By Beth Buehler
New situations often inspire creative solutions. Such is the case as Copper Mountain helps groups continue meeting during the era of COVID-19 and offers an impressive range of outdoor spaces and activities to enjoy.
“Copper hosted a religious family group from Oklahoma with 175 guests. Due to attendance caps, the meeting was hosted outside. Thankfully, the weather cooperated for them and they enjoyed the experience so much that they want to move future meetings at Copper outside to enjoy the evening mountain environment,” shares Sales and Services Senior Manager Kyle Peterson. “They had a food and beverage minimum requirement, so we designed family to-go menus for lunch and dinner that attendees were able to pick up at our main conference facility and take back to their condominiums to enjoy.”
Another example found a group of 40 meeting into the Bighorn Ballroom at Copper Mountain’s conference center. Small hand sanitizers were placed at each table and the room was set-up classroom style, with one individual per table and a 6-foot separation between each table.
“During the summer, Copper has wonderful outdoor spaces that enable larger-attendance groups. We encourage audio presentations over visual for this particular scenario and work with Image Audio Visual for any groups that might be interested in conducting a live stream during their meetings,” Peterson says. This enables guests who are comfortable convening to be on-site and gives those who wish to participate but not attend an option as well.
During these crazy times, it’s extra encouraging to hear about key projects moving ahead. At Copper, a new 25,000-square-foot, mid-mountain lodge is replacing Solitude Station and features a full-service casual restaurant and bar/lounge, private dining area, cafeteria options, and 180-degree views of the vast Colorado mountain landscape. The ski resort also is welcoming a new hotel this fall. The 127-room Element 29 is slated to open in October and feature an outdoor patio with fire pits and two hot tubs nestled along West Tenmile Creek. The hotel is part of a $100 million, multi-year transformation underway at the resort.
“Copper Mountain has a lot of versatile meeting locations combined with so many great outdoor activities available during both the summer and winter seasons. Copper is a location for people that wish to escape the city and enjoy the relaxing beauty of a mountain setting,” Peterson notes. “Our main conference facility is ski-in, ski-out. For those groups that enjoy an activity break during the middle of the day, you can’t make it any easier than to walk out the door, grab your skis and go!”
The 16,000-square-foot conference center proved ideal for a retreat that I attended for several years and attracted around 200 women each fall. The large windows in the lobby were ideal for networking, booths, receptions and more, and I loved being able to step outside during breaks to visit with other attendees, take a quick hike, and quickly go back to my room. In total, Copper Mountain has 24 meeting spaces around the resort, along with four spectacular wedding ceremony settings.
In terms of logistics, it’s helpful to understand that Copper Mountain is located 75 miles west of Denver and is made up of three pedestrian-friendly villages with lodging in the form of condominiums and the new hotel. All accommodations are situated just steps away from chairlifts, restaurants, retail shops, activities, nightlife and gathering spaces.
One of the most unique team-building options is the year-round Woodward Copper, an indoor training facility with skate parks, Olympic-grade trampolines, foam pit jumps, indoor ski and snowboard training, and more. Professional staff can help groups identify and achieve goals and create memorable moments in this world-class facility.
For something a little more familiar, schedule an outing on the highest golf course in North America located right at the resort. Each summer and fall, the mountain also transforms into an unspoiled wonderland for hikers and mountain bikers. Plus, attendees can savor scenic chairlift rides, outdoor yoga, bumper boats on West Lake and a fairly new alpine coaster, which is one of North America’s longest measuring in at 5,800 feet of track and is open in summer and winter!
During winter months, Copper’s naturally divided terrain also offers world-class skiing and riding for all ages and abilities (including free mountain tours with Copper ambassadors and Ski with a Ranger to learn about the natural and cultural history of the National Forest). And don’t forget about the ice skating, tubing and free snowshoe tours.
In addition to Copper Mountain being a great destination for meetings and events, Colorado as a state offers a broad range of opportunities for groups. And Destination Colorado is dedicated to helping planners find just the right fit for their gatherings!
Photos: Courtesy of Copper Mountain.
Beth Buehler has been editor of Colorado Meetings + Events magazine for 15 years and helped launch Mountain Meetings magazine in 2013. She has planned numerous meetings and events and enjoys exploring Colorado.