Rocky Mountain Resorts - A Successful Meetings Destination - 2006-10-20

Successful Meetings SEPTEMBER 2006 It's crazy, but anywhere else except the Rocky Mountains, the gorgeous summer would be its high season. Instead, the resorts of Colorado, Utah, and Idaho provide a wealth of activities, such as hiking, mountain biking, sailing, and off-road Hummer tours (for starters) that appeal to attendees of every shape and athletic ability-for surprisingly little. Come the wintertime is when the excellent snow cover seals the deal for incentive groups with avid skiers and snowboarders.

Essential Tool Box
For Info:
Colorado Springs CVB
Destination Colorado
Park City CVB
St. George Area CVB
Utah Valley CVB
Idaho Travel Council
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The Big News
The development of "village" complexes, fueled by a strong condo market, ensures a diversity of activities and amenities for groups. But as the desirability of the Rocky Mountain region as a getaway destination grows, and brands like Four Seasons, St. Regis, and Ritz-Carlton proliferate, the price point may also do an alpine climb.

Also, due to demand and to increasingly warm summer seasons, resorts are installing air conditioning systems.

Facilities Update
COLORADO Aspen The Aspen Group Sales Alliance launched, a new community-based website, in Jan that targets business incentive groups and corporate and association meeting planners. n The 124-room Gant is in the midst of a $5.7-million beautification project comprising landscaping, a pool area renovation (including a formal outdoor dinning terrace and a lava rock fire pit), and a refurbishing of meeting rooms, conference center, and public areas, to be completed Jun 2007.

* In Apr, the 92-room Hotel Jerome will close, reopening in Dec following a $40-million renovation. Beaver Creek The 60-room Pines Lodge, A RockResort completed a $740,000 pool renovation in Jul.

* The 190-room Park Hyatt Beaver Creek will undergo a $20-million improvement plan that will include adding air conditioning to all guest rooms, the renovation of Allegria Spa, refurbish 20,000 sf of meeting and public areas, and more.

Glenwood Springs This month, the 130-room Hotel Colorado completes a $2-million renovation of its lobby and restaurant.

Snowmass Village The 92-room Stonebridge Inn is currently undergoing a $900,000 improvement that includes the construction of a new adjoining conference facility, as well a deck for the restaurant and a new exercise facility. The project, which is expected to be completed in Oct, is part of a $2-million renovation that included all guest rooms and installed Wi-Fi throughout the property.

* The 52-unit Laurelwood Condos is expected to complete a $1.5-million renovation that will add hot tubs, new patios, and exterior railings and furnishings by Nov.

* Telluride The 138-room Mountain Lodge recently completed a $315,000 renovation that refurbished soft goods and added Wi-Fi to the main lodge area.

* A $200-million St. Regis is currently under construction in the Mountain Village Center.

* The 174-room Peaks Resort & Golden Door Spa is undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation that will include the redesign of guest rooms, public areas, and the spa, and add a signature restaurant.

Vail The 100-room Vail Plaza Hotel and Club is expected to open this winter with 38 fractional-ownership units, two Italian-themed restaurants, and a spa.

* The 120-room Four Seasons, which includes more than 11,000 sf of meeting space, a grand ballroom, a spa, and a restaurant, is expected to be completed in 2008.

* The 107-condo Ritz-Carlton Residences project is expected to begin April 2007. n The 346-room Vail Marriott Mountain Resort & Spa is undergoing a $2.5-million renovation of its 8,300-sf ballroom.

* Construction on the Solaris at the Crossroads, which will have 69 condos, a 10-lane bowling alley, a three-screen movie theater, a public plaza/ice rink, stores, and restaurants, is supposed to start mid-2007.

IDAHO Donnelly In Jul, the former 14-room Members' Lodge & Spa was renamed The Lodge at Osprey Meadows. The 89,000-sf property, which overlooks the Robert Trent Jones, Jr.-designed Osprey Meadows Golf Course, features a spa, a fine-dining restaurant, pools, and a fitness facility.

McCall In 2002, the Whitetail Club & Resort completed a $25-million renovation that converted 116 rooms into 77 suites and added a two-level pavilion, two restaurants, a bar adjacent to the lobby; a sandy beach on Payette Lake; a swimming pool; and a 45-seat movie theater.

UTAH Park City The 199-room Park City Marriott has undergone a remodeling that added a VIP concierge lounge, updated all common areas (and the bedding package in the guest rooms), and renovated the facility's 9,822 sf of meeting space.

* The Cottages at Hotel Park City are slated to open this month, featuring 12 executive suites and 14 two-bedroom cottages, all with private decks and hot tubs. All the cottages reside on the Park City Municipal Golf Course, allowing guests of the 56-suite Hotel Park City to book through the concierge for tee times up to one year in advance.
Snowbird A new 12-foot high, 10-foot wide, 600-foot tunnel (a U.S. first) houses a conveyor lift that will transport skiers and riders from Peruvian Gulch to intermediate terrain in Mineral Basin in four minutes. The new tunnel provides an efficient way to reach Hidden Peak without the use of the tram.

* The 500-room Cliff Lodge just completed a $5.6-million renovation, featuring upgraded lodging rooms with flat-screen TVs.

