2016 Destination Colorado Peak Performers

Destination Colorado Recognizes Industry Leaders with Peak Performer of the Year Awards


Ellen Collins, CMP and Devil’s Thumb Ranch Distinguished for Outstanding Contributions

December 12, 2016, Colorado …Destination Colorado, a member-based association that caters to meeting planners and incentive buyers by bringing group business to Colorado, is pleased to announce its Peak Performer of the Year award winners for 2016. Ellen Collins, CMP of Vail Resorts Meetings & Events is recognized as this year’s Individual of the Year, and Devil’s Thumb Ranch is recognized as this year’s Company of the Year. These honors were awarded at Destination Colorado’s Annual Meeting on Dec. 1 at EXDO Event Center in Denver.

Destination Colorado’s Peak Performer of the Year awards are given to members in recognition of their leadership and commitment to promoting the meeting and group industry on behalf of the entire state of Colorado.


Photo (left to right): Evan Casey, Ellen Collins, Kathy Reak and Katri Laurimaa

Destination Colorado is honored to present its 2016 Peak Performer Individual of the Year to Ellen Collins, CMP, Senior Manager of Global Group Sales with Vail Resorts Meetings & Events.

Ellen has been an integral part of many of Destination Colorado’s successes and has supported the association through her involvement at membership meetings, road shows, the Customer Appreciation Event and Front Range Trade Show, and many other Destination Colorado initiatives.

As a Destination Colorado board member since 2011, Collins has contributed significant hours and ideas to the continued growth and improvement of the association and its member benefits to our members. “Ellen is inquisitive, highly creative and very attentive, and she is an outstanding professional role model for both Destination Colorado and the entire meetings industry,” says Destination Colorado Executive Director Janie McCullough.

Collins also has a very compelling and courageous personal story and was willing to share a part of herself at the Destination Colorado Town Hall in November.  “Her presentation was powerful, inspiring and heartfelt, and it taught us all about the recognition and power of gratitude in our daily lives,” McCullough adds.

For 12 years, Ellen Collins, senior manager of global group sales, has been a matchmaker for memorable mountain meetings and events for Vail Resorts, including the company’s mountain, hospitality and retail divisions. She leads a regional sales team in creating personalized experiences and long-lasting relationships across the company’s portfolio of year-round resorts – Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Park City, Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood. Prior to her position with Vail Resorts, Ellen spent nine years with Loews Denver Hotel as director of sales and marketing. Other sales positions have included Loews Anatole Hotel in Dallas and Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts in Boston. Ellen is an active volunteer with organizations such as Food Bank of the Rockies, Project Angel Heart, and Epic Promise, Vail Resorts’ environmental and corporate social responsibility initiative. Additionally, Ellen is a 24-year member of MPI and she served on their board for many years; she has been an active member of Destination Colorado for nearly 20 years and currently serves on the board; she is an active member of RMPCMA and CSAE.


COMPANY OF YEAR: Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa

Photo (left to right): Bob Haddad, Sasha Lawler, Thad Carlson, Darby Kurtz, Kathy Reak and Sharon Freeark

Devil’s Thumb Ranch is a very special resort and venue for meeting and wedding planners, and is truly representative of a unique Colorado experience. The property has been a loyal member of Destination Colorado for many years and actively participates in many events, including the Destination Colorado Front Range Trade Show, membership meetings and road shows throughout the country.

Devil’s Thumb hosted Destination Colorado’s annual Customer Appreciation Event in September 2016.  From the stunningly beautiful location and guestrooms to the food and the team-building activities, it was a very popular Customer Appreciation Event!  “What makes Devil’s Thumb special goes far beyond location and venue,” says McCullough. “The property’s team members and staff are exceptional. They are professional and responsive, and they demonstrate collectiveness with positive attitudes and smiling faces.”

About Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa

Located 65 miles west of Denver at 3530 County Road 83 in Tabernash, Colo., Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa is a year round, eco-friendly and award-winning 6,000-acre guest ranch resort, spa and corporate retreat, with full-service meeting and special event space for 10 to 350 people. The Ranch has been recognized and honored worldwide for its environmentally friendly remodeling and restoration programs, commitment to historic preservation, green meeting facilities, sustainable and locally focused dining and Wine Spectator award-winning wine list.

The Ranch offers secluded cabins with EPA approved low-emission fireplaces and kitchen facilities, two guest lodges, including the newly opened High Lonesome Lodge, two restaurants featuring organic/sustainably focused cuisine, 35 miles of trails for hiking and mountain biking (summer) and 130+ km Nordic trail system for cross country skiing and snowshoeing (winter), a year round professional horsemanship program and stables including Summer Wrangler Camps, trail riding, skill training and feed rides as well as hiking, mountain biking, fly-fishing , zip-lining, stand up paddle boarding, adventure/skill training courses, and a nature-based, 18,000 sq. ft. restorative spa featuring massage, facials, body wraps, soaks and more.   Nearby sister properties also include Vasquez Creek Inn and Trailhead Inn in Winter Park, Colo.  For more information, visit www.devilsthumbranch.com or call 970-726.5632.


Destination Colorado

Meeting planners will find everything they need at www.destinationcolorado.com, Colorado’s only statewide resource for group business. “Like” us on Facebook, follow us on twitter and join our LinkedIn group to stay connected!

Destination Colorado is where group business is done in Colorado! Destination Colorado is a member-based statewide association of more than 120 companies targeting meeting planners and incentive buyers. Destination Colorado’s members include bureaus, hotels, resorts, destination management companies, activity companies, ground transportation companies and other meeting services. Destination Colorado’s members are located throughout the entire state, stretching from Colorado Springs to Greeley and from Gateway to Denver. We are Colorado’s statewide meetings resource.

Janie McCullough – janie.mccullough@destinationcolorado.com
Website: www.destinationcolorado.com