The Art of Event Planning

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The Art of Event Planning

Showcasing Colorado’s cultural and artistic venues


By Beth Buehler


The art of event planning can mean a few different things. It takes a special talent to fit all the puzzle pieces together for a gathering to go off without a hitch. However, in this case, we’re looking at it through the viewpoint of showcasing Colorado’s amazing range of cultural and artistic venues to consider as backdrops.


To get the event planning thought process rolling, I’ve included hotels and museums with an art or overall cultural focus as well as venues where concerts, theatre productions and other artistic endeavors are held. It’s not a comprehensive list but provides a nice snapshot.


Mile High City Snapshot

Let’s start with Denver for your event planning, due to the sheer number of choices. Within the Golden Triangle Creative District, groups can visit and host events at cultural institutions like the Denver Art Museum (DAM), Clyfford Still Museum and History Colorado Center. When DAM built the new Sie Welcome Center and totally renovated what is now known as the Martin Building, the options for groups expanded upon their unveiling in 2021. The 11 indoor and five outdoor venues can host groups of 10 to 1,000. In addition to the wonderful architectural spaces, attendees are sure to enjoy browsing the stellar collection and special exhibitions.


Then there is the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art and a whole host of galleries to check out as well in the Golden Triangle and one of the most art-focused hotels in the state. Staying true to its ethos, The ART Hotel Denver, Curio Collection by Hilton weaves art into its lodging, dining, and meetings and events offerings to enrich attendee experiences. The property boasts 7,655 square feet of meeting and event space with a total of eight meeting rooms along with the 1,900-square-foot FIRE Terrace connected to FIRE Restaurant. The hotel is steps away from DAM and houses its own collection of 50-plus pieces of contemporary artwork.

A section of the Golden Triangle Creative District, courtesy The ART Hotel Denver

In the center of downtown, the Denver Performing Arts Complex (DPAC) is a huge four-block, 12-acre site that is owned by the City and County of Denver. There is a wide range of theaters, outdoor spaces and more to rent, and make sure to check the performance calendar and treat your group to a show.


AEG Presents manages five Denver area concert venues that double as great event spaces. There’s the more modern Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre in Greenwood Village and Mission Ballroom in the RiNo Art District and three historic theaters—the Bluebird, Gothic and Ogden—that opened from 1913 to 1921.


Hotels with Cool Culture for Event Planning

But let’s get back to hotels with great art collections. Tops on the list is The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. The artwork is reflective of founder Spencer Penrose and his wife, Julie, and Philip Anschutz, a well-known collector of western art and only the third owner since the property opened in 1918. Since Anschutz purchased the iconic resort in 2011, three Wilderness Experience properties have been added. During a visit to Cloud Camp soon after it opened, I clearly remember being in awe of the beautiful works of art in the main building.


Jumping back a bit, consider booking a visit to the American Museum of Western Art – The Anschutz Collection when meeting in Denver. The museum is housed in the historic Navarre Building, features three floors of art galleries, and is an inviting space for intimate meetings, dinners and cocktail receptions.


I also clearly remember admiring the stunning quilts hanging on the walls at Gateway Canyons Resort in Gateway that were purchased by Maureen Hendricks, who founded the resort with her husband, John, and helped bring the annual Alegre Retreat, a conference for devotees of the fabric arts, to the property several years ago and that still meets there today.


Aspen Meadows Resort in Aspen also has been built on a legacy of art and design. In the early 1950s, Walter Paepcke, founder of The Aspen Institute that owns the resort, commissioned renowned Bauhaus architect and artist Herbert Bayer to transform farmland into a secluded destination. He wove outdoor walkways through the landscape architecture, and the 40-acre grounds are rich with Bauhaus architecture and outdoor sculptures. There is an extensive collection of artwork found inside every building and the property’s extensive meeting and event spaces, and the Resnick Center for Herbert Bayer Studies opened on the campus in 2022.

Outdoor sculpture and Resnick Center for Herbert Bayer Studies at Aspen Meadows Resort, courtesy Salamander Hotels & Resorts

Kessler Collection hotels always have a focus on art, and Beaver Creek Lodge in Beaver Creek is no exception. While there is interesting art throughout the hotel, including on the outdoor patio, The Grand Bohemian Gallery is filled with creative works. The gallery can host up to 70 for dinners and 120 for receptions.


Groups that meet at Hotel Boulderado will notice the amazing stained-glass ceiling that looms large and colorfully over the historic hotel’s lobby and mezzanine. The current version replaced the original, which was heavily damaged during a heavy snowstorm in 1959.


The Elizabeth Hotel in Fort Collins was designed with music in mind. Groups and all guests can enjoy a variety of music-themed amenities such as an instrument lending library and a collection of vinyl records to play in guest rooms. The Magic Rat, located along Firehouse Alley, is open for live music Wednesday through Saturday and is available for private bookings. Sunset Lounge is an open-air jazz bar atop the hotel.


Places for Performances & More

Looking for a large concert venue to book? Consider Blue Arena at The Ranch Events Complex in Loveland, Red Rocks Amphitheatre west of Denver, Dillon Amphitheater in Dillon, and the new Sunset Amphitheater opening this summer in Colorado Springs.

Center for the Arts Crested Butte, photo by Nolan Blunck

Several communities such as Beaver Creek, Crested Butte, Lone Tree, Parker and Silverthorne have beautiful performing arts centers that host a wide range of cultural events to tie into, feature art exhibitions and classes, and have meeting and event space. College campuses also have outstanding performing arts spaces and cultural activities, so don’t forget to check with institutions like the University of Denver and University of Colorado Boulder. There also is a nice selection of historic opera houses throughout the state with the Sheridan Opera House in Telluride and Wheeler Opera House in Aspen among the standouts.


The art of event planning is easy when you can tap into Colorado’s cultural and artistic venues. Whether you select a museum, concert venue, performing arts center or a lodging property with an impressive art collection, attendees are sure to notice and feel inspired by the surroundings.


Top Photo: Gothic Theatre, courtesy of AEG Presents Rocky Mountain


Colorado native Beth Buehler has been editor of Colorado Meetings + Events magazine for 19 years, helped launch Mountain Meetings magazine, and was on the team that introduced Southwest Meetings + Events. She has planned numerous meetings and events and enjoys exploring Colorado.