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Bishop Visitor's Center

Event Hosting

Create Your Special Event in Bishop

Where wishes come true and beautiful memories are made.

Intro

Lake Sabrina

There’s a lot to consider when you plan a special event. One of the many details that could ensure your event is a great success … is the location! Bishop is in one of the most beautiful parts of our country. Our region also has an incredibly diverse range of settings and seasonal options. Whether you’re planning an indoor or outdoor event, Bishop has incredible venues where you can create your dream event.

We are big on outdoors. We have the biggest, most beautiful backyard where secluded locations are easily accessible to set up off-the-grid type events or fully hooked up super parties.

There are numerous indoor settings too. Some are located in town, others in bucolic countryside settings, and still more in quaint mountain retreats.

What’s more, it’s totally possible to create an indoor-outdoor event that combines the best of both. Bishop has an old-world, rustic charm with magnificent views of the two impressive mountain ranges that flank this expansive valley. So even if you create an indoor event you could still feel like you’re a world away from the bustle of big city life.

Yes! Location. Location. Location. It’s real and it’s important.

But it’s also important to have the services and support of great people to make your dream event come true. We are proud of our locally-owned businesses and resident consultants who are skilled and experienced at what they do. They know what’s trending and how to create something unique. As owner-operators they are as invested as you are in making your event as wonderful and memorable as possible.

Places

There are actually just too many to mention. So, here’s an idea of what types of settings you could find and develop into the event of your dreams. Many of these will be affected by the seasons and some areas are mostly inaccessible in winter. However, if you and your party are outdoor extremists then let your vision run wild.

Indoor

Partytime!

Within the city of Bishop are superb locations for formal activities, such as board meetings, training seminars, product launches, exhibitions, concerts and more. Most of these are also perfect to host family reunions, weddings, coming-of-age celebrations, retirement parties, etc. Businesses in the area, from restaurants, to corporate offices, to the movie theatre, to lodging facilities, to the local Tri-County Fairgrounds, have spaces that can comfortably accommodate a lot or a few. Many lodgings are within walking distance of the town amenities and your event can span multiple days and nights, or roll over into after-parties and goodbyes over breakfast.  

Outdoor

“I do!”

An outdoor event can span the spectrum from sweet to splendid. Beautiful settings alongside the Owens River or at Millpond Recreation Area are close to town. These can be planned and set up with minimal fuss or full-scale fanfare. Further afield are lovely spots in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada where inspiration abounds. Up in the canyons and toward the crest of the range are infinite possibilities for exalted events. Choosing an outdoor location will depend on the size of your party and duration of the activities. Some spots may be limited to smaller groups and restricted to day or evening only – with no overnight accommodation. Camping is a viable option in some of these areas and is a great way to build team-work and camaraderie. Lodging facilities in nearby countryside resorts and in town can provide a variety of accommodation for your guests and staging for your event setup.

Combination

A toast!

Because our beautiful town has this bountiful big backyard, we can offer events that combine the best of indoor and outdoor settings and activities. Resorts like Benton Hot Springs, Brownstown Campground, Cardinal Village, Keough’s Hot Springs, and the Tri-County Fair and Event Center – to name just a few – can provide options for formal indoor gatherings combined with informal outdoor activities. If you can dream it, we can probably make it happen.

Research and Planning

Wherever you are you can begin your planning by contracting with a professional event planner or doing your own research and planning as soon as you can. As your ideas begin to bud get in touch with us and let us help you bring them into full bloom. Whether you’re planning a personal, professional, or commercial event there are innumerable ways to develop your event to achieve your dream.

Here are just a few types of events that you could create and host in the Eastern Sierra that will have a lasting impression on you, your family, and your guests.

Love is all you need

  • Weddings
  • Team-building
  • Stewardship
  • Sporting meets
  • Spiritual retreats
  • Product launches
  • Photography
  • Nature retreats
  • Family reunions
  • Exhibitions
  • Concerts
  • Board meetings
  • Art and crafts
Weddings

Elope to Independence

We’ve listed all kinds of wonderful events that can be hosted here, but WEDDINGS are truly spectacular in our big backyard. There is something magical about a wedding in the Eastern Sierra. The possibilities for an amazing experience and incredibly memorable event are almost endless. The landscape, the places, the activities, and the services mean that you can create something as unique as you are.

Did you know that elopements are big in our part of the world? Here’s what you do. Go to the courthouse in Independence, CA (just 40 miles south of Bishop) for a marriage license. It’s a marvelous, historic building where the staff will help you quickly and courteously. An added benefit is you’ll get the word “Independence” on your certificate. It could prove to be a marriage saver.

A good friend of ours commented, “Interdependence and independence are the proverbial peas and pods of a good marriage.”

Then head into the foothills or canyons of the majestic Sierra Nevada for a romantic ceremony and extra special wedding photos.

Bishop Chamber of Commerce
image of the front of the Bishop Visitor Center

Bishop Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau

Begin with us. Call, email, visit the Bishop Chamber website, or come in to the Bishop Visitor Center at 690 N. Main St in Bishop. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff can give you lots of info, brochures, maps, contacts, and directions on where to go and who to talk to.

