It’s Easy to Drive or Fly to Meet in Colorado
By Beth Buehler
Sometimes driving to a meeting and event destination is the most convenient option, whether attendees take their own wheels or planners hire a transportation company to move a group from point A to point B. Drive-to meetings have become even more common during the COVID-19 pandemic, a trend that may well continue. However, flying is always convenient, and Colorado has one of the most accessible airports in the nation and excellent regional airports sprinkled throughout the state. We’ll touch on both.
Here are six reasons why it’s easy to fly or drive to meet in Colorado.
Colorado is in a great location. Colorado is surrounded by New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma. And Texas is close enough to be considered and is one of Colorado’s top visitor states. If you have attendees coming in from these states, it’s a great meet-you-in-the-middle place. Or if groups are flying, Colorado is centrally located in the United States so no one has to fly from coast to coast.
There are top-notch meeting destinations throughout the state. No matter what side of the state groups are driving or flying in from, there are terrific places to gather. Fort Collins and Steamboat Springs are on the north side; Telluride and Durango are tucked in the southwest; Grand Junction, Palisade and Gateway are situated along the west; Pueblo is found more to the southeast not too far from Colorado Springs; and all sorts of great towns are located on what is known as the Front Range like Boulder, Longmont, Loveland, Greeley and Denver. Then there are amazing mountain towns all along or not too far off Interstate 70 running east to west.
Tap into more than one place. Colorado is one of those states that has both a great city vibe and a mountain town flair. One benefit of driving is being able to go between a few nearby communities for mobile meetings (like Glenwood Springs, Snowmass and Aspen) or to meet in Colorado in one town and play in another. It’s easy to go back and forth between Denver and Aurora in Colorado’s largest metro area. For example, base in Aurora and catch a Colorado Rockies game and grab a beer at Wynkoop Brewery in downtown Denver or book lodging and function space at the new Thompson Denver hotel and enjoy a night out at Aurora’s Stanley Marketplace, a former aviation factory that is now a vibrant food and market hall.
Denver also is within easy driving distance to Black Hawk for some casino action and to ski areas in Summit County (Copper Mountain, Keystone and Breckenridge). Or leave cars parked for a day or two and take Amtrak Winter Park Express train from Denver Union Station to the slopes at Winter Park. Easy! Another option is flying into Denver for a few days and chartering a flight to regional airports for a really spectacular city and mountain incentive trip.
Driving can take you to out-of-the-way places. Driving is a great way to access off-the-beaten track properties like Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa, C Lazy U Ranch and Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa. Attendees with cars also can explore during their free time and are likely participants in pre- or post-meeting activities. For example, when meeting in Colorado Springs, it’s fun to do a day trip to the Royal Gorge.
Incorporate automobiles and aircraft in a unique way. While staying at Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa, don’t miss the Gateway Auto Museum, featuring the private collection of John Hendricks, who created Gateway Canyons and is founder and former chairman of Discover, Inc. While staying at Elevation Hotel & Spa in Crested Butte, drive to Gunnison to check out another nice collection of cars and other interesting exhibits at Pioneer Museum. Plan a visit and a gathering at Forney Museum of Transportation and Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum while in Denver, and don’t miss an Oxotic Supercar Driving Experience when meeting in Golden. Some small airports also are willing to book their hangars for events.
Book a transportation company to make it easy. If your crew is all coming in from the same area, why not book a motor coach through Hermes Worldwide or Presidential Worldwide Transportation? Ski clubs and church groups have mastered this option. Why not other groups? Make the trip fun with contests, presentations, stops at great places along the way and more. Shuttles also can make a day trip from one community to another for activities a breeze for attendees.
It’s easy to drive or fly to meet in Colorado and tap the benefits of automobiles, aircraft and group transportation to make the most of the state’s amazing array of destinations.
Photo Credit: Denver International Airport and Gateway Auto Museum, courtesy Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa
Beth Buehler has been editor of Colorado Meetings + Events magazine for 17 years and helped launch Mountain Meetings magazine in 2013. She has planned numerous meetings and events and enjoys exploring Colorado.