What’s New for Meeting Venues in Colorado
By Beth Buehler
With the nip of fall in the air and a rich hue of colors infusing the trees around the state comes the anticipation of new meeting space in Colorado. Three ski companies are celebrating major anniversaries this season, #60 for Breckenridge Ski Resort and #75 for both Aspen Snowmass and Arapahoe Basin.
There is a lot to look forward to as fall transitions into winter over the next few months, including a huge amount of new meeting space in Colorado. Our partners at the Colorado Tourism Office put together an impressive list, and I have pulled some highlights regarding what’s new in Colorado for meetings and events. Several involve Destination Colorado members.
Aspen & Snowmass
Limelight Aspen is slated to reopen in November after undergoing an eight month, top-to-bottom renovation that enhances all of the hotel’s 126 guest rooms and suites and public spaces, including the Limelight Lounge, lobby and bar. High-quality furnishings and finishes with a nod to Aspen’s skiing and skiing history are at the heart of the property’s new look.
Opening in December, the Aspen Institute’s new Resnick Center for Herbert Bayer Studies will focus on preserving and honoring the art of Bayer, who designed the Institute’s historic campus, influenced the foundations of modern Aspen, and created work that is an iconic expression of the Bauhaus movement in America. Also located on the campus is Aspen Meadows Resort.
The Westin Snowmass and sister property Wildwood Snowmass are under new ownership and unveiling major renovations in time for the 2021/2022 ski season. The Westin Snowmass is being rebranded as Viewline Resort Snowmass, Autograph Collection.
Beaver Creek & Vail
The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa Avon, Vail Valley unveiled more than $1.5 million in resort upgrades this past summer, including a renovated lobby, expanded patio seating and dining, extensive new fitness equipment and a series of unique outdoor group exercise classes overlooking the Eagle River.
Located in Lionshead Village, Vail Mountain Marriott Resort is being transformed into The Hythe, a Luxury Collection Hotel and completing the final phase of a $40 million renovation. A new welcoming arrival and lobby experience and four new food and beverage concepts are part of the latest phase.
Monarch Casino Resort Spa is celebrating the opening of its glittering new hotel tower, rooftop spa and pool and four new restaurants, including the classic white-cloth steakhouse experience at Monarch Chophouse. There also is a newly expanded casino floor.
The new interactive spirits lab at Breckenridge Distillery allows groups and guests to taste award-winning spirits and delve into the behind the scenes of spirit production. Participants can blend their own bottles and sampling paired bites from the distillery’s restaurant.
Opened earlier this year, Element 29 is a new four-story, 127-guest room hotel located in Copper Mountain’s Center Village. The property features a bar, fitness center and outdoor patio with fire pits and two hot tubs. Element 29 is only a short walk away meeting and event space, shopping, dining and outdoor adventure in the village.
The immersive arts and entertainment company, Meow Wolf, opened “Convergence Station” as its third permanent installation and most ambitious project yet in Denver on Sept. 17. Created by 110 collaborating artists and more than 300 creatives, the four-story exhibition is home to 70+ installations, restaurant, concert venue and more. Guests are immersed in psychedelic, mind-bending art and an underlying rich narrative, taking them on a journey of discovery into a surreal, science-fictional epic.
Speaking of art, the Denver Art Museum’s Martin Building (formerly the North Building) has undergone an extensive, multi-year renovation. The expanded and reimagined DAM campus now also includes the new Anna and John J. Sie Welcome Center, which will serve as an entrance and ticketing and feature two new dining outlets and meeting and event space. This new area will open the public on Oct. 24 in celebration of DAM’s 50th anniversary at the end of 2021.
Denver Center for Performing Arts has announced the return of the Broadway, Theatre Company, Cabaret and Off-Center seasons with 30 shows, kicking off in November with the Theatre Company’s A Christmas Carol in the newly renovated Wolf Theatre. Broadway shows will also return, starting with Disney’s The Lion King and Hamilton is set to follow among several others.
Denver International Airport (DEN) is increasing its overall capacity by 30 percent with 39 new gates to be added on all three concourses. Construction on all expansion work is expected to be substantially complete by the end of 2021 and gates will be operational in 2022 making it easier than ever to get to the new meeting space in Colorado.
There is no slowing down Denver’s hotel sector. Sheraton Denver Downtown has completed an $80 million transformation journey that updated all areas of the hotel, including a new arrival experience, culinary and beverage options, and renovation of 133,000 square feet of renovated meeting and event space, 1,238 guest rooms and 138 suites. Four Seasons Denver also has also has undergone a full renovation. New boutique hotels on the scene include Catbird in Denver’s River North Art District (RiNo), Clayton Members Club & Hotel in Cherry Creek, The Rally Hotel, and The Slate Hotel in the original Emily Griffith Opportunity School (opening in late 2021). The Rally Hotel is part of the new McGregor Square development adjacent to Coors Field that also includes a food hall, restaurants, residential, office space and a large plaza with a huge screen to watch baseball games, movies and more.
There are two new attractions in Estes Park: the year-round Mustang Mountain Coaster with epic views and 2,000 linear feet of gravity-fueled descent and Cloud Ladder, the steepest and most vertical Via Ferrata route in the United States. Cloud Ladder, opened this summer as part of The Alpine Jewel adventure destination, provides 625 feet of vertical climbing, suspension bridges and two headwall sections. The new route complements the original Estes Park Via Ferrata route, Peregrine Ridge (est. 2017), which appeals to beginner and intermediate climbers.
Rocky Mountaineer debuted its Rockies to the Red Rocks luxury train route in August. The Rockies to the Red Rocks route is a two-day rail journey between Denver and Moab, Utah (going either direction) with an overnight stay in Glenwood Springs at Hotel Colorado or two other local properties. Launching the route generated a great deal of interest, prompting Rocky Mountaineer to offer 56 departure options from Aug. 15 – Nov. 19, 2021. Wouldn’t this be an exciting way to get to new meeting space in Colorado?
The Eddy Taproom & Hotel has 49 guest rooms and various indoor and outdoor gathering spaces and is situated on the site of the old Rocky Mountain Fire Brick Works. Amenities include Truck Eddy, the property’s food truck with BBQ and shakes, an outdoor lawn with weekly activities, specialty drinks and brews found only at The Eddy Taproom, and more. The property celebrates both the mining history and abundance of outdoor adventures found in Golden.
Phase one of Steamboat’s Full Steam Ahead project will be complete for the upcoming season featuring an expanded base area, streamlined arrival process and the realignment of the gondola to better improve guest spacing and flow.
New this winter, Winter Park Resort will offer sunset guided skiing and snowboarding experiences. Also, the resort and Amtrak plan to resume the Winter Park Express ski train service from Denver Union Station in 2022 after a year hiatus.
I’d say this is a pretty amazing list of what’s new in Colorado for meetings and events! Keep in touch with the latest through Destination Colorado.
Lead Photo: Meow Wolf Denver art by Justin Camilli. Photo courtesy of Kennedy Cottrell/Meow Wolf.
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.