Groups Should Consider
these recommendations from Successful Meetings' Home Team* experts. Top choices in Colorado include the 127-room Sonnenalp Resort and the 237-room Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch (Vail area); the 92-room Hotel Jerome, the 92-room Little Nell, the 179-room St. Regis (Aspen); the 260-room Silvertree (Snowmass). In Utah, top choices are the 505-room Snowbird Resort.

*Home Team contributors who informed this section include Daniel W. Krueger, Ph.D; Gloria Nelson, CSEP; Anne M. Picillo, CMP. Contact them at [email protected]

On Site: Midway, UT
Midway to Switzerland

Set in a mountain-ringed valley that was settled by Swiss dairy farmers in the 1800s, the Zermatt Resort and Spa displays its alpine heritage at every turn. There are 226 alpine-themed rooms and suites, and 126 villas, many with fireplaces and jetted tubs. Massive, intricately carved credenzas, mirrors with hand-painted flowers on the frames, and medieval halyards and other knightly weaponry from Switzerland, Bavaria, and Austria decorate its lobby and meeting room walls.

After 10 years of planning (and three in construction), Zermatt Resort and Spa is IACC-certified; it has 28,000 sf of flexible indoor meeting space, including 23 meeting rooms, each with a ceiling-mounted LCD projector and screen. Up to 500 can be accommodated theater-style in the 2,840-sf Grand Matterhorn ballroom, with a leather ceiling that soaks up noise. Also distinctive is the 585-sf William Tell boardroom-which is lined with rare leather-bound books nearly as old as Tell's 13th-century Swiss legend. An additional 12,800-sf pavilion has warehouse-sized loading bays for extra-large exhibits; it doubles as a covered tennis court when there are no trade shows.

There are 90 holes of golf within 10 minutes, including 18 within walking distance. The 17,000-sf spa specializes in traditional Euro-style treatments. In winter, shuttles whisk skiers to the slopes of Park City, Deer Valley and The Canyons, and Olympic Park, for adrenaline-rush rides down the 2002 Winter Olympic bobsled run, either the shortest or longest 55 seconds of your life.-Evelyn Kanter

10 Great Places for Good in the Rocky Mountains
The restaurants below have group facilities and were selected from the Zagat Survey of Colorado and Utah Rockies. The order was determined by Zagat's food and service ratings of 23 and above and a price of up to $65 per person (without alcohol):
NAME, Location, Type of Food
Flagstaff House, Boulder, American
The Mariposa, Deer Valley, American
Glitretind Restaurant, Deer Valley, American
Grouse Mountain Grill, Beaver Creek, American
Six89 Kitchen & Wine Bar, Carbondale, American
Cliff House, Manitou Springs, American
Wildflower, Vail, American
Grappa, Park City, Italian
Wahso, Park City, Asian Fusion
Syzygy, Aspen, American

For more information on these and other restaurants in the Colorado and Utah Rockies, please click on

On Site: Colorado
My Side of the Mountains

For years, I've heard that the Colorado Rockies are beautiful
in summertime. Following a whirlwind tour of Colorado Springs, Idaho Springs, Georgetown, Winter Park, Copper Mountain, and Vail, I'd have to say, "Well, of course that's true."

My first foray took me from Denver's historic 241-room Brown Palace Hotel to the equally historic 700-room Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, which is the largest meetings property in Colorado Springs and one of the state's top venues. Some of its newest features include an infinity pool (where receptions can be staged) and the 60,000-sf Broadmoor Hall, offered gratis to qualifying groups and featuring the resort's new fine-dining restaurant, Summit.

The next day, I headed out to Vail, where children played in Vail Village's fountain and the smell of French fries with white truffle oil wafted from the newly renovated Sweet Basil restaurant. The once-expected Vail Conference Center will not materialize, but the 100-room Vail Plaza is under way and the New Dawn project is transforming the former Lionshead Village into a new luxury development. I overnighted at the 292-room Vail Cascade (which features 50,000 sf of meeting space, the Aria Spa, and a first-run movie theater) and dined on elk chops at Chaps Chop House.

The third day, I joined Intrawest's tour of Winter Park and Copper Mountain-with brief stops at the quaint towns of Idaho Springs and Georgetown (excellent for tours or off-site events). At Winter Park, meeting facilities consist of the 162-room Winter Park Lodge, the 108-room Iron Horse Resort, and the 118-room Vintage Hotel and Conference Center farther in. Most drive to WP, but visitors can also take the Ski Train from Denver.

Winter Park is in the process of building a modern resort village that will add a brand hotel in 2008. But with two main villages and 68,000 sf of meeting space (including a 15,568-sf conference center), my next stop-Copper Mountain-is a fully realized 830-room resort, complete with two golf courses, including the PGA-rated Raven.

After much hiking, biking (me, third from the left), sailing on Dillon Lake, and gourmet dining, I rode the chairlift to the top of Copper Mountain, spying out the mountain bikers, the hikers, and the golfers below-as well as the site where the first Hard Rock Hotel of the Rockies will debut in 2008. At 10,000 feet, there's no sound unless you make it. What's that called? Oh, yes-peace. -TH

Readers Recommend

Our subscribers gave Pinnacle Awards to the following:

Experience Colorado Springs at Pikes Peak
Denver Metro CVB
The Broadmoor
Vail Cascade Resort & Spa
Cheyenne Mountain Resort

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