If you close your eyes and imagine "quintessential" Colorado, you likely envision Aspen in winter, complete with snow-packed slopes, frosty pines, roaring fires and chic socialites dressed in designer faux fur for the finest après-ski. But neither Aspen nor winter has a monopoly on the Centennial State. In fact, groups that are interested in a Colorado meeting or incentive should consider an alternative -- and in some respects opposite -- option: summer in Aspen's sister city, Snowmass.
Located just a short drive from Aspen, Snowmass is experiencing something of a renaissance thanks to the Aspen Skiing Co. This winter, the operator of four ski mountains in the Aspen-Snowmass region completed a $600 million expansion of Snowmass Base Village, a 3,300-acre dining and entertainment district that includes slopeside hotels and condos; a new community center with art exhibits and yoga; a public plaza with fire pits, an indoor climbing wall and an ice rink in winter; plus shops and restaurants.
One of the anchors in the revamped Snowmass Base Village is Viceroy Snowmass, which opened in 2009 and has just completed a multimillion-dollar renovation encompassing its outdoor pool and spas, bar, restaurant and lobby, plus a brand-new yoga studio.
The property, which offers over 9,000 square feet of meeting and event space, also is renovating its 150 guest rooms. Scheduled to debut in June, the refreshed accommodations will include new carpeting, wall coverings, furniture, lighting, bedding, décor, bathrooms and artwork.
In addition, this summer the hotel will open a new hike-in/hike-out bar adjacent to its outdoor pool; located directly on the trails of Snowmass, it will offer local beers, craft cocktails, house-made juices, food and outdoor games like cornhole, ping-pong and life-sized Jenga.
"With our premier slopeside location on Snowmass Ski Mountain, it's our goal to make the mountain experience as seamless as possible for our guests," general manager Robert Purdy said in a statement. "Our newly renovated … spaces recapture the beauty of being in the mountains while providing luxury touches our hotel is known for."
To read about four more Colorado ski resorts for summer meetings, visit NorthstarMeetingsGroup.com.