By Eric Lund
Estes Park is a unique mountain destination in Colorado because the fall, winter and spring seasons are the best times to book group events, as those are the shoulder or off-seasons. It is opposite from Colorado’s ski resort destinations’ busy season, which many times is winter. Meeting planners can save around $100 per room per day and negotiate great deals for group events in Estes Park during shoulder seasons.
For meeting planners, October through May offers the best opportunities for lower pricing in Estes Park. There are more than 8,000 rooms in a variety of lodging types such as hotels, lodges and inns. A lot of people don’t realize that Estes Park has many wonderful meeting locations associated with lodging, from a small chalet that can accommodate up to 150 people to large, full-service properties that can hold as many as 2,500 people, such as The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park Resort or YMCA of the Rockies Estes Park Center.
Estes Park even has a 45,000-square-foot Event Center Complex and a 25,000-square-foot conference center adjacent to The Ridgeline Hotel built during the past five years. In total, there are more than 70 meeting locations in Estes Park that can support group events with meeting space and lodging!
Nearby air services at Denver International Airport conveniently ensure that attendees get to Denver on a variety of domestic airlines and then to Estes Park by rental car. There also is shuttle service available year-round through Estes Park Shuttle Service and Estes Park Limousine Service or you can book a variety of very nice private charter buses from Denver.
In addition to great venues, lodging and transportation options, attendees will enjoy viewing the plentiful wildlife, shopping in the historic downtown, visiting Rocky Mountain National Park and enjoying fine dining, breweries, wineries and distilleries. Estes Park is also known for its many wonderful festivals that occur throughout the year such as Scottish Fest, Big Foot Festival, Whiskey Warm-up, Elk-fest, Winter-fest and Rooftop Rodeo.
Holidays in Estes Park are very special with a great Halloween Party and the annual holiday winter lighting in downtown, for example. The town of Estes Park is warm, authentic and inviting, which is woven into holiday festivities and year-round happenings. With all of the elk, deer, bobcats, birds and wildlife viewed right in town, see how people and animals also live in harmony, much to the delight of visitors.
Visit Estes Park now has a group department that is available to serve and support meeting and event planners and help with RFPs, site visits, contacts, logistics and referrals. The Visit Estes Park team also is available to help provide a welcome table at events and recommendations about what to do and where to go. Consider Estes Park for your next gathering, and don’t forget the off-seasons!
Eric Lund is a 40-year veteran of tourism and travel and is President of Visit Estes Park. He has worked with destination marketing organizations and for Chambers of Commerce for more than 26 years.