Ride of their Lives

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 11.28.30 AM

Some couples might dream of walking down the aisle as a pine-scented breeze rolls off a mountain peak and mustangs graze in meadows nearby. But for Las Vegans Ashley Cottrell and Mathew Micheletti, an unforgettable June wedding in Lee Canyon was the stuff of reality.


And why not tie the knot at 8,500 feet, where a summer day can be 30 degrees cooler than on the Las Vegas Strip? Instead of a prosaic golf club and banquet hall wedding, why not choose an al fresco venue that’s perfect for summer or fall nuptials?


For many couples, it’s an idea whose time apparently has come. For half a century, the former Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort has been a popular destination for wedding proposals. It’s no surprise, then, that today’s Lee Canyon has made the easy transition to rustic mountain wedding site.


In a recent survey, The Knot reported that more and more couples want personalization when it comes to their weddings. In fact, 40 percent of those the website surveyed indicated a preference for unusual venues to reflect their personalities. Creating an exceptional experience for the guests also tops the list of wedding must-haves these days.

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 11.28.51 AM

“Lee Canyon’s guest services manager Caitlin Kelly really pulled together my (wedding day) vision from Pinterest,” Cottrell says. “Our entire wedding party rode the chairlifts at sunset. This was my favorite part of the whole wedding.”


It’s no wonder. According to the resort, the chairlifts have become the most popular après-wedding activity for guests ready to sit back, gulp in some mountain air and marvel at the spectacular views of Lee Canyon. Sun-dappled meadows that double as ski runs in winter offer just the right growing conditions for nature’s wildflower stands. Photo ops, featuring deer and other fauna, abound. “I have pictures of my mom zipping up my wedding dress with wild horses in the background,” Cottrell says.


Lee Canyon is equipped to host large or intimate weddings. And guests can enjoy that destination wedding feel without the hassle and expense of traveling. For locals or out-of-towners who don’t want to make the drive back to the valley or the Strip, the Resort at Mount Charleston and Mount Charleston Lodge are about 25 minutes away.


Through its custom packages, Lee Canyon offers couples an array of options: a personal wedding specialist to assist in planning; a wedding arch; seating; private cabanas for both bride and groom to prepare for their walk down the aisle; catering; wine and beer service; and a traditional toast.


“Lee Canyon created a secluded area just for us,” Cottrell says, “and built an altar out of birch trees for our wedding. When the florist didn’t deliver the flowers I wanted, (Kelly) and her team redesigned everyone’s bouquets 30 minutes before the wedding, saving the day.”


So whether your style is rustic and cozy or extravagant and unique, Lee Canyon offers the perfect venue for a Las Vegas bride looking for an out-of-the-ordinary wedding day.


For more information, contact Caitlin Kelly, Lee Canyon’s guest services manager, at (702) 385-2754, or [email protected].



Stephanie Forté is a storyteller, connector, and problem-solver inspired by the great outdoors and energized by the transformation of people, communities, and brands. She is a longtime advocate for public lands, outdoor recreation, and women’s health.

She spotlights people and organizations creating meaningful change in her writing and award-winning PR strategies. Stephanie also mines her life for stories, and her published essays have helped others navigate challenges and to feel less alone.

Stephanie Forte