By Beth Buehler
Telluride and Mountain Village in southwest Colorado provide an ideal opportunity to gather in a place known for natural beauty, outdoor recreation, historic charm and attractive venues galore.
Centrally located in Mountain Village, the 22,000-square-foot Telluride Conference Center is at the heart of all larger meetings in the region and provides convenient access to hotels, additional meeting spaces and venues, and a wide variety of restaurants and shops. Local artisans and designers collaborated to add elegant interior finishes such as imported white oak floors, sculpted steel handrails, wrought iron sconces, Southwestern furniture and original artwork. Plus, there is an additional 55,000 square feet of adjacent outdoor space in Conference Center Plaza.
Club RED is Telluride’s newest music venue and located within the Telluride Conference Center. Decorated with plush lounge décor and soft ambient lighting, the venue can host up to 400 and feels like the speakeasies of old or a jazz club.
Nearby, with the plaza and ice rink (convertible into event space in the summer and fall) just outside, is Madeline Hotel & Residences.
The property features versatile gathering spaces including a large ballroom, meeting rooms, Black Iron Restaurant and M Lounge, where a private dining room is available. With 93 guest rooms and suites, Madeline Hotel is a perfect place for moderately-sized meetings, retreats and conferences and can be paired with the Telluride Conference Center.
For an even larger conference capability, utilize these two properties with The Peaks Resort & Spa acquired by Telluride Ski & Golf not that long ago. All are only steps from the ski slopes and summer activities at Telluride Ski Resort and the free, scenic gondola that allows groups, leisure travelers and locals to travel easily between Mountain Village and historic downtown Telluride in a fun way.
Another approach to expand lodging options is to tap Alpine Lodging Telluride’s 300-plus properties, with three in particular best suited to host groups: Bear Creek Lodge, Hotel Columbia and Mountainside Inn. Bear Creek Lodge is tucked in a pine grove and has beautiful peak views. Rooms range from hotel rooms to four-bedroom condominiums. A amenities include a large great room, small conference room, commercial grill, fire pit, heated pool and hot tubs.
The 21-room Hotel Columbia is a boutique hotel located steps from the gondola in the heart of Telluride. Rooms range from studio-style king guest rooms to a large three-bedroom penthouse suite. A top-rated Telluride restaurant, COSMOpolitan, is located on the first floor of the hotel and has a wine cellar meeting and event room located on the lower level.
The 80 available rooms at Mountainside Inn range from hotel rooms to a three-bedroom unit, some of which come with kitchenettes. Grills, parking and a hot tub are among the perks.
There are loads of other great options for venues that will keep attendees happy, like Ah Haa School for the Arts located in Telluride’s turn-of-the-century train depot. Allred’s Restaurant, situated at the gondola’s mid-station between Telluride and Mountain Village, serves up tasty steaks, seafood, ribs, chops, salads, sides, appetizers and signature cocktails and has a large private space with floor-to-ceiling windows that is divine.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Sheridan Opera House was built in 1913 as a vaudeville theater and cultural center that attracted variety shows, orchestras and touring theater companies. The first floor includes a box office lobby that leads into the recently remodeled SHOW Bar. The theater on the second and third floors can host up to 265. With the seats removed, the main theater floor accommodates groups of 190 standing and 80 to 100 seated for dinner.
Telluride’s other performing arts venue is of a much newer vintage and was built through a public-private partnership between the Telluride R-1 School District and the Telluride community. The 650-seat Michael D. Palm Theatre encompasses 30,000 square feet and is the venue for Telluride Film Festival, Mountain Film, Telluride Jazz Celebration, Telluride Chamber Music and several other community events and performances.
Check out the options for holding your destination meeting in Telluride for an authentic Colorado experience that your group is sure to enjoy!
Beth Buehler is editor of Colorado Meetings + Events and Mountain Meetings magazines, has planned numerous meetings and events and enjoys exploring Colorado.