By Beth Buehler
Colorado is a state that takes wellness seriously. Late last year, the Centennial State was ranked the nation’s eighth healthiest state in an annual review by United Health Foundation, coming out on top for the lowest percentage of obese adults and adults who have not participated in physical activity in the past 30 days. With so many great options in Colorado, taking care of a meeting and event attendee’s spirit, mind and body is a breeze.
- Network while exercising – At two conferences that I regularly attend, I appreciate starting off the day exercising with others. Not only does it feel good, you connect with others and share a common interest. At the Colorado Governor’s Tourism Conference last fall, Outside Magazine sponsored a one-hour crossfit session that took place at 7 a.m. on The Westin Westminster’s lawn. I also like how Camp Experience, an annual gathering of women, schedules things like optional yoga, zumba, belly dancing and photo hikes before educational sessions and keynotes get underway. Madeline Hotel and Residences Telluride has added a new yoga and pilates facility offering daily and private instruction, making it easy for groups to offer these activities, and yoga studios like Sanctuary Studio in Gunnison bring classes to groups.
- Relax at the spa – When meeting costs became highly scrutinized with the downturn of the economy in late 2008, things like spa activities and golf were put under the magnifying glass. Thankfully, groups are embracing these activities again. What I like about spa options is that anyone can participate, no matter what the fitness level. Some ideas are a session to make spa products like bath salts or hand scrub, chair massages offered by a sponsor in the middle of the trade show floor next to a smoothie station, or a full-blown spa afternoon as part of an incentive trip. The Country Club of Colorado at Cheyenne Mountain Resort is opening a brand new, 5,000-square-foot spa in mid-2015, and some resorts pair spa services with other wellness offerings. St. Regis Aspen has a Mountain Top Reboot program that includes a customized facial at Remède Spa, private consultation with the resort’s nutritionist and personal trainer, private cooking class with the resort’s executive chef, and guided snowshoe hike with a naturalist.
- Get outdoors – Have you ever sat in a conference looking out the large windows wondering if you can sneak in a little outdoor time in a beautiful destination? Why keep attendees’ minds wandering and instead build opportunities into the itinerary or as pre- and post-options. There is a beautiful golf course just down the street from the hotels located at the base of Beaver Creek Resort ski area and right outside the door at The Inverness Hotel & Conference Center in Englewood and The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. In towns like Vail, Aspen and Boulder, hiking and biking trails are typically only steps away. This is only the tip of the iceberg.
When attendees feel good, they plug into meetings better and will remember their Colorado meeting experience for years to come. Time to get on the wellness wagon!