With over 78 million Google search results trying to lure you to their meeting destinations and conference facilities, who has enough time to research the perfect fit? Let me shorten your search efforts to one word, Colorado.
Every destination meeting and event planner has a budget to meet. When you need to appease various tiers of price-sensitivity, have reliable transportation options, convenient restaurants, and a variety of indoor and outdoor all-season activities, Colorado is the hidden gem.
If you’re coming from out-of-state, traveling to Colorado through Denver is simple. DIA is one of the easiest airports in the world to navigate. Denver International Airport (DEN) is the hub for United, Frontier, and Southwest Airlines which may account for its fares dropping 42% over the last ten years compared to other large city destinations. Additionally, visitors landing in Denver can be taken directly downtown via its new “Train to the Plane” light rail for a mere $9 each way. Once you and your guests arrive downtown, you will have no trouble getting around courtesy of the city’s abundance of transportation options. It’s no wonder Denver has been given the #1 ranking for public transportation investment, ridership, and safety in recent years. Add to this it’s incredible walkability to restaurants, sports arenas, boutiques, brew pubs, and performing art centers, and you and your guests will surely want to extend your trip to take advantage of all Denver and its surrounding areas have to offer.
Whether you’re planning a meeting in Denver or one of Colorado’s beautiful destination resorts such as Aspen, Vail, or Durango, you will not run dry of appropriate meeting venues for your group. One of the keys to Colorado’s versatility is that it can accommodate any group capacity from a small corporate retreat to an international tradeshow. You are sure to find the appropriate venue to cater to the individual size and preferences of your group.
If finding appropriate accommodations for your meeting has been a struggle in the past, you can rest assured that Colorado can support your group. Metro Denver boasts more than 45,000 hotel rooms, 10,000 of which are within walking distance of the Colorado Convention Center. If seeking resort-style accommodations with championship golf courses and spa packages are your inclinations, then you’re in luck. A short drive from Boulder or Denver will provide you with luxurious rooms and mountain views provided by Westin Westminster, Omni Resort, and the Inverness Hotel to name a few.
When it comes to dining, Colorado has no shortage of locally-coveted homegrown restaurants to high-end celebrity chef establishments. You will find award-winning wine lists, farm-to-table menus, and renown steak houses and and international cuisine which bolster the already diverse and modern food scene. Colorado is also home to 4 of the top 50 brewing companies nationwide with over 161 microbreweries.
As you imbibe and assimilate the flavors of hand-crafted cuisine and local atmosphere, you and your guests will want to make plans to experience the multitude of day trips and natural attractions Colorado has to offer.
Half of Colorado is public land and is home to 24 national parks and forests. For this reason, there is no such thing as an off-season for visitors. During the winter months, you can enjoy top-rated ski resorts such as Vail, Breckenridge, and Winter Park Resort just an hour away from Denver. During the Summer months, you can put to use your best photography skills to capture unforgettable mountain views, waterfalls, and wildlife (and the occasional selfie). Some local favorites include hiking in the central Colorado Front Range (the southern portion of the Rocky Mountains) which include Boulder Mountain Park and Golden Gate Canyon State Park. To experience stunning sunsets, pristine lakes, and scenic walks and hiking trails check out Estes Park nestled in the Rocky Mountain National Park.
For those more musically attuned, Colorado is home to the only naturally-occurring, perfectly-acoustic geologic amphitheater called Red Rocks. It sits at 6,450 feet above sea level and was once named among the Seven Wonders of the World. Where Carnegie Hall may be the epitome for musical artists West of the Mississippi, Red Rocks could be considered the pillar of achievement East of the Mississippi. You name the band; chances are they have played there. With Red Rocks being only 15 miles from Denver, you don’t want to miss visiting this incredible natural phenomenon.
If you’re looking to extend your trip beyond the Denver area, consider the Western Slope. Home to the resort towns of Telluride and Silverton, there are plenty of activities for the cold- and hot-blooded alike. Telluride is mostly known for its incredible alpine skiing and its scenic gondolas. If your meeting takes place during the summer months, you’ll find everything from expertly landscaped golf courses to rock climbing, to horseback riding, to paragliding. Your kiddos will certainly enjoy inner tubing down the river, swimming pools, and playing at the Gravity Play Fun Center where they can test their skills on the ropes course, go water walking or try their hand at bungee trampolines.
Considering the ease of transportation to Denver, its vast meeting space options, convenient accommodations, award-winning restaurants, top-rated resorts, and year-round activities, planning your next destination meeting to Colorado will become an annual destination for both your organization and your family.