Contact the venues and services directly for details on what each can provide. Check out our great lodgings and B&Bs here  and click through for details on location, style, services and more. Take a look at our restaurants page here. The list of our Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce members is extensive and the database is easily searchable so you can find just what you’re looking for. Our weddings page has just about everything you might need to find to help you plan the perfect wedding or other lovely event. It lists venues, churches, photographers, caterers, apparel, entertainment and more.

Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fair & Event Center

Tri-County Fairgrounds & Event Center – Arena
Photo: @themarrow

Situated in the heart of Bishop, where the region’s natural beauty blends with the town’s graceful setting, the Tri-County Fair and Event Center is as close to a perfect location as one could get. Homes, businesses and wide-open scenic lands border the fairgrounds in a picturesque setting of the real American west. The rustic nature and genteel pace of life is balanced by a passion for adventure and love of the outdoors.

The grandstand at the Tri-County Fairgrounds boasts a view second to none with a splendid vista of the Owens Valley with majestic mountains on either side. Summer sunsets are spectacular and the canopy of night stars is nature’s bling for a sparkling event. An excellent variety of buildings offer spaces that can be customized to suit large and small events. The on-site RV lot, camping area, horse and livestock stalls, performance arenas, and food service stalls provides an array of options for events of all sizes.

These are some of our annual and recurring events that we host smoothly and successfully. 

  • Tri-County Fair
  • Owens Valley Fall Colors Car Show
  • Nevada State Bar Association Annual Family Law Conference
  • Flash Foxy Women’s Climbing Festival
  • VCMC Dual Sport Motorcycle Rally
  • CHSRA State Finals Rodeo
  • Mule Days Celebration
  • Choo Choo Swap Meet
  • Conferences, Trainings and Meetings for USFS, BLM, LADWP, CalTrans and other agencies
  • Weddings, birthday parties, reunions and more
Agencies & Civic Organizations

This land is your land. Please be sure to get the necessary permits.

Remember that we are located in one the country’s most scenic and protected regions and, as such, some locations may require special permits or just a good understanding of what you can and can’t do on your public lands. If you’re planning an outdoor event on public, or publicly-accessible lands, start by contact the land owner and / or the land manager. The federal and local agencies in our region are the National Park Service (NPS), US Forest Service (USFS) – Inyo National Forest, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), Eastern Sierra Land Trust (ESLT), the Bishop Paiute Tribe, the City of Bishop and Parks and Recreation.

Additional Activities

Tying the knot.

To top it all off you could add some local flavor or specialized activity to give your guests the full Eastern Sierra experience. Book a guide service to go rock climbing, fly-fishing, or snowshoeing. Take a horseback trip to see fall colors or float the Owens River for a restful river experience. Reserve yoga sessions or arrange for an outdoor yoga clinic. Go stargazing in one the world’s most beautiful places for super dark skies. Tell your guests to bring their bikes for some of the regions most scenic road and mountain biking around. If you have an idea – ask us!

Services

Humor makes everything sweeter

It’s true that the location is paramount when planning your special event. And tantamount to that, is that we can back it up with superb services. Most of the brick-n-mortar locations can provide seating, serving, and the latest equipment for presentations and parties. They may have onsite catering, décor and flower arranging, preferred photographers and stylists, and resources for treats and gifts to fulfill your needs.

If you prefer to craft your event from the ground up yourself, our local services can provide everything from transport, equipment hire, catering, décor and flowers, sound and lighting, musicians, DJs, presenters, stylists, photographers, and printing. What we do best is to listen and understand your vision, then offer suggestions about how best to craft each element to make it all work seamlessly. Because we know our town and big backyard so well, we can even add or tweak your vision with ideas you may never even have imagined. You could even book a mule pack train to take your event high into the backcountry. Let us expand your vision to include the magic.

Timing

Drum circle in Bishop City Park

Timing is everything when planning and executing an event. The Eastern Sierra has the full spectrum of all four seasons. Each season rolls predictability into the next, but the timing of each seasonal change and the nature of each day is far less predictable.

Summer is hot in the valley and cool in the mountains. There are ample places near water for sun-filled, summer holiday events. Fall shines and shimmers like gold as the leaves turn and the air begins to feel soft and silky. It’s probably the most magical time of year. Winter is usually warm and dry in the valley with a deep snowy winter blanket on the mountains. Intrepid souls can venture into this winter wonderland if well prepared. Spring is bright and colorful and rejuvenating. Water cascades down the canyons, meadows blush with wildflowers, and everything feels new again.

Talk to us as your vision starts to take shape and get to know which season is best for which location. 

Sustainability

A clean sweep!

The final word is ‘sustainability’. The event planning industry is a massive and lucrative industry and statistics indicate that meetings and events consume more energy and generate more waste than any other US industry except for construction. However, we expect that events in the Eastern Sierra are not likely to contribute to this in any measurable way.

Why? Because we know how to integrate your event with our local environment and collaborate with the host communities in our region. Talk to us. Learn about your public lands and our local community and develop an event that meets the needs of your guests (who are our guests too) and understand the importance of compliance so that we can all celebrate in the resulting success of your event.

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