10 Creative Meeting Spaces for Rent in Colorado
By Beth Buehler
Many recent industry surveys confirm that attendees are seeking distinct local experiences and creative meeting spaces when taking part in meetings and events. As a result, planners are sourcing venues that help deliver that unique destination feel.
To help get the ball rolling, we came up with a list of 10 creative meeting spaces for rent in Colorado through Destination Colorado Meetings members, which are part of the organization’s simple online RFP process. Another good way to find artsy venues is working with representatives from destination marketing organizations and destination management companies that have the inside scoop.
Artsy Hotels & Resorts
In the early 1950s, Walter Paepcke, the founder of the Aspen Institute, commissioned the renowned Bauhaus architect and artist Herbert Bayer to transform Aspen farmland into the 40-acre Aspen Meadows Resort. Bayer studied and taught at the Bauhaus, an art school that was radical in its uniting of art, craft and technology in the years following World War I.
Describing Aspen Meadows as a “total work of art,” Bayer wove outdoor walkways through the landscape architecture to remind visitors of their relationship with nature, mind and body, which became known as the Aspen Idea. The grounds are rich with Bauhaus architecture and outdoor sculptures, and there is also an extensive collection of art found inside every building, meeting space, and the 98 newly renovated guest suites.
Upon stepping into the lobby of Beaver Creek Lodge, an all-suite property located in Beaver Creek, guests are surrounded by art. One of my favorite spaces in this Kessler Collection property is the Art Gallery that can hold 70 seated for dinner and 120 for receptions.
Hang out by the fireplace, settle into a cozy workspace or get lost in the stories behind the artwork that is available for sale and refreshed regularly. Even the outdoor patio of Alpine + Antlers restaurant has a large sculpture.
In Fort Collins, The Elizabeth Hotel is a music-themed property with 164 guest rooms with record players, about 10,000 square feet of meeting and event space, a lending library of vinyl records and musical instruments, and The Magic Rat for live music. The Magic Rat is adjacent to Fireside Alley, which can be activated for large outdoor gatherings.
Many people learn how to expand their creativity at school, and two significant reuses of educational buildings in Denver and Georgetown allow attendees to channel their inner student. The Slate Denver, a hotel located across the street from the Colorado Convention Center, started out in 1926 as the Emily Griffith Opportunity School, one of the first trade schools in the country. The Slate Denver’s design is inspired by these educational roots, from the typewriter artwork and original school staircases and hallways to the school-themed meeting rooms and restaurant and bar. Connect in gathering spaces like Assembly, 1916 Boardroom, Library, Study Hall, and Teachers’ Lounge Food + Drink.
Workspace at the Old School is located inside the Georgetown Heritage Center, which previously was an 1874 school in what is now the Silver Plume National Historic Landmark District. The conference room hosts up to 12, while a classroom flex-use space can be set up in multiple layouts for a maximum of 40 attendees. The performance hall is an ideal venue for midsize concerts, seminars, lectures, film screenings and meetings. In addition, a pair of former classrooms house coworking space, the first of its type in Georgetown and Clear Creek County.
Try to not feel inspired at Denver Art Museum and you will likely fail! There are 11 indoor spaces and five outdoor spaces that can be booked, bringing architectural interest to any gathering. Plus, groups can enjoy art from a broad collection of over 70,000 objects and access to the museum’s special exhibitions. The recently renovated Gio Ponti-designed Martin Building and distinct Daniel Libeskind-designed Hamilton Building offer options for a variety of occasions, and the new Sie Welcome Center has 50,000 square feet on three levels, including a state-of-the art event hall, Sturm Grand Pavilion.
Also located in the heart of downtown, Denver Performing Arts Center is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit theatre organizations and operates Broadway, Theatre Company, Cabaret, Off-Center, Education, and Theatre for Young Audiences programs. Not only is the DPAC team charged with running an organization that creates, shares, teaches and performs for the community, staff members help groups bring their visions to life in innovative venues such as Seawall Ballroom and the Directors Room.
Benson Sculpture Garden, with 182 sculptures by world-renowned artists and a pavilion that is available for rent, is one of two Sculpture Parks in Loveland that are well-suited for groups. Private tours of Benson Sculpture Garden are available through Loveland High Plains Arts Council. Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra has 82 monumental stone sculptures from Zimbabwean artists and covers 26 acres of natural and landscaped gardens. The park’s Great Lawn can host up to 500 guests.
Blank Spaces & Concert Places
The spacious venues managed by Non Plus Ultra (NPU) are architecturally unique and often historic, essentially showpieces that offer a flair all their own and a blank canvas for creativity. From The Brighton, a 37,000 square foot industrial space with 30-foot ceilings, and The Broadway, a former food hall, to the iconic Sports Castle, groups can transform the locations into the events of their dreams. NPU is constantly growing and changing its portfolio of event locations around Denver and recently added The Arch.
Last holiday season, Non Plus Ultra offered “The Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience” at The Brighton as a turnkey option for corporate buyouts. Attendees were encouraged to appear in their finest clothing, and costumed actors representing British high society greeted guests and interacted during the Regency-era event.
We’re going to count #10 as one because these five concert and special event venues in the Denver metropolitan area fall under the AEG Presents umbrella. Two former Denver vaudeville theaters—Bluebird Theater built in 1913 and The Ogden Theatre that opened in 1918—are fully renovated but have kept their charm along with the art deco-influenced Gothic Theatre in Englewood built in the 1920s. The 60,000 square-foot Mission Ballroom is newer on the scene, opening in 2019 as a concert facility and event space at the north-end of the RiNo Art District. Or head outdoors to Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre in Greenwood Village with 7,000 seats, a lawn that holds up to 10,000, and multiple other spaces that can accommodate groups.
Consider where the gathering you are at planning will best fit and how attendees will respond. Are they more of a fine art crew or a team that likes concert vibes? With this list of 10 creative meeting spaces for rent in Colorado and a few bonus options, you are sure to find a great fit!
Top Photo: Western American Art Galleries, courtesy Denver Art Museum/James Florio Photography
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.