. Colorado Ups Its Meetings Game | Successful Meetings

Colorado Ups Its Meetings Game

Stunning scenery and expanding group offerings make the Centennial State a winner

Stanley Hotel Estes Park

Colorado is a state of hard-to-beat natural beauty as well as constantly evolving offerings for groups. Both those attractions can be seen at The Broadmoor, a luxury resort in Colorado Springs. The property recently reopened its Broadmoor Soaring Adventure, offering 1,800-foot-high zipline courses through the stunning Seven Falls box canyon and surrounding Pikes Peak Wilderness.

In September, the new course was enjoyed by a meeting group of 50 from the insurance/financial sector, who tried out the zipline (as well as the area's hiking, rope bridges, and rappelling offerings) in groups of eight, staggered by 15 minutes. Following Soaring, the group hiked down 224 steps to a waterfall, where they enjoyed cocktails at the property's Restaurant 1858.

The Broadmoor is indicative of Colorado's range of attractions -- breathtaking scenery combined with memorable meeting venues.


Denver Delights
"With a mild climate and 300 days of sunshine, Denver is a great year-round meeting destination, which can come as a surprise to people who think we're covered in snow all winter," says Rachel Benedick, vice president of sales and services at Visit Denver, making the case for why Colorado's capital is a great option for groups.

She cites the city's walkable downtown, "chef-driven dining scene," and active arts and culture offerings -- as well as its top-notch craft breweries -- as examples of how the city also provides no shortage of activities for attendees to enjoy during their off-hours.

In 2016, Denver takes a further step forward by opening a rail connection between the Denver International Airport to the city's renovated Union Station. This summer saw the opening of the ART, a hotel -- a 165-room boutique property with a 50,000-square-foot "Museum Center" on the first three floors. And in 2014 alone, nearly 300 new restaurants opened throughout the city.

The Colorado Convention Center is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year -- with plans on the way for a refresh.

"On the horizon are a proposed quarter-million-square-foot expansion to the Colorado Convention Center, complete with a new outdoor terrace with breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains, and brand-new facilities at the historic National Western Complex," Benedick adds.


Beyond Denver
The state offers plenty of other natural beauty and memorable activities beyond its capital city. Estes Park, about 70 miles north of Denver, offers no shortage of attractions for groups that want to make use of the outdoors in their programs.

"Groups can enjoy a number of truly memorable teambuilding adventures, from ghost hunting lessons and llama backpacking excursions to gorgeous high-altitude hiking and stargazing, all while viewing an abundance of wildlife right outside their door," says Elizabeth Fogarty, president and CEO of Visit Estes Park.

She adds, "Our quaint mountain village is bordered on all sides by protected forestland, including the iconic Rocky Mountain National Park, [which is celebrating its 100th anniversary] providing the perfect backdrop for a gorgeous active mountain escape without resort prices."


Questions or comments? Email [email protected]


This article appears in the October 2015 issue of Successful Meetings.

ESSENTIAL Tool Box
CONVENTION CENTERS & FACILITIES
Colorado Convention Center (774,000 sf)

ROOM TAX 
14.75 percent  
 

READERS RECOMMEND
Pinnacle Awards Go To:
 Visit Denver, The Convention & Visitors Bureau
 Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau
 Beaver Run Resort & Conference Center
 Grand Hyatt Denver
 Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center
 Keystone Resort & Conference Center
 Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel
 The Broadmoor
 The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa


Beyond Denver
The state offers plenty of other natural beauty and memorable activities beyond its capital city. Estes Park, about 70 miles north of Denver, offers no shortage of attractions for groups that want to make use of the outdoors in their programs.

"Groups can enjoy a number of truly memorable teambuilding adventures, from ghost hunting lessons and llama backpacking excursions to gorgeous high-altitude hiking and stargazing, all while viewing an abundance of wildlife right outside their door," says Elizabeth Fogarty, president and CEO of Visit Estes Park.

She adds, "Our quaint mountain village is bordered on all sides by protected forestland, including the iconic Rocky Mountain National Park, [which is celebrating its 100th anniversary] providing the perfect backdrop for a gorgeous active mountain escape without resort prices."


Questions or comments? Email [email protected]


This article appears in the October 2015 issue of Successful Meetings.