By Beth Buehler It doesn’t take many days or even hours in Colorado to notice that healthy lifestyles are a way of life. I’ve been noticing that overall wellness—spirit, mind and body—is landing on the radar of the meetings and events industry, destinations and lodging properties more than ever before. In fact, in the upcoming two issues of Colorado Meetings + Events (summer and fall), we’ll have a guest column in each issue that address health and wellness, one by a wellness travel company based in Denver and the other by a corporate wellness firm in Littleton.
Here are fun and relaxing ways to tie healthy options into Colorado meetings. Spirit – Many times, fueling the spirit means taking time just for me or putting myself out there in a new way. Spa services have a way of lifting attendee’s spirits, even just chair massages upon check in after a long day of travel, during conference breaks or while wandering a trade show. I also like the idea of having activities to create one’s own custom bath salts or healthy trail mix to bring home. During free time, offer a variety of activities to choose from, satisfying the most daring and more cautious souls. In Colorado, it’s fun to learn the art of dog sledding or drift along a mountain valley or over a town like Boulder in a hot air balloon. For something calmer, it is fulfilling to head to a local farmer’s market to pick out ingredients with a hotel’s or restaurant’s chef and go back to learn new cooking techniques and prepare a few dishes. These culinary opportunities are on the rise along with neat cheese-making classes. Or how about a group team-building option to help out a local cause, which can be organized by CBST Adventures and destination management companies?
Mind – How many people go home from meetings and retreats more exhausted than prior to arrival? Wouldn’t it be terrific if your mind felt invigorated and filled with ideas and knowledge all at once? Personally, I love options to start the day with things like yoga or to have an afternoon break that might be something like a psyche hike that I’ve gone on during a women’s retreat called CampExperience. Another recent big brain boost was hearing inspirational speaker like John O’Leary at the Meetings Industry Council of Colorado Educational Conference and Trade Show in Denver. I came home with a copy of O’Leary’s new book On Fire and continue to mull over his presentation and the concepts presented to live a more inspired life.
Body – Many Coloradoans are committed to taking care of their bodies because we live and breathe outdoor activities, even if it means getting up before work to hit the trails or taking a long lunch to ski or run. Recently, I enjoyed the new Full Moon at Ten Peaks at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, where guests make their own way up to the new glass-enclosed Umbrella Bar via snowshoes or skis with skins attached to casually enjoy lounging on the patio and dining on a buffet dinner of fondue, salad, soup and dessert. Or perhaps schedule your gathering in tandem with a festival such as Eagle YogaFest in the Vail Valley each October. There also are options to book venues and lodging nearby or right next to several hot springs facilities throughout Colorado, many also offering spa treatments. Imagine soaks before or after meetings and networking conversations while indulging in the restorative waters first enjoyed by Native Americans.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when considering how to build healthy options into a Colorado gathering and to send home attendees energized instead of frazzled. Beth Buehler is editor of Colorado Meetings + Events and Mountain Meetings magazines, has planned numerous meetings and events and enjoys exploring Colorado in all seasons.