How to Choose a Corporate Retreat Destination

By Deana Mitchell, CMP, DMCP, CCSE

A corporate retreat offers attendees a chance to unwind, accomplish goals, have fun and bond as a team in a unique location. Planning a corporate retreat in Colorado should be equally enjoyable and stress-free as any place you can find! Here are five tips about how to choose a corporate retreat destination.

Determine Your Objectives. Whether the focus of your retreat is relaxing and recharging or team-building and strategic planning, the location and property need to be the right fit for your objectives. For example, the Madeline Hotel and Residences in Telluride is a great example of a venue that bridges the gap between work and play. Here, you can let attendees revive their minds and bodies at the resort’s luxury spa before going head-to-head in an Olympic Team-Building Challenge on the adjacent ice rink. As demonstrated in this example, many Colorado destinations can easily provide the best of both worlds.

corporate retreat

Ice rink team-building can include curling and hockey shot activities.

Choose a Central Location. In today’s busy world, it is important for a corporate retreat to be easily accessible for the team members attending. Denver International Airport currently offers nonstop service from nearly 200 destinations and has been named one of the best airports in the world by its patrons. Drive just a couple of scenic hours west and you will find two of Colorado’s most well-appointed ranches: Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort and Spa in Tabernash and C Lazy U in Granby. Both venues are sure to provide guests with an unparalleled Colorado experience, and are only slightly off the beaten path.

corporate retreat

A warm welcome to Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa by miniature horses.

Identify the Essentials. While a retreat should not be too meeting heavy, corporate attendees are going to want to talk business! Make sure your destination offers all the professional must-haves, including appropriate meeting space and A/V, in an environment conducive to the getaway’s overall goals. For example, Aspen/Snowmass and Vail/Beaver Creek are world-class mountain destinations with multiple venue options to foster both business and pleasure.

Have Fun with Enhancements. Include a treat or reward that an attendee might have on their bucket list. It may be an out-of-the-box experience that attendees perhaps would never do on their own like ice climbing. Gateway Canyons Resort and Spa, located an hour south of Grand Junction in the small community of Gateway, checks all these boxes and more! Here, attendees can be wined and dined while making memories of a lifetime in a breathtaking destination such as helicopter tours, outings with Gateway’s curator of curiosity, off-roading in Jeeps or UTVs, sport shooting, driving luxury cars, and a day at Palisade Ranch.

corporate retreat

An ice climbing experience is sure to be the talk of the office after a corporate gathering.

Maintain Productivity. Depending on the objective, focus on what the destination has to offer related to the desired outcome first and foremost. Maybe your company has a location in Colorado and your meetings could be held in the local boardroom to connect the teams on a more personal local level. We have worked with several companies that did just that in Boulder! Another idea might be to put the team in the customer’s shoes in a different location to explore better customer service ideas.

Photo courtesy of Realize Colorado/Camara Photography.

Deana Mitchell, the owner and operator of Realize Colorado, a Global DMC Partner, has more than 30 years experience in the hospitality, event and destination management industries. With offices in Denver, Aspen/Snowmass (Basalt) and Telluride, Realize Colorado is a destination management company that works throughout the state of Colorado.