By Beth Buehler
Meeting in a Colorado ski town during winter gives attendees the chance to enjoy an abundance of unique activities along with some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the world for those who relish the slopes. With all ages and adventure types in mind, the state’s ski communities continue to broaden their scope for winter and year-round fun outside the meeting room.
Other fun that involves snowflakes – It’s hard to believe that millions of snowflakes come together to create big piles of fluffy white stuff perfect for outdoor recreation. Snowshoe and snowcat tours, sleigh rides to dinner, dog sledding and fat biking on groomed and ungroomed trails are just some of the options. There’s also lift-served tubing at several resorts along with alpine coasters and zip lines that stay open for winter! Or embrace the winter landscape with the many team-building options through CBST Adventures.
All about ice – Bridgestone Winter Driving School in Steamboat Springs, ice climbing instruction in Ouray near Telluride, and rinks at the base areas or downtowns in Telluride, Aspen, Vail and Crested Butte provide a wide range of skating and curling options for groups. It’s even possible to head out with an outfitter for fishing in the winter!
Pure relaxation – After time outdoors using muscles attendees may have forgotten about, a spa treatment or a few hours at the hot springs in Glenwood Springs, Durango, Pagosa Springs and Steamboat Springs might just be the answer!
Bowling & beer – Snowmass is one of the few ski towns with a bowling alley in the base area, and The Mine Shaft Bowling Alley is located inside One Ski Hill Place resort at the base of Peak 8 in Breckenridge. However, finding a microbrewery to offer tastings or host an après ski reception is a snap with more than 350 breweries in the state.
Learn, eat & team-build – Colorado ski towns have outstanding dining options and an array of cooking classes. Vail Valley Food & Beer Tours is more about sampling various foods and beverages at local establishments, and destination management companies and hotels typically have great ideas for team-building activities that involve food and beverage.
Capture the culture – I can’t think of a Colorado ski town that doesn’t have an interesting history or worthy cultural facilities. Vilar Performing Arts Center is conveniently location at Beaver Creek’s ski base, and Crested Butte Center for the Arts and Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum are only a 3-mile ride away on free, colorfully painted Mountain Express buses. Plus, check the concert schedule at ski towns like Copper Mountain, Keystone, Breckenridge and Winter Park as your meeting schedule might just overlap!
When planning a meeting in ski towns, do as the locals do: enjoy snow on and off the slopes, take advantage of the wide variety of great local resources not normally found in smaller towns, and embrace Colorado’s beautiful winters.
Beth Buehler is editor of Colorado Meetings + Events and Mountain Meetings magazines, has planned numerous meetings and events, lives in a ski town and enjoys exploring Colorado.