By Deborah Borak
Holding a meeting or event in Colorado is always a wow factor for attendees. Colorado offers your participants snow-capped mountains, winding roads, open spaces and the bluest skies you have ever seen. However, it is not just the views that bring meetings to our state but the variety of accommodations; there is truly a venue to fit every kind and size of group.
It is key to know when peak season is if you’re trying to keep costs reasonable. Rates escalate in the winter months and some summer months in mountain locations and can be higher at downtown properties in larger communities with citywide conventions, sporting events and festivals.
A sampling of properties that exude Colorado
Full-Service Historic Hotels
The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa, Denver – Since 1892, the hotel still uses the original artesian well 720 feet beneath the hotel. The staff treats guests to impeccable service and provide amenities such as the famed afternoon tea.
Hotel Colorado, Glenwood Springs – Known to many as “the Grand Dame of the Rockies,” this hotel is host to passing travelers and vacationers visiting the famous Hot Springs.
The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park – Known for its role The Shining, a movie based on a novel by Stephen King, this hotel opened in 1909 and is situated near Rocky Mountain National Park where guests can experience wildlife, hiking trails, mountain biking and a ghost tour for history buffs.
The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs – Situated at the base of Cheyenne Mountain, this iconic hotel is rich with history but is best known for its luxury and customer service. The four new Wilderness Experience properties include The Ranch at Emerald Valley, Cloud Camp, Broadmoor Fishing Camp and Seven Falls offer groups new options.
The Little Nell, Aspen – Aspen Mountain’s only ski-in, ski-out resort also is the state’s only other AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Travel Five Star property. The Little Nell features architecture that uses natural materials like pine, stone and leather to make this one-of-a-kind boutique hotel a favorite for luxury lovers.
Kessler Canyon, DeBeque – Not quite an hour east of Grand Junction is an all-inclusive property with guest rooms with a Colorado feel and activities galore.
Cabins & Condos
Bear Paw Cabins in Estes Park and Colorado Mountain Cabins in Woodland Park offer single and multi-family accommodations. There is no maid service, so you need to clean up after yourselves daily, but cabins offer a great way experience the scenic playground found in the Rocky Mountains.
Ski towns and resort areas also typically feature many condominium options for groups wanting kitchenettes for families or attendees who like to prepare some of their own meals. Large condos also can work for small meetings and receptions.
YMCA of the Rockies – Snow Mountain Ranch – For those wanting a camping experience but still have the comforts of home, consider a yurt, which is a circular tent used by Mongolian nomads. There are many other types of lodging at this YMCA camp such as cabins and lodge rooms.
Dunton Hot Springs, Dolores – Once filled with miners, this restored ghost town now features well-appointed historic cabins and a tent with scenic mountain views, hot springs, saloon, on-site chef and more.
C Lazy U Ranch, Granby – This guest ranch offers horseback riding, fly-fishing, hiking, mountain biking, gourmet meals, spa treatments by the creek and relaxation in fair-weather months and many options in the winter.
Deborah Borak, CDS, CMM, SMMC is director of global accounts with ConferenceDirect and works with a variety of clients including corporate, association and SMERF. She has been in the hospitality industry for more than 20 years and has a certification in meetings management as well as Strategic Meetings Management.