Iconic Locations for Colorado Meetings
By Beth Buehler
When selecting a place to meet, why settle for ho-hum normal when you can go for truly distinct? Colorado has its fair share of amazing places ranging from historic hotels and cultural gems to places that provide a taste of the West and the state’s thriving beer and wine industries. Here are several recommendations regarding iconic meeting locations in Colorado.
The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs is among an elite group of 12 properties from around the globe that are triple Forbes Five-Star winners for their hotel, restaurant and spa in 2022. The property is the longest-running Forbes Five-Star hotel with 62 consecutive years to its name and also is a longtime AAA Five-Diamond resort; one of Colorado’s truly iconic meeting locations! Opened by Spencer Penrose in 1918, The Broadmoor has grown to include 784 guest accommodations ranging from rooms, suites, cottages, brownstones and the Estate House as well as 315,000 square feet of event space and outdoor venues, a spa, golf courses, and more.
Hotel Boulderado has an ideal downtown location not far from Boulder’s popular Pearl Street Mall, a pedestrian-friendly place to stroll, shop, dine and people watch. The North Wing conference center and mezzanine level of the 1909-era building provide 10,000 square feet of function space, plus there are two restaurants and the lower-level License No. 1 speakeasy-style cocktail bar for groups to utilize.
Also located in a bustling downtown and only two blocks from Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, Durango’s Strater Hotel was constructed in 1887 and as a founding member of Historic Hotels of America, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, considered one of Colorado’s iconic meeting locations, today. In addition to 88 guest rooms and function space to host groups of up to 120, the Strater features a Wild West-themed saloon, craft cocktail lounge, and fine-dining restaurant.
Hotel Colorado is connected to Glenwood Springs’ central business district by a pedestrian bridge that spans the Colorado River. Relax in the beautiful courtyard during summer and fall after a day of meetings in more than 10,000 square feet of recently renovated meeting and event space. The guestrooms were totally refreshed this year as part of a $10 million renovation plan, and no one will go hungry or thirsty with the on-site restaurant and indoor/outdoor bar. An added benefit is Glenwood Hot Springs Pool is located across the street.
Last fall, Denver Art Museum reopened the seven-story Lanny and Sharon Martin Building (opened in 1971 as the first-ever high-rise art museum) and introduced the new 50,000-square-foot Anna and John J. Sie Welcome Center. The welcome center is crowned by an elliptical glass meeting, event and program space, visually connects the DAM campus and offers two new dining options. The Martin Building, Sie Welcome Center, Hamilton Building and outdoor spaces like the new multi-tiered Kemper Courtyard are available for corporate meetings, parties, dinners and galas and can accommodate parties for up to 1,000 guests.
Colorado Chautauqua, the only continuously operating chautauqua west of the Mississippi River, is also an iconic meeting location, situated at the foot of Boulder’s Flatirons, which are slanted rock formations. The property’s function spaces include two early 20th century lodges—Missions House Lodge and Mary H. Galey Cottage—that are ideal for smaller gatherings. For larger groups, Chautauqua’s Grand Assembly Hall on the main floor of the Community House holds up to 100 theater-style and was renovated in 2022. For outdoor events the Auditorium Terrace, Grand Assembly Hall verandah and a spacious picnic shelter are ideal choices. Overnight accommodations include 59 standalone cottages, and new for this year are apartments in the recently updated Columbine Lodge.
Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa, located in Tabernash near Winter Park, covers 6,500 acres and provides a taste of the West with two historic barns (Broad Axe and High Lonesome) that have been turned into meeting and event venues and a wide range of ranch adventures such as horseback riding, horse-drawn sleigh rides and marshmallow roasting around a fire. There’s also the window-filled Timber House, a board room, wine cellar and delicious dining options for conducting business and networking over the table as well as fly fishing, cross-country skiing, fat biking, zip lining and more. Lodging is in the form of comfortable lodges and cabins and long considered one of Colorado’s iconic meeting locations.
Colorado has approximately 93 developed and undeveloped natural hot springs, and one of the best is Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort near Buena Vista. Surrounded by mountains, the property has 8,000 square feet of function space along with lodges, cabins, a restaurant, a spa, and various hot springs pools to choose to soak in year-round.
Established in 1988, Wynkoop Brewery was the first brewpub in Colorado, a state that has earned its notoriety as a craft beer mecca. Located in Denver’s historic Lower Downtown (LoDo) district near Denver Union Station, the brewery’s 1800s warehouse building can host 12 to 1,200 guests and features three private spaces and other semi-private options.
Switching to grapes, much of Colorado’s growing wine industry is centered on the state’s Western Slope, specifically around Grand Junction and Palisade. What makes Wine Country Inn in Palisade unique is that in addition to a vineyard there are 80 lodge rooms and the Vintner’s House for accommodations, complimentary afternoon wine receptions, a restaurant and lounge, and meeting and event spaces that range from a ballroom to an outdoor pavilion and courtyard. In 2021, the owners of Wine Country Inn purchased the 10-acre winery next door, Grande River Vineyards, which has a tasting room and hosts summer concerts.
Take note of these iconic locations for Colorado meetings and discover more options on Destination Colorado’s website, here, under venues.
Top Photo: The entry to Grotto Suraboza, courtesy of Devil’s Thumb Ranch 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.