Boulder Event Spaces
By Beth Buehler
Boulder event spaces have the good fortune of having a trifecta of key assets for groups: a college town vibe, a location at the base of the beautiful Flatirons, and an outdoorsy and eco-conscious state of mind. With good humor, the town proudly embraces the moniker “The Republic of Boulder,” earned along the way as a nod to the community’s independent spirit that is willing to buck the norm.
What does this all mean for groups? It translates into distinctly Boulder event spaces with boutique lodging and vibrant pedestrian friendly spaces like Pearl Street Mall and the University of Colorado campus. Also, there is a wide selection of interesting local speakers and memorable experiences like a bike-and-brew tour or a hike into the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
The community is only about 45 miles from Denver International Airport, making it easy to access for attendees flying in from around North America and beyond. Groups of up to 300 will find a wide range of Boulder event spaces to book, more than 2,000 guest rooms for comfortable overnight stays, and helpful assistance from the staff at Visit Boulder, The Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Examples of Prime Gathering Spaces
Two historic properties offer loads of charm and memorable indoor and outdoor meeting and event space: The Colorado Chautauqua and Hotel Boulderado.
The Colorado Chautauqua, an 1898 National Historic Landmark, is the only continuously operating Chautauqua west of the Mississippi River. The property’s Boulder event spaces range from two early 20th century lodges (Missions House Lodge and the Mary H. Galey Cottage) to the 1918 Grand Assembly Hall that was restored in 2022. There also is a picnic shelter adjacent to one of Boulder’s most popular trails as the property is located right by the Flatirons. Accommodations are in the form of lodges and nearly 60 cottages, and there are numerous on-site activities to tap into like history tours, yoga and cultural happenings.
For groups that want to be in the thick of action and only a short walk to the pedestrian Pearl Street Mall downtown, head to Hotel Boulderado that welcomed its first guests on Jan. 1, 1909. Upon stepping in the lobby, the mosaic-tiled floor, original Otis elevator, grand wood staircase, and stained glass ceiling provide ambiance amongst modern amenities like comfortable lounging areas and modern eateries.
With 160 guestrooms, suites and over 10,000 square feet of meeting and event space, it’s one of Boulder’s prime places for groups to book. In addition to a handful of gathering spaces in the historic side of the hotel, there is an event center with attached courtyard that allows Hotel Boulderado to host up to 300 people. A fun place to host a reception and enjoy specialty cocktails is License No. 1, a 1920s inspired speakeasy style bar or book the private dining room and patio at Spruce Farm & Fish.
University of Colorado Boulder also has a rich history and important place in the town’s distinct presence. It’s hard to miss campus buildings that are carefully crafted from sandstone and red tile roofs and beautiful Folsom Field, where you might catch a glimpse of Ralphie the buffalo at home football games for the CU Buffs football team. University of Colorado Conference Services stands ready to welcome groups of all sizes, manages of a wide range of Boulder event spaces on campus, and can assist planners with catering, lodging, audiovisual, recreation and sustainability options.
Boulder also has a nice variety of name brand and boutique hotels that combine lodging and gathering space in style. One of the newer options is the 50-room Basecamp Boulder Hotel, sporting a camp-inspired theme that is sure to inspire creativity and is ideal for more laidback meetings. The Rec Room can host up to 100 and has two garage doors to bring fresh air in and a bouldering wall.
A dynamic culinary scene has earned Boulder the title of America’s Foodiest Town from Bon Appétit magazine. There are dozens of great restaurants—many with outdoor patios and private dining spaces—in the Pearl Street Mall area and various locations around town. This translates into incredible meals and delectable happy hours with craft cocktails and local brews on the menu. The brewery, distillery and winery scene is worth checking out or dive into the intricacies and beauty of tea at the headquarters of Celestial Seasonings or Dushanbe Tea House, a gift of Boulder’s sister city Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
For the adventurous members of your team, consider a breakfast and hot-air balloon flight combination or head out for a day of snowboarding and skiing at Eldora Mountain Resort in Nederland, a charming historic community a 30-minute drive up Boulder Canyon.
There also are museums, art galleries and a vibrant farmers market to explore in Boulder. Signature community events to plug into if your timing is right include Boulder Creek Festival, Arts in the Park, Colorado Music Festival, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Bands on the Bricks, Boulder Fall Fest, and Lights of December Parade.
The wide array of Boulder event spaces make the community a planner’s dream, but the local vibe, natural beauty and broad selection of things to do during breaks on a meeting agenda are the icing on the cake.
Top Photo: Pearl Street Mall, courtesy Visit Boulder
Colorado native Beth Buehler has been editor of Colorado Meetings + Events magazine for 18 years, helped launch Mountain Meetings magazine, and is on the team introducing Southwest Meetings + Events this summer. She has planned numerous meetings and events and enjoys exploring Colorado.