City Vs. Small Town Meetings in Colorado
How do you cook up a group meeting that appeals to the masses? In Colorado, the recipe is simple. First, you start with a heaping helping of the Rocky Mountains. Add one Mile-High City and a handful of additional cities – all with a chic, metropolitan vibe and the big-city accommodations you’d expect. From there, sprinkle in a few of the best mountain destinations that are known the world over: Aspen, Breckenridge, Steamboat Springs and Vail – just to name a few.
Mix in the diverse local flavors from classic Colorado towns like Boulder, Estes Park and Loveland. Spice things up with the Mountains and Mesas Region of Durango and Grand Junction. Add vibrant color from the Pikes Peak Wonders Region that includes unique locales like Buena Vista, Colorado Springs and Pueblo. Now, blend it all together using Destination Colorado’s vast network of meeting venues and meeting services providers and we’re really cooking with a recipe for success.
Colorado’s diverse menu of amazing meeting spaces and top-notch accommodations is irresistible for a corporate meeting or event any time of year. It doesn’t matter if your event takes place in one of the state’s larger cities like Denver and its suburbs, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Pueblo and Boulder, or if you choose one of Colorado’s smaller mountain towns like Aspen, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Telluride.
Your next business retreat can be a buffet of adventure and growth for your team. Convene and get things done in a state-of-the-art working environment with your colleagues, then escape the boardroom for an endless array of adventure – skiing, whitewater rafting, hiking, biking, sleigh rides, luxurious spa treatments and championship golf.
Your events should stir things up, be memorable and leave a lasting impression. So, what do you put on the menu? First, you must decide if your event will take place in one of Colorado’s larger cities, or if you’re wanting to escape to a more rural region. Destination Colorado represents conference centers, hotels and other venues throughout the entire state. Let’s explore a few of the most desirable locations in the state to help you decide between holding your group event in a big city versus a small town.
Big City Venues in Colorado
Colorado has a nice selection of larger cities with venues that can accommodate your team event. Denver and the surrounding suburbs are home to nearly 3 million residents, offer professional sports teams, museums and galleries, and luxurious dining and hotel options. In metro Denver, there are meeting spaces for large and small gatherings. Downtown and the suburbs each have fine hotels with upscale venue spaces that are ideal for a reception, presentation or seminar.
About 30 miles north of Mile High City is Boulder, a college town with distinctive character. The Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau represent several exceptional venues, like the stylish Millennium Harvest House and the exquisite Hotel Boulderado. Just a bit further north, in Fort Collins, the Elizabeth Hotel Colorado has quality meeting spaces and lodging all under one roof.
Colorado Springs, about 70 miles south of Denver, has wonderful meeting venues and quick access to state features like the gorgeous Garden of the Gods. Hold your next gathering at the beautiful Garden of the Gods Resort and Club, the historic Broadmoor Hotel or the upmarket Hotel Elegante Conference Center and Events Center for a lasting impression on your attendees. If you feel like rolling the dice with something different, think about an escape to the Wildwood Hotel and Casino in nearby Cripple Creek for gambling, live shows and great food during meeting downtimes.
Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction in western Colorado provide a different feel than the cities of the Front Range. Here, you can embrace the spirit of the West. The iconic Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs has meeting venues on site that are only a stone’s throw from the relaxing, steam hot springs pool at the hotel or amazing whitewater rafting in scenic Glenwood Canyon. In Grand Junction, Gateway Canyons offers meeting space surrounded by natural beauty and near whitewater rafting on the legendary Colorado River. In nearby Palisade, the Wine Country Inn is a classy, laid-back resort with spaces to meet along with vineyard tours and plenty of samples to sip to unwind.
Small Town Venues in Colorado
When you choose to hold your meeting in a small town in Colorado, you send a message to your attendees. Small town meetings have a different vibe than gathering in a larger city. It can signify to your group that the meeting is more laid back, or it can suggest that you’re serious about getting business done and don’t want the distractions of a big city. Most businesses pick a small-town setting in Colorado, however, to capitalize on the immense beauty of the state and the many useful venues that adorn many mountain towns.
That is what’s different about Colorado. The state is peppered with intimate, sought-after destinations that provide some of the best scenery and most fun activities you can imagine. In most states, the smaller towns are void of services, in particular luxury choices. In Colorado, there are several resort towns that have a big-city feel, including first-rate food and entertainment, awesome mountain activities like skiing and snowboarding, and lots of luxury lodging options. For meeting planners, it opens an entire world of choices and allows for creative and memorable get-togethers that get attendees talking.
From ski trips to culinary classes, there are countless adventures awaiting your team in the small towns of Colorado. The Elevation Hotel and Spa in Crested Butte is great for a work-relaxation combo. In Pagosa Springs, your team can unwind at a variety of hot springs after a productive work session. Durango, in the south-central part of the state, has a vibrant downtown with historic hotels, wonderful restaurants and the intriguing Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad depot and museum. Durango also has fantastic whitewater rafting on the nearby Animas River. The Sky Ute Casino and Resort in Ignacio is a perfect stay-and-play destination with ample meeting space.
The southwest part of the state offers wide-open skies and an authentic Western essence. Ouray, known as “Little Switzerland,” is one of a kind. Telluride is home to an annual film festival, epic skiing, and a neat downtown that truly embraces the exciting history of the Old West. A free gondola connects Telluride to its Mountain Village, where the ski area and most of the meeting and event spaces, and hotels, are located.
Colorado’s small-town ski resorts are known the world over. Aspen has four ski resorts with top-not venues on the mountaintop or in town, and in quaint neighboring towns like Carbondale and Glenwood Springs. Vail and Beaver Creek are conveniently along Interstate 70 and can host larger groups for important meetings and seminars, then break out for world-class skiing and snowboarding, or lounging in beautiful Vail Village or Beaver Creek Village. Further west, small towns like Minturn, Avon and Edwards promote together under the umbrella of one destination marketing organization, Vail Valley Partnership, and hold exceptional events that turn heads and perk up ears.
Summit County has four ski resorts – Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin – along with two large reservoirs, including Lake Dillon, and a plethora of hiking and biking choices. It’s an outdoor lovers’ dream! There are mountain conference centers at several locations. Keystone and Copper Mountain are home to two of the best meeting venues in the state. Breckenridge also has lots of options and a thriving downtown that’s fun to explore.
Grand County has fantastic activities and amenities at Winter Park Resort and the town’s newest venue, Headwaters Center. The county is also home to a few wonderful guest ranches, including a pair of luxury options: C Lazy U Ranch in Granby and Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort and Spa in Tabernash. Estes Park, another iconic Colorado community, offers new meeting and event spaces and historic venues, along with a fun, mountain-town vibe and easy access to breathtaking Rocky Mountain National Park, one of the true gems of Colorado.