time of 5 minutes; the medical team works with partners at Yellowstone and in Cody, Wyoming, to provide emergency transportation, and there is a Life Flight helicopter landing zone in town for urgent emergencies.
Cooke City Q&A #6: Are there health risks associated with the altitude in Cooke City? The elevation in Cooke City is more than 7,600 feet above sea level (near the threshold for high altitude, which is 8,000 feet), and parts of the drive to and from Cooke City may further exceed that altitude. Conference goers should take care to acclimate slowly, avoid overly strenuous exercise, and prepare for mild headaches. Additionally, those with health concerns (such as hypertension, asthma, diabetes, or pulmonary illness) may want to discuss with a doctor the specific risks and considerations of their individual conditions. Clicl here for more information about altitude sickness.
Have an additional question? Send it to Krista Quesenberry at firstname.lastname@example.org.