Destination for Meetings and Events: Snowmass, Colorado

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Snowmass Meeting Facilities

By Beth Buehler

With more than 70,000 square feet of Snowmass meeting facilities and a 3,332-acre ski resort with a big roster of year-round mountain activities, Snowmass serves as an inspirational backdrop for numerous memorable gatherings annually. From a high-tech ballroom for live-stream and in-person meeting combinations to on-mountain team-building, Snowmass can accommodate groups of many sizes in its 32 lodging properties, including great options like Destination Residences Snowmass, Limelight Hotel Aspen, The Westin Snowmass Resort, and Viceroy Snowmass.

Snowmass at dusk. Photo by Jeremy Swanson.

Wide Range of Fun, Easy Access

Plus, the base village has all sorts of options for dining, shopping, and even a bowling alley, ice rink and five-story climbing wall (Colorado’s tallest) that runs up the front of the Limelight for after-meeting fun! Whether it’s an educational conference, incentive travel or a corporate event, Snowmass has the facilities, action and ease of access for driving or flying into Aspen/Pitkin County Airport.

Destination Colorado caught up with Jim O’Leary, national sales manager for Snowmass Tourism, and Danielle McNair, director of national accounts for Viceroy Snowmass, during the organization’s 2020 Customer Appreciation Event held in nearby Aspen to talk about Snowmass meeting facilities.

Curling on the Snowmass Base Village ice rink with the climbing wall behind. Photo by Tamara Susa.
The Breathtaker Alpine Coaster provides fun in all seasons. Photo by Dan Bayer.

Adjusting for the COVID-19 Era

Being nimble and open for in-person events this winter means being thoughtful and strategic to ensure attendees’ safety and comfort level with meeting and providing time to be outdoors.

“We have a few different components of how we are going to adapt this winter, varying on if it is an incentive program or if it’s one of our continuing medical education programs,” McNair says. “For continuing medical education, we are going to utilize both of our ballrooms and live stream as well as create some safety precautions for our registration desk by adding some additional plexiglass. For outdoor spaces, we are doing some additional tenting by the pool to create more of an après environment, where people can go indoors and out for the entire winter season.”

Snowshoeing is a great way to get outdoors in Snowmass. Photo courtesy of Snowmass Tourism.

Great Tastes in New Ways

“From the town’s perspective, we are in alignment with Aspen Skiing Company, so obviously that means maximizing outdoor spaces with the ski season. With the ski company, we’re doing glamping and tenting to maximize the restaurant space,” O’Leary notes. “We’re also going to set up some outside perimeters, extending them so everybody can enjoy food and beverage outdoors.”

Due to more limited indoor seating than normal at on-mountain restaurants this ski season, hotels are looking at what they can do to enhance culinary experiences available. “Although we might not have our traditional buffets and cafeterias on-mountain, what we are going to do is have an option to add food and beverage into your hotel,” McNair says. “My hotel is residences, so guests can come in and order food trays and breakfast items. For our meetings we will have to-go box lunches and breakfast items … with 98 percent of our properties in Snowmass being on-mountain you can literally ski back for lunch. All of our properties are going to enhance that food and beverage experience.”

Thoughtful Planning for Winter

Snowmass Tourism surveyed its stakeholders, hotels and restaurants to gather ideas for this winter. “We’re hoping for a really good ski season; the numbers are good right now. It’s one of those things you can do; the nature of skiing is being outdoors,” O’Leary emphasizes.

McNair agrees, “Skiing involves gloves, masks and wide-open spaces. We’ve got you covered!”

 

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.

Lead Photo by Jeremy Swanson