Destination for Meetings and Events: Gateway, Colorado

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Gateway, Co Meeting Facilities

By Beth Buehler

One of Colorado’s most distinct destinations for meetings in Colorado in terms of scenery is the small community of Gateway located on the Western Slope along the 133-mile Unaweep/Tabeguache Scenic and Historic Byway. Not only will groups be in awe of the views, they’ll be well-served by Gateway Canyons Resort and Spa only an hour south of Grand Junction, which has a regional airport and is on the Amtrak California Zephyr train route that runs from the San Francisco Bay area to Chicago, Illinois.

Aerial view of Gateway Canyons Resort and Spa

Truly Unique Background

The full-service resort features lodging, dining, outfitting, educational programs, a spa and founder John Hendricks’ impressive personal automobile collection Gateway Colorado Auto Museum. Spread out over several acres, the property is an ideal destination for meetings, events and incentive trips. In the era of COVID-19, it’s especially handy to spread attendees out amongst eight meeting spaces, 72 guest rooms (two lodges and 14 casitas), and a large menu of outdoor activities .

After hearing about the Unaweep Canyon, one of the most unique red rock canyons in the world, from his father, Hendricks first visited in 1995 and was moved by the area’s magnificence and rich history. Best known for founding and previously serving as chairman of the broadcasting and film production company Discovery, Inc., he soon began designing a sustainable, outdoor recreation resort that highlights the scenery and endless adventures of the area.

A beautiful setting for an outdoor dinner

Distinct Spaces & Cool Activities

Today, the largest indoor space is Palisade Grand Hall & Sunset Atrium, while the largest outdoor spaces are Cottonwood Grove and Red Cliff Camp. Palisade Event Center has more than 8,700 square feet of meeting space, including an HD theater, expandable conference rooms, and boardrooms. A sure way to impress attendees is holding a reception or dinner at the auto museum.

During fair weather, going off-site for meals is part of the experience. Groups have gone  horseback riding to an exclusive pavilion located 1,500 feet above the heart of the Unaweep Canyon, where Gateway Canyons’ chefs prepared dinner. Only 15 minutes away and part of the resort, Palisade Ranch can hold up to 40 for meals and offers a variety of horseback riding options.

For groups that enjoy time out of the saddle but still in nature, the resort has activities like rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking, off-road touring, shooting sports and wine country tours. On a visit to Gateway Canyons a few years ago, a friend and I enjoyed a hike to look at petroglyphs and dinosaur tracks, tried out the resort’s restaurants and spa, toured the museum, relaxed by the two pools and admired the beautiful artwork, including several fabric pieces.

Palisade Event Center

Creativity & Experiences Rule

In fact, a good example of an annual gathering held at Gateway Canyons is Alegre Retreat that is returning to the resort on April 18-24, 2021 and brings together devotees of the fabric arts. Quilting enthusiasts gather for five days of learning and socializing.

If you are looking for a peaceful, beautiful and adventurous place to meet, do something different and head to one of Colorado’s hidden gems, Gateway Colorado.

A delicious salad with peaches from the area, photo by Beth Buehler

All photos courtesy of Gateway Canyons Resort and Spa unless otherwise noted.

Beth Buehler has been editor of Colorado Meetings + Events magazine for 16 years and helped launch Mountain Meetings magazine in 2013. She has planned numerous meetings and events and enjoys exploring Colorado.



Gateway Canyons