Laura and her family exploring Grand Teton National Park

One of the first things The Clear Creek Group’s new Head of Business Development & Marketing Laura Cuddie did in her position was to travel to Marrakech. Laura went to Morocco in September to represent Jackson Hole and TCCG at the invite-only PURE Life Experiences luxury travel show. “As far as I know, we’re the first property specifically focused on Jackson Hole to attend this show,” she says.

Over three days, Laura did 42 twenty-minute one-on-one presentations to travel buyers from around the world. “Most people had heard of Jackson Hole, but still the first thing I did was to sell Jackson as a destination,” she says. Prior to the show, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce helped Laura with visual assets to craft a series of themed slideshows—highlighting everything from the valley’s art to skiing to national parks. Personally an avid supporter of the valley’s art scene, Laura loved teaching travel designers about the valley’s vast cultural activities and varied art offerings. “Even the people that were incredibly familiar with Jackson Hole were not familiar with our art,” says Laura.

Laura was able to successfully speak about so many aspects of Jackson Hole because, even though she just started with TCCG in April, she had previously lived in Jackson from 2003 to 2014. (The family lived in Toronto for three years.) “Our goal was to come back eventually, but we didn’t know if we’d be able to before retirement,” she says. “But then we realized that the quality of life here is unparalleled and this environment was where we wanted to raise our daughter.” Laura, her husband John, and 7-year-old Fiona moved back this past July.

Last month over coffee at Pearl Street Bagels—right across from TCCG’s downtown Jackson offices—we sat down with Laura, who was previously director of worldwide residential operations at Four Seasons in Toronto, to learn more about her, PURE, and her family. (Laura’s husband John Morgan is director of development at Journeys School.)

Was there a moment when you and John realized you had to get back to Jackson Hole?

Laura: It was during either our first or second time watching the IMAX film America Wild: National Parks Adventure at the Ontario Science Center. (We eventually saw it four times.) It brought my husband and I close to tears—being reminded in such a gorgeous way of this area’s natural beauty and uniqueness. That was when we asked ourselves, “What are we doing? Only 10,000 people can live in Jackson and we are fortunate enough to be three of them.”  After that the wheels were in motion as we started to look for appropriate opportunities to return home. 

Was it just the outdoors and landscape you came back for? Hello

Laura: It was actually more the sense of community. We really missed that. In Toronto you can volunteer and write checks to many organizations doing great work, but here you can actually be personally involved and know the people you’re affecting.

What’s your ideal ski day?

Laura: Storm skiing in powder at the village with friends, having lunch at Osteria, and then picking my daughter up from ski school and getting in a few runs with her before the lifts close. Then a glass of wine around the fire.

What do you do with non-skiing friends and family when they visit?

Laura: I don’t think I’ve ever had a non-skier friend visit in the winter. Surprisingly, I haven’t gone dog sledding yet, and I haven’t done a snowmobile or snow coach into Yellowstone, so those are things I’d plan to try. Also, if there’s a show at the Center of the Arts (perhaps John would be performing with his improv comedy group), I’d take them to that. Maybe we’d go up to the National Museum of Wildlife Art and stay for lunch at Palate after. Check out all the art galleries and the unique shops selling local wares.

Do you have a favorite part of your new job yet?

Laura: In my 12+ years in Jackson, I have come to think of it as a place that encourages people to become the best version of themselves. When I help homeowners or guests come here, relax, and reconnect with their family, I hope they will take some of that back to their regular life and do some good in the world.  I get tremendous satisfaction from that.

Did you have a big takeaway from PURE?

Laura: The foundation of PURE, which is that travel has the power to transform people, resonates with me personally and is very aligned with the goals of TCCG.  Jackson is a place that naturally lends itself to transformational experiences due to the stunning environment, the sense of place, and the welcoming community. TCCG is a team of individuals who are passionate about living, working, and playing in Jackson and love to share that with guests and homeowners. Our foundation at TCCG is to connect and form meaningful relationships with each other and our clients. Everyone I met at PURE was genuinely engaged and excited about travel as a mechanism to make the world a better place for all.

That sounds like it goes beyond offering luxury accommodations.

Laura: Right. It’s not enough anymore to just have gorgeous homes, so we offer more. For many of the clients we work with, the only thing they can’t buy is time. Anything that we can do to allow them to make the most of the time when they’re here and make a connection with this place, with their friends, with their family—that’s what we do.

Did PURE offer up any transformational opportunities itself?

Laura: The show starts with this 2-day “un-conference” called Matter, which took place in an incredible outdoor setting, with various opportunities to network, connect, and learn from each other and from travel industry experts.  It all kicked off with incredibly inspiring keynote speakers who shared their personal stories about how they were changing the world.  I learned a lot that I have brought back to Jackson and TCCG and the whole experience really resonated with me and strengthened my confidence that this move back to Jackson and this new role were the right moves for me.  I am excited to be a part of the next chapter of TCCG’s evolution.

Do you have a favorite Clear Creek Group rental property?

Laura: I haven’t seen them all yet. I am excited to be selling Shooting Star though because I think it’s a great addition to Teton Village and I love the design, which is the perfect blend of rustic Jackson with a modern spin.