Destination for Meetings and Events: Golden, Colorado

By Beth Buehler

Conveniently situated 15 miles west of downtown Denver and accessible by light rail, Golden seems worlds from the city due to a prime location in the surrounding Rocky Mountain foothills. Once a gold-rush town, there is plenty of rich history to go with the community’s scenic beauty, downtown charm and selection of attractions and outdoor activities, making it one of my favorite Colorado towns on the outskirts of a city. Golden, Colorado is an ideal destination for your meetings or events.

A dusting of snow and the famous Golden sign. Courtesy Visit Golden.

“Only 20 minutes from downtown Denver, Golden, Colorado is the Mile High City’s closest mountain town where visitors can enjoy a small town feel with Western history, hiking, biking, fly fishing, kayaking and more,” says Megan Pinson, community marketing coordinator for Visit Golden.

Check out the kayaking scene in Golden. Courtesy Visit Golden.

Whether hiking or biking, groups will get great views of Golden. Courtesy Visit Golden.

With a population of around 21,000, Golden is perhaps best known as the longtime home of Colorado School of Mines and Coors Brewery, but the American Mountaineering Center, Colorado Railroad Museum, Foothills Art Center, The Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum, and Buffalo Bill Grave and Museum nicely round out local offerings.

Colorado School of Mines, American Mountaineering Center and Foothills Art Center also are attractive venues for meetings and events. In fact, Colorado School of Mines is one of the largest venues with 11 meeting rooms (including a ballroom) available in Ben Parker Student Center and 85,000 square feet of event areas in the Green Center, including the Grand Lobby, two lecture halls, reception halls and the 1,400-seat Bunker Auditorium. Classrooms, gymnasiums and outdoor spaces round out the great options on campus and audiovisual and catering are available on-site, making it a one-stop shop.

The Colorado School of Mines campus features distinct architecture like the Geology Museum. Courtesy Colorado School of Mines.

Mount Vernon Canyon Club also has great options for groups and is ideal for team and client meetings, strategic planning sessions, retreats, and gatherings of up to 300. Due to a secluded location and surrounded by plenty of open space, the four meeting rooms and outdoor spaces have stellar views. Founded in 1923 and named for its close proximity to Mount Vernon Canyon, the property is one of the oldest, private clubs in the Denver area.

Beautiful views from inside or outside. Courtesy Mount Vernon Canyon Club.

Another longtime and classy venue is Boettcher Mansion, built in 1917 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Outside of meeting time, the Coors Brewery Tour rarely disappoints and showcases the world’s largest single-site brewery, and there are craft breweries and distilleries around town and the hip Tributary Food Hall and Drinkery. In fact, Golden brews more beer than any other town in America!

“Golden is home to more than a dozen museums and cultural attractions, a renowned university, restaurants, craft breweries and distilleries, and Western history. Groups can pack a wide range of experiences into a visit to Golden,” confirms Pinson.

Boutique hotels like Table Mountain Inn, The Golden Hotel and Origin Hotel Red Rocks provide the convenient option of both lodging and meeting and event space, while Oxotic Super Car Driving Experience melds attractive gathering space and the opportunity to drive exotic cars.

A picturesque southwestern patio adjoins Table Mountain Inn’s Kokopelli Room. Courtesy Visit Golden.

Events are picking up in Golden as life during COVID-19 continues, especially smaller weddings and socially distanced meetings. “Golden’s hotels have worked closely with groups to ensure a pleasant and safe experience for all.” Pinson emphasizes, “Golden takes safety seriously, and groups should bring masks and plan to socially distance per current guidelines.” 

Serving the territorial capitol of Colorado from 1862 until 1867 and as the founding place of Jolly Rancher candy, Golden has always been an innovative town through all times, even COVID-19. For example, the community has extended outdoor dining along Washington Avenue and 14th Street to offer additional room to roam and ample outdoor space to enjoy dining al fresco. A new dining hall, The Golden Mill, and a new hotel, The Eddy, will open in 2021.

Outdoor dining space provides many options in downtown Golden. Courtesy Visit Golden.

In addition to this town being a great destination for meetings and events, Colorado as a state offers a broad range of opportunities for groups, and Destination Colorado is dedicated to helping planners find just the right fit for their gatherings!

Beth Buehler has been editor of Colorado Meetings + Events magazine for 15 years and helped launch Mountain Meetings magazine in 2013. She has planned numerous meetings and events and enjoys exploring Colorado.