By Beth Buehler
Destination Colorado has compiled a handy new list of places to hold conventions and conferences with the help of destination marketing organizations throughout the state. The tricky part about this process is a lot of hotels across the state and country call themselves conference centers, but do they all fit that description? Hard to tell, but this is a good start of a list with some highlights.
While some of these have conference center in their names, I am placing them in this category because they are large facilities specifically built with conventions and large gatherings in mind. There is not lodging attached, but there certainly is lodging nearby. What I love about the two listed under cities is that they are in the heart of downtowns. The mountain convention centers have outstanding outdoor recreation and views right outside the windows and front doors.
Cities – Colorado Convention Center, Denver; Two Rivers Convention Center, Grand Junction; Pueblo Convention Center, Pueblo.
Mountains – Copper Conference Center, Copper Mountain Resort; Estes Park Conference Center, Estes Park; Keystone Conference Center, Keystone Resort; Telluride Conference Center, Telluride.
I am using this term for lodging properties that have serious conference facilities not just a small ballroom, a boardroom and a couple meeting rooms. This is just a sampling of the many, many great options as there are too many to include.
Cities – Cheyenne Mountain Resort, Hotel Elegante Conference & Event Center and The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs; The Plaza Event Center, Longmont; and Embassy Suites Loveland, Loveland. In the Denver metro area there are too many to name but here are a few Crowne Plaza Denver International Airport and the new Hyatt Regency Aurora near the airport; The Inverness Hotel & Conference Center in Englewood; and Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel and Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center.
Mountains – Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, Beaver Creek; Beaver Run Resort & Conference Center, Breckenridge; Lodge at Mountaineer Square/Mountaineer Square Conference Center, Crested Butte; and Vail Cascade, Vail.
Event Centers & Large Facilities
These are ones that don’t seem to fit into the other categories but offer groups unique possibilities, all on Colorado’s Front Range: Island Grove Events Center, Greeley; Budweiser Event Center/The Ranch, Loveland; American Mountaineering Center, Golden; Lincoln Center, Fort Collins; Denver Center for Performing Arts, Denver Mart, National Western Complex, Denver Coliseum and Pepsi Center in Denver.
Colorado is blessed with many great institutions of higher learning, most situated on very picturesque campuses. University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado School of Mines in Golden, and Metro State University of Denver and Denver University in Denver are just a few examples that have conference space to consider.
Beth Buehler is editor of Colorado Meetings + Events and Mountain Meetings magazines, has planned numerous meetings and events and enjoys exploring Colorado in all seasons.