Small Meeting Venues in Colorado
By Beth Buehler
Small meeting venues are in! While large meetings sometimes get all the glory and ink, it’s really small meetings that make up the largest percentage of gatherings. And I think we can all agree that small meetings definitely have become the standouts during COVID-19; it’s been that 50 and under gathering where attendees feel comfortable and that local and state guidelines have consistently allowed. So it seems a perfect time to look at just a sampling of great small meeting venues in Colorado.
Just a quick disclaimer before proceeding. Most of the venues mentioned can certainly host larger groups than this, it’s just that small groups of the size mentioned will feel very comfortable in these places.
Hotels that Impress
Boutique hotels excel in providing one-of-a-kind experiences and The Elizabeth Hotel in Old Town Fort Collins fits this description perfectly. The instrument lending library and vinyl record collection for in-room enjoyment are sure to catch attendees’ attention along with cool spaces for receptions and events like the indoor Magic Rat music venue and The Terrace and Firehouse Alley (adjacent to the hotel) both outdoors. The Walnut Ballroom and Chestnut Room are larger spaces for meetings that can be divided into smaller rooms. Also, three themed accommodations are fun to assign to VIPS including the Music, Beer and Bike, and Rams suites with the last one appropriately named for the local Colorado State University.
Likewise, Halcyon, a Cherry Creek hotel, has a prime location in Denver’s Cherry Creek North district surrounded by amazing shops, restaurants and services. Attendees will notice all the special touches starting out at the Kitchen Counter check-in and being offered a complimentary coffee drink or glass of wine on the spot. During free time, guests can check out all sorts of items from the Gear Garage or relax in the lobby, which feels more like a living room. Halcyon has several meeting spaces on the second floor, ranging from board room to ballroom, and a beautiful rooftop that can be configured for meetings and receptions.
Now let’s head to the mountains for great small meeting venues in Colorado. Limelight Hotel Aspen in downtown Aspen was the first of the three-property Limelight brand that expanded to nearby Snowmass as well as Ketchum, Idaho. I like the overall feel and placement of the Colorado properties, with the huge benefit of accessing all that downtown Aspen offers (including the ability to jump on a gondola for Aspen Mountain) and the fun at Snowmass’s base village. Both properties have meeting and event space and offer great ways to get outdoors, like the ice rink right outside Limelight Hotel Snowmass.
Hyatt Place Keystone also is worthy of a mention for small meetings due to light-filled spaces and terrific proximity to the slopes and outdoor action at Keystone. For the past two years, it’s been a great base camp for a meeting planner and supplier day I’ve been part of that has become known as MIC Ski, held the day after the annual Meetings Industry Council (MIC) of Colorado Educational Conference and Trade Show in Denver.
Clubs & Resorts Offer Prime Spaces
Mt. Vernon Country Club is located only 20 minutes west of Denver in the beautiful Rocky Mountain foothills of Golden. Organizing a strategic planning session, board meeting or retreat? This might be your place with large windows and huge views as the inspiration. Stepping out on a deck for breaks to breathe fresh air and take in the scenery is certain to increase creativity and productivity.
Garden of the Gods Resort & Club in Colorado Springs also is surrounded by truly amazing landscapes and has the added bonus of lodging (guest rooms, suites, casitas and cottages), 27 holes of golf, a spa and salon, fitness center, family recreation center and more. There are seven indoor and six outdoor meeting and event spaces to choose from, so there are plenty of options!
Hot Springs Relaxation
During the pandemic, Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort near Buena Vista has been one of my go-to places for a relaxing overnight getaway. Give attendees the treat of sweet soaks in natural hot springs before and after meetings in the variety of on-site spaces and hold an outdoor reception surrounded by mountains, including several peaks over 14,000 feet in elevation. Lodging is in the form of lodge rooms, suites along a creek, and cabins.
Hotel Colorado is a historic beauty with recently renovated meeting spaces, a lovely outdoor courtyard, and a prime location near downtown and across the street from the largest natural hot springs pool in the world, Glenwood Hot Springs Pool.
This is just a starting point for great small meeting venues in Colorado, but it should give planners a nice start in the search for a perfect location for their groups!
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.
Top image: Part of the Halcyon rooftop. Courtesy of Halcyon, a Cherry Creek hotel.