By Beth Buehler
Considering a mountain gathering and seeking a meeting space that will impress? It’s hard to beat Colorado’s Vail Valley with destinations like Beaver Creek, Vail, Avon, Edwards and Minturn. Growing up in Colorado, I learned how to ski in Vail before Beaver Creek opened in 1980. However, the resort quickly established itself not only as a great place to ski, bike, hike, golf and relax in style but also as a terrific place for meetings.
For example, the AEI (American Enterprise Institute) World Forum, an annual meeting of business and financial executives, heads of government, other government officials and intellectuals, along with other well-known gatherings have been held in Beaver Creek numerous times.
Beaver Creek Resort is built around a European-style, central village plaza that provides convenient access to top meeting and event spaces such as the Gerald R. Ford Hall, Beaver Creek Ice Rink, Vilar Performing Arts Center and a variety of lodging options with function and meeting spaces. Vilar Performing Arts Center, a state-of-the-art facility located beneath the ice rink, contains a 535-seat theater available to groups and used for a wide variety of programming from concerts and comedy to theatre and family productions.
Village wide, including hotels, there is almost 53,000 square feet of function and meeting spaces plus additional outdoor venues ideal for meetings, trade shows, distinct dining experiences, breakout sessions, team-building and concerts. Seven mountain and village venues are especially well-suited for intimate and unique affairs: Beano’s Cabin, Saddleridge, Allie’s Cabin, Zach’s Cabin, Trapper’s Cabin, Spruce Saddle Lodge and Talons.
In terms of lodging options, Beaver Creek Resort Properties alone has 24 lodging locations in the area that includes Beaver Creek, Arrowhead, Bachelor Gulch and Avon featuring 13 meeting spaces for groups of 10 to 200.
Beaver Creek Lodge, part of the Kessler Collection of luxury hotels, is the only all-suite hotel in the village and is known for the art collection sprinkled throughout, even on the patio dining space. There is 6,000 square feet of versatile function and meeting spaces suitable for up to 150 guests along with 72 guest suites featuring cozy fireplaces.
Attendees can end a busy day with a dip in the outdoor pool and hot tub, around the patio fire pits or at the luxurious Allegria Spa at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa. Located slopeside and just steps from the lifts, the hotel has more than 25,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space and 190 recently renovated guest rooms.
The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch is more tucked away and serves as the centerpiece of the Bachelor Gulch Village experience. The property has ski-in/ski-out access, a 21,000-square-foot spa with 19 treatment rooms and 13,000 square feet of meeting spaces, including the 7,100-square-foot Ritz-Carlton Ballroom.
The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa Avon, Vail Valley is a Silver LEED certified, full-service resort for that features 7,500 square feet of event space with floor-to-ceiling windows and big views of Eagle River and Beaver Creek Mountain. Riverside Ballroom is 4,000 square feet while the Gondola Ballroom has 2,800 square feet and opens onto Gondola Plaza. An added bonus is 4,000 square feet of outdoor event space. There are 230 guest rooms all with kitchens and fireplaces, a spa and salon, a large outdoor pool, and an athletic club that can organize private exercise classes for groups.
Back at Beaver Creek Village, attendees can easily stroll around the galleries, restaurants and shops on breaks. In addition, there is no shortage of special events to intertwine with a meeting itinerary, such as Oktoberfest, Beaver Creek Rodeo, and Blues, Brews, and BBQ Festival. On thing is guaranteed, there are all sorts of options year-round at this Colorado mountain paradise.
Beth Buehler is editor of Colorado Meetings + Events and Mountain Meetings magazines, has planned numerous meetings and events and enjoys exploring Colorado.