By Beth Buehler
Staying at a hotel or resort at a Colorado ski resort is like unpacking your bags at a property with the beach right out the back door. It’s awe-inspiring, convenient and usually involves a whole host of amenities like an enviable array of meeting and event space, outstanding spas, and the all-important ski and bike valets to help store gear.
Erase the thought that slopeside hotels are only for winter gatherings as today’s ski resorts are year-round wonderlands. When summer and fall hit, all the glorious terrain that people cruise around on skis and snowboards transforms into mountain biking and hiking trails, disc golf courses, zipline tours, alpine coasters, golf courses and more. Tented spaces and amphitheatres for concerts, wedding ceremonies and outdoor sessions expand the options for gatherings, all with the scent of pine, a colorful palette of wildflowers or fall foliage, and peaks galore as Mother Nature’s built-in backdrop.
Here are just a few reasons why business and social groups should consider slopeside hotels.
Breaks can be spent outside – Fun is only steps away, making it easy to take a few hours or an afternoon off from meetings for team-building or just to play. Instead of staying inside for 30 minutes of networking or a cocktail party before dinner, head out to a terrace to enjoy the sunshine or alpenglow. Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa in Beaver Creek and Elevation Hotel and Spa in Mt. Crested Butte are just a few examples of properties with nice patios with fire pits.
Outrageous scenery – When there is so much beauty outside, who wants to be closed up in rooms without windows. At the Colorado Governor’s Conference on Tourism last fall in Breckenridge, attendees were treated to a moose walking by while attending breakout sessions at Beaver Run Resort and Conference Center along with the hotel’s beaver mascot dancing among the autumn leaves on another day. Devil’s Thumb Ranch (slopeside to numerous cross-country skiing trails) in Grand County and Viceroy Snowmass also knock it out of the ball park with views from spaces where groups can gather.
Activities made easy – It bears repeating that having slopes, trails, concerts, festivals and all sorts of activities right outside the back door is incredibly helpful when entertaining a group. The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch in Beaver Creek, The Westin Snowmass Resort and Inn at Aspen are among the Colorado properties with enviable locations.
Spas, transportation & more – After sitting in meetings and getting outdoors, it is hard to beat some time soaking in a hot tub or indulging in a spa treatment, features of most slopeside hotels. Another handy feature is transportation for guests into town for shopping, dining and attractions and sometimes to the airport as well. Slopeside hotels also have their own unique touches such as friendly St. Bernard ambassadors at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch.
Lodge feel – Whether it’s a classic ski lodge feel or more toward modern mountain décor, it just feels good and relaxing to be in Colorado’s mountain hotels, many with comfy furniture and guest rooms and a fire adding atmosphere to a lobby, restaurant, lounge or patio.
This is only the tip of the snowcapped mountain peak for why to consider these or other Colorado slopeside hotels for your next meeting or event. Attendees will depart wishing they had just a few more days to meet and play in the mountains. All this and your mountain meeting might even come in way under budget, too, due to off season rates!
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.