By Beth Buehler
Situated in the foothills of the mountains, just 45 minutes north of Denver, Loveland is a gateway to one of the United State’s most visited national parks: Rocky Mountain National Park. However, Loveland easily stands on its own as one of the country’s best small art towns with three sculpture parks, more than 490 pieces of public art and several bronze foundries that cast sculptures. As a meetings and events destination, Loveland, Colorado offers 400,000+ square feet of meeting space and the ability to house more than 800 event attendees.
Another bonus is there a beverage revolution going on with 11 breweries, two distilleries, one winery and one cidery producing great local products for tasting and offering entertaining places for receptions. For example, Sweet Heart Winery is sure to impress with a tasting room and barrel room that can host up to 200. Plus, there is abundant outdoor recreation in the area, including water fun at Lake Loveland right in town and nearby Boyd Lake State Park, for times when meetings aren’t in session.
I grew up only 15 minutes from Loveland and have watched it grow into a destination with plentiful options for groups. Some of my earliest memories of Loveland are attending family picnics hosted by my dad’s employer at a ranch. Today, Loveland is the proud location of the top Embassy Suites in the world and the sprawling Ranch Events Complex, both with easy access to Interstate 25.
The Ranch sits on 240 acres and provides approximately 375,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space suitable for nearly all types of gatherings. Budweiser Events Center has a 7,200-seat arena, while the Ranch-Way Feeds Indoor Arena & Livestock Pavilions’ name clearly indicates its focus.
Meanwhile, the First National Bank Exhibition Building and Thomas M. McKee 4-H Youth & Community Building together feature three expo halls and 11 meeting rooms.
Located within The Ranch property, Embassy Suites by Hilton Loveland Hotel Conference Center & Spa offers full-service meetings and events, 263 all-suite accommodations and a restaurant.
The 40,000-square-foot conference center includes two ballrooms and has a separate entrance that provides convenient access to general sessions, catered events and breakout sessions.
A Range of Options
For something a little different, consider the McCreery House that dates back to the 1890s and has beautiful gardens or Rialto Theater Center downtown that is of 1920s vintage and can host up to 400. Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch is the place of my young memories, and Sunrise Ranch Conference Center has an auditorium in a dome and a pavilion and chalet. There must be something about having ranch in the name, as there also is Ellis Ranch Event Center.
Garden Room of Loveland, Group Publishing and Fireside Café, and Desk Chair Workspace (think rooftop space) vary in size and capacity, with the largest being up to 500 guests.
Loveland is just as sweet as it’s name. Not only can you get your Valentine’s stamped in this Colorado community, you’ll fall in love with the options for groups.
Beth Buehler is editor of Colorado Meetings + Events and Mountain Meetings magazines, has planned numerous meetings and events and enjoys exploring Colorado.