Meeting in the MountainsApril 8, 2024

Reaching New Heights By
April 8, 2024

Meeting in the Mountains

Reaching New Heights
Photo courtesy of Visit Colorado Springs

Photo courtesy of Visit Colorado Springs

From the expansive summits of Vail Mountain in Colorado to the towering pines of Colorado Springs, mountain meetings offer attendees the chance to experience nature at its best, all while getting down to business.

Undoubtedly, there is a richness of scenery created by 14,000-foot peaks towering over stunning lodges and contemporary resorts. Hosting meetings and events in alpine communities offers attendees a vast array of outdoor experiences. In the summertime, this may mean hitting the links at a resort that is at the base of a stunning mountain range or ziplining along mountain ridges and valleys. In the winter, it may include a wide variety of skiing and winter sports adventures.

For many planners, when they think of hosting an event in a mountainous area, Colorado comes to mind. And rightfully so. From Denver to Aurora to Colorado Springs, the state is the “go to” favorite among mountain resort aficionados.

While Denver’s urban flair complements in Rocky Mountain presence, the city also provides exceptional meeting and event experiences. Just ask Gretchen Bliss, event producer for the Healthcare Financial Management Association Annual Conference, held in Denver in 2022. The HFMA Annual Conference is the premier event in healthcare finance, drawing more than 3,000 attendees from across the nation and offering strategy-focused general sessions, more than 70 educational sessions and multiple content tracks over four days.

“VISIT Denver and the destination is top notch,” Bliss says. “Our attendees loved the ease of the Colorado Convention Center, the walkability of the hotels and all of the energy in the city. VISIT Denver and the Colorado Convention Center staff are a great team to partner with. They were incredibility responsive and many times anticipated my needs before I did.”

Denver is an outdoor city with spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains and plenty of urban adventures for all ages. Meeting attendees enjoy exploring The Mile High City’s farm-to-table cuisine, local craft breweries and unique live music venues like the famous Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre.

In the two years since HFMA held its conference in Denver, the Mile High City has experienced exciting advancements and additions to its meetings and events offerings. Opening in spring 2024, the Populus at Civic Center Park is the first carbon positive hotel thanks to its sustainable design and construction and its commitment to plant the amount of trees equivalent to 5,000 acres of forest.

Situated in the heart of Denver’s Belleview Station, the Kimpton Claret Hotel will also be opening in 2024 and will feature 10,000 sf of meeting and event space. The hotel’s 19th floor rooftop bar will be a great place for small groups to gather and enjoy the dramatic 180-degree views of the Rocky Mountains. The Denver Coliseum is a favorite venue for large-scale events, and the current renovations will add a significant number of new spaces trade shows, conventions, corporate events, concerts and festivals, to name a few. More than 2 million sf of indoor and outdoor space is being developed, including 20 acres of public plazas and flexible stockyards.

And the much-celebrated expansion of the Colorado Convention Center has captured the attention of meeting and event professionals across the country. The expansion features 80,000 sf of flexible meeting and ballroom space, plus 35,000 sf of pre-function space and a 20,000 sf outdoor terrace located on the building’s roof.

Colorado Springs, CO

Nestled at the foot of Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs is the epitome of a classic mountain town. Here, the majestic Rocky Mountains bring a sense of adventure to this vibrant city. Not only does Colorado Springs exude a sense of natural beauty that truly “wows” but it offers a diverse range of experiences that will leave an indelible mark on event attendees.

And the Broadmoor is one quintessential mountain resort that’s offers the idyllic mountain resort experience. In the summer, the resort’s award-winning, championship golf courses are teeming with activity. For those non-golfers in a group, the Broadmoor features 5,000 acres where attendees can experience falconry, mountain biking, rock climbing, fly fishing and Wild West experiences aplenty. The resort also features awe-inspiring spa and fitness options for those attendees who may not be golf aficionados. In the winter, attendees can enjoy the winter outdoor adventures, including hiking and skiing. Or go zip lining at the resort’s Seven Falls, where attendees can experience views of snow-covered canyons.

And while Colorado Springs certainly is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, the city also provides many other attractions including delicious local eateries, inspiring cultural events and charming art galleries and boutiques.

When it comes time to gather as a group, the resort’s elegant Cheyenne Lodge is teeming with pure coziness, and the outdoor patio showcases breathtaking views of the surrounding area and is the ideal spot for presentations, meetings or cocktail hours.

“The Institute for Credentialing Excellence (I.C.E.) has held our annual conference at The Broadmoor twice in the past several years,” says Denise Roosendaal, CAE, FASAE, executive director at the Institute for Credentialing Excellence. “The amazing meeting facility, incredible hospitality, and beautiful surroundings has been a crowd pleaser each time. I look forward to bringing the conference back to The Broadmoor in the future.”

With its newly completed trade show and exhibition hall, the Broadmoor features more than 300,000 sf of event space. This means that small and large conferences, as well as trade shows and conventions can be held in this magnificent venue. The facility will features 32 breakout rooms, providing additional areas to hold smaller sessions.

Also in Colorado Springs is the much-anticipated Hotel Polaris, expected to open at the end of 2024. The new hotel is located at the U.S. Air Force Academy near Colorado Springs. With 26,000 sf of meeting space, as well as 375 guest rooms, the Hotel Polaris will be a welcoming mountain escape at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in the shadow of legendary Pikes Peak.

In addition to Colorado Springs and Denver, Colorado’s Vail Valley also offers an array of meeting options. Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa features over 20,000 sf of flexible indoor and outdoor meeting and event space. Located at the base of Beaver Creek Mountain means that attendees can enjoy ski-in/ski-out amenities. In addition, for events held during the winter, groups can enjoy snowshoeing and snowmobiling, while warm months offer fly fishing, river rafting and 4×4 adventure rides.

As one of the preeminent alpine resorts in the U.S., Vail also offers an array of meeting and event venues options throughout Vail’s alpine villages. Classic, yet contemporary environs provide a memorable backdrop for meeting and dining experiences throughout the resort. One of the most idyllic dining experiences, for up to 300 attendees for a buffet dinner or up to 400 for a cocktail reception, is at the Eagles Nest. This spot offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountain ranges, and in the summer months, attendees can enjoy gathering on the expansive outdoor deck.

Of course, no meeting or event held in Vail would be complete without attendees embarking on the many summer and winter activities. From skiing to mountain biking, from cultural events to world-class shopping, Vail is an all-encompassing experience for events of all sizes.

Aurora, CO

As the up-and-coming destination for “all things mountain experiences,” Aurora, CO is proving to be the ideal place to host a meeting or event. In fact, Aurora is fast becoming a premier destination for convention and business events. Overall, the city offers more than 1 million sf of meeting space, including convention centers, resorts and hotels. In addition, the city prides itself on offering some very unique meeting places, including breweries, rooftop decