Innovative Event Ideas in Colorado

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Innovative Event Ideas in Colorado

Creating memorable experiences is a snap when involving rooftops, pools, museums, ranches and other cool venues


By Beth Buehler


Today more than ever, it is important to create memorable experiences for groups. There is so much competition for people’s time, and attendees have become more selective about their work travels. What is a planner to do?


There is no more staying in a neat and tidy meeting and event box, repeating what has always been done with minimal tweaks. One way to address ho-hum gatherings is through the thoughtful selection of venues—whether they can host everything from accommodations to activities or simply serve as an off-site outing for an afternoon or evening. With that in mind, here are five innovative event ideas in Colorado.

A presentation or entertainment is extra special on a rooftop terrace, courtesy The Rally Hotel

Sensational Rooftops

With 300 days of sunshine and overall moderate temperatures, innovative event ideas in Colorado can be made a reality at exquisite rooftop locations. The newest rooftop terrace is at the Colorado Convention Center, which unveiled a sizable expansion late last year. Also in the heart of downtown Denver, Hyatt Centric Downtown Denver’s 15th floor is dedicated to meeting and event space, including a private rooftop terrace that can hold up to 78 people and a presidential suite that has a spacious terrace.


In Lower Downtown, The Rally Hotel has both a terrace that faces Coors Field and 6,490-square-foot Skybridge Rooftop Deck that has a pool and High Society Pool Bar. Sipping on beers and cocktails while overlooking the Mile High City is hard to beat.


In Denver’s posh Cherry Creek neighborhood, Halcyon also has a rooftop pool, bar and event spaces. The 1,456-square-foot West Deck can accommodate groups of up to 100 while The Peak, a brand-new option on the 6th floor, is larger and holds up to 130 for receptions. Nearby, The Jacquard offers a similar pool and rooftop setup, with packages available for groups of 25 to 100 guests. DJ sets transform the rooftop into an energetic dance floor while rooftop yoga provides a completely different vibe, and Kisbee on the Roof is available for curated cocktails and light bites.


For great rooftop options in the mountains, head to Aspen. Molly Campbell Conference Center at The Gant Aspen overlooks one of the property’s pools and features the Ute Terrace that can be divided into two spaces or combined for a total of 1,685 square feet. At the new Mollie Aspen, the Rooftop Terrace can hold up to 80 when combining the terrace and bar areas and has a weatherproof clear tent available with heating and lighting capability.

A poolside event provides a welcome meeting break, courtesy Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel

Poolside Parties

Speaking of pools, Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, and The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa in Avon also have beautiful options to try out innovative event ideas in Colorado such as poolside meeting breaks and yoga or smoothie tastings. The Sheraton’s heated pool is on the rooftop and has Spritz Pool Bar for sips and snacks, whereas The Broadmoor’s infinity pool overlooks Cheyenne Lake on the property’s 5,000-acre grounds.


In Avon, The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa’s large outdoor saltwater pool and three infinity hot tubs are alongside Eagle River and the beautiful pools and the gathering spaces at Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa have Unaweep Canyon as a backdrop.

The architecturally distinct U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum, courtesy Visit Colorado Springs

Marvelous Museums

While we are on the topic of Gateway, the 30,000-square-foot Gateway Colorado Automobile Museum located at Gateway Canyons features a private collection of more than 50 cars and tells the story of automotive history. There is meeting and event space at the museum where car themes can run wild and great options at the Denver Art Museum and U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum in Colorado Springs, which also are available to implement innovative event ideas surrounding Colorado art and sports themes.


The Denver Art Museum has 11 indoor and five outdoor spaces to choose from, and groups have access to the museum’s impressive collections and special exhibitions. Small, intimate gatherings and large events for up to 1,000 guests are surrounded by the unique architecture of the Gio Ponti-designed Martin Building and Daniel Libeskind-designed Hamilton Building as well as the glass-enclosed Sie Welcome Center that opened in 2021. Need a place to stay? The ART Hotel is only steps aways and has an impressive art collection, meeting and event space, restaurant and terrace.


Groups also will be impressed by the distinct architecture and stories told at THE U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum that launched in 2020. The maximum number of guests that can be hosted is 700 for an on-site reception. Being surrounded by excellence is inspiring as are exhibits like “Return to Paris: 1924 | 2024” that commemorates the 100-year anniversary of the Paris 1924 Games and the return of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to the City of Light this year.

Cozy and stylish ranch accommodations, courtesy C Lazy U Ranch

Ranch Flair

To get a true taste of the West and expertly integrate innovative event ideas in Colorado, book one of the state’s picturesque ranches. While meeting in Colorado Springs, it’s easy to spend time at both the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum and Flying W Ranch, which has been owned and worked by the same family since 1947. This 1,450-acre cattle ranch can host 20 to 900 people indoors and 20 to 6,000 outdoors and offers western shows and a wide range of activity options like private rodeos.


In Grand County, Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa and C Lazy U Ranch perfectly combine luxury and western friendliness on spacious properties where cowboy hats, boots and bandanas replace office wardrobes and are ideal for parties in barns and pastures. Hartsel Ranch in Park County is quite a bit smaller but delivers big with new cabins, a recently refreshed lodge, and a location along the South Platte River.

A unique silo meeting space to the left, courtesy Estes Park Events Complex

Gardens, Silos and Forts

If a garden setting is more your group’s style, consider Denver Botanic Gardens or Betty Ford Alpine Gardens in Vail for lunches, cocktail parties and more among the blooms. Ever met in a silo? Give it a try at the Estes Park Events Complex, where the silo meeting room holds groups of up to 15. I’m also confident you won’t encounter another dining experience like The Fort Restaurant, which is modeled after an 1830s fur trading post and is one of the largest adobe structures in the U.S. In addition to a truly unique menu, The Fort provides a variety of entertainment options that include axe throwing, wolves, birds of prey, musicians and much more.


It’s easy to make innovative event ideas for groups in Colorado happen when there are standout venues that are far from cookie cutter. Try out these suggestions and attendees will inquire what’s on the agenda for next year.


Top Photo: An event at The Jacquard’s rooftop and pool, courtesy The Jacquard


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.