Joint Annual Meeting - Forum and Alliance


At the Confluence: Academic Leaders Steering Their Communities Forward

April 20-22, 2016
Missoula, MT

* Download the 2016 FINAL Program


Conference Hotel and Travel

The Holiday Inn Missoula Downtown
200 South Pattee
Missoula, MT 59802
Phone: (406) 721-8550

The Holiday Inn Missoula Downtown hotel near the University of Montana is centrally located, with easy access to restaurants, shops, and galleries, along with numerous outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, fishing, and skiing. Please make your room reservations by calling 406-721-8550 or toll free at 1-800-Holiday and ask for the WICHE discounted rate of $99.00 or click here to reserve online. The cut-off date for the discounted rate is March 18, 2016, unless the block fills earlier. Room costs are the responsibility of the meeting attendees.

Airport Information

The Missoula International Airport is served by most major airlines. It is approximately six miles from the Holiday Inn Missoula Downtown.


Shuttle: The Holiday Inn provides a complimentary shuttle service. Call the front desk at 406-721-8550 after you get your bags. Airport Shuttler - $17 one way. Make arrangements in advance by calling 406-880-7433.


  • Yellow Cab - $15.00 one-way, or 406-543-6644
  • Green Taxi - $17.50 one way, or 406-728-8294

Driving instructions to Holiday Inn Missoula Downtown from Missoula International Airport

  • Head East on West Broadway Street/US-10 for 5.6 miles.
  • Turn right on South Pattee Street and continue for three blocks.
  • The hotel will be on your left.

What to Wear

Dress for the meeting is business casual. The average temperature in the Missoula area in April is 60 degrees.

Local Attractions

Nestled in the Northern Rockies of Montana, surrounded by seven wilderness areas and at the confluence of three rivers, Missoula is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. You can kayak, raft or tube through downtown or take a relaxing hike in 60,000 acres of wilderness minutes from your hotel. Missoula is known for its blueribbon trout fishing (made famous by A River Runs Through It) and spectacular natural beauty. The outdoor recreational opportunities are limitless.

After the program concludes on Friday, we hope you will stay and explore the spectacular Missoula area. The tourism website is

Montana Natural History Center - The mission of the Montana Natural History Center is to promote and cultivate the appreciation, understanding and stewardship of nature through education. The Montana Natural
History Center is a great place to learn about Glacial Lake Missoula, and the ecology of native insects, birds and mammals in Missoula.

Smokejumper Visitor Center - Learn about aerial firefighting at the Smokejumper Visitor Center. Smokejumpers are highly trained specialists who parachute into remote areas of national forests to fight the
spread of wildfires. The nation’s largest training base for smokejumpers is located in Missoula. The visitor center at the depot offers updated displays, dioramas and videos related to fire suppression. Guided tours are
given of the parachute loft and training facilities.

Try Your Hand at Fishing - At the confluence of the Clark Fork, Blackfoot and Bitterroot Rivers, Missoula lives up to its name. Whether you prefer to fish from the banks of the river right in the middle of town or prefer to hire a river guide to make a whole day of your fishing adventure, you will not be disappointed with your catch. There are plenty of fishing outfitters who can help you seek out the perfect spot to try fishing in a Montana river.

Travelers’ Rest State Park - Follow in the footsteps of the early explorers along US Highway 12 from Missoula, MT to Lewiston, ID. As you follow the same route that Lewis and Clark traveled, marvel in the rugged
wilderness that the Corps of Discovery had to hack their way through. Consisting of thick timber and steep mountain climbs, this was by far the most difficult passage for the Corps. Check out Howard Creek, just 18.5
miles west of Lolo on Highway 12. A half mile loop includes part of the original trail.

Lolo Hot Springs - Missoula is surrounded by natural hot springs; some commercialized, and some still in their natural state. Spend a day at Lolo Hot Springs swimming in their outdoor pool or soaking in the hot indoor
pool. For natural hot springs, cruise further on Highway 12 until you reach Jerry Johnson or Weir Hot Springs, both within an hour and a half drive from Missoula.

Historical Walking Tour of Missoula - Missoula has one of the state’s most extensive listing of properties and places on the National Register of Historic Places. A walk through downtown will un-earth over a dozen well preserved buildings and many more interesting artifacts from days gone by.

Hike Mount Sentinel’s “M” Trail - A local favorite, the short scramble up Mount Sentinel takes you, courtesy of 11 switchbacks, 620 feet above the valley floor in less than half a mile, giving you a bird’s-eye view of the entire Missoula valley and surrounding mountains. Originally constructed in 1908 out of whitewashed rocks and later concreted in place, the M is a landmark worth the trek.