Unique Venues for Colorado Meetings

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Unique Venues for Colorado Meetings


By Beth Buehler


When thinking about unique venues for Colorado meetings, my thoughts roamed around the state considering what properties to include. In order to narrow it down a bit, I created three categories: places that are rich in history and architectural charm, offer a taste of the West, and provide a place to soak in natural hot springs, great beer and local sports teams.


Here are 10 entities providing a host of great options in the Denver area, Colorado Springs and smaller communities like Nathrop and Hartsel.

Great views and setting on the Asterisk rooftop, courtesy Asterisk

Historic Beauties

The building at 1075 Park Ave. W. in downtown Denver was built in 1923 as a U.S. Post Office garage. For the better part of the 1950s through 1980s, it functioned as a tire and auto shop before being converted into an automotive showroom and then the home of a contemporary ballet company. Today, the structure at the corner of Park Avenue and Broadway is the modern event venue known as Asterisk. White walls, open rafters, skylights and windows create a bright and airy atmosphere within the 10,000 square feet of space that can host groups of up to 950. The 8,500-square-foot Main Hall, light-draped rooftop, and a boardroom are among the options.


Non Plus Ultra specializes in bringing empty buildings in Denver and San Francisco back to life as event venues. Most are historic and architectural showpieces that offer a flare all their own. From The Brighton, a 37,000-square-foot industrial space with 30-foot ceilings and an additional 43,700 square feet of outdoor space and the iconic 35,000-square-foot Sports Castle to more intimate spaces like The Broadway and The Arch, a former taproom in the RiNo Art District, Non Plus Ultra’s Denver venues provide a blank canvas for planners and suppliers to work their magic. El Jebel is the latest addition and boasts two opulent ballrooms, a spacious amphitheater, and a variety of lavishly designed spaces, each representing a different era in architectural style.


Upper Larimer is another great option in RiNo. The property dates to 1888 and 1908, featuring the main venue that offers 6,000 square feet of space and a small historic home that are connected by a new sun deck that offers an additional 2,000 square feet. Due to a major transformation in 2020, the property has become a sought-after location for meetings and events. The main venue was constructed with hearth timber beams and has exposed brick walls while the sun deck has a natural river stone wall, cedar framing and well-appointed landscaping.

Upper Larimer's main venue has 6,000 square feet of distinct space, courtesy Upper Larimer

A Taste of the West

Nestled in the foothills of Morrison west of Denver, The Fort Restaurant is modeled after a 1830s fur-trading post and is one of the largest adobe structures in the United States and one of the most unique venues for meetings you can find. The Fort was the first restaurant to have Colorado bison on the menu and celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2023. This truly unique venue for Colorado meetings can provide groups with everything from a simple cocktail hour and dinner to an event with entertainment and activities. The menu is sure to impress with items like elk, buffalo, beef, quail, duck, lamb, lobster, trout and salmon as options along with empanadas, stuffed poblano peppers, peanut butter jalapeños and a historian’s platter. The Fort can host up to 350 guests, has two meeting spaces and nine private areas that can be booked, and offers half and full buyouts.

Exposed wood beam trusses add character to the Main Hall, courtesy Church Ranch Event Center

Located between Denver and Boulder, Church Ranch Event Center reflects Colorado’s natural beauty and rich history. At the cusp of the 20th century, the property was originally owned by the Church family and part of over 27,000 acres. By 1914, a horse barn was built in commemoration of a stagecoach stop for the Overland Stage Route. The main building, now known as the Great Hall, has a vaulted ceiling and exposed wooden beam trusses and once contained horse stalls and a training arena. Eventually, the facility and the land east of the parking lot became a nursery. In the 1990s, lush gardens were created and a reception hall developed, paving the way for what is now an event center. There are two acres of private gardens, waterfalls and hundreds of shade trees that provide truly peaceful surroundings.


Another of Colorado’s unique venues for meetings is the 1,450-acre Flying W Ranch that opened in 1953 and is nestled in the foothills of Pikes Peak above Colorado Springs. Stunning red rock formations serve as the backdrop for dinners, rodeos, axe throwing, archery, team-building activities, horse-drawn wagon and carriage rides, and farrier, silversmithing and Navajo rug weaving demonstrations. Don’t miss shows by the Flying W Wranglers from the end of May through early October and the group’s Cowboy Christmas Jubilee in December. The ranch hosts groups of 20 to 900 indoors and up to 6,000 outdoors.


Under new ownership, Hartsel Ranch has undergone a complete renovation. The main lodge is upscale luxury with two large living spaces featuring an original stone fireplace and a large conference table, a dining room that can be converted to a meeting space, a bar area, and two spacious porches with lounge chairs and fire pits. The 1,000-acre ranch also has numerous outdoor areas where events can occur and a party barn with about 1,800 square feet of space that is being renovated. Four new cabins will be available for rent starting this summer.


Hot Springs & Watering Holes

For a place to stay, meet and soak in amazing hot springs, head to 70-acre Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort in Nathrop near Buena Vista. The property’s namesake, the 14,200-foot Mount Princeton, is visible from the various hot springs pools and accommodations that range from hotel rooms to cabins of varying sizes. There are three meeting spaces totaling 8,000 square feet and two outdoor wedding venues that also can work for groups looking for unique venues for meetings.

One of several great spaces to gather at Tom's Watch Bar, courtesy Tom's Watch Bar

Switching from geothermal waters in the mountains to something a little stronger in the city, check out Tom’s Watch Bar at the corner of Wynkoop and 19th Street in Lower Downtown (LoDo) Denver next to Coors Field. It’s the ultimate destination for sports enthusiasts and a prime place for small gatherings and large groups of up to 615 seated and 1,000 reception style. TV screens are strategically placed throughout the venue to meet audiovisual needs and show high-priority games. There is a total of 10 meeting spaces, including patio options, and planners can choose from a variety of menu packages.


Stepping back more than three decades, LoDo didn’t have a ballpark, valet parking or farm-to-table restaurants. However, four guys wanted to brew great beer and managed to open Colorado’s first brewpub and Denver’s first craft brewery in 1988. They located Wynkoop Brewing Co. in the circa 1899 J. S. Brown Mercantile Building, constructed a couple bars, installed a small brewhouse on the main floor and placed 22 pool tables on the second floor. Beer drinkers braved what was a very quiet and slightly sketchy neighborhood at the time for billiards and pints of unexpected beer styles. One of the four guys, John Hickenlooper, ended up going on to serve as Denver’s mayor, Colorado’s governor and is currently a U.S. senator representing Colorado. Today, Wynkoop Brewing Co. is a Denver institution and a favorite for groups due to the prime location, availability of great food and beer, and the vintage building with six event spaces and three private rooms that can host up to 1,200 people.


This is only the tip of the iceberg offering unique venues for meetings in Colorado. When inquiring with destination marketing organizations and destination management companies, make sure to ask for standout local recommendations so attendees go home with plenty to remember and talk about!


Top Photo: Courtesy The Fort Restaurant


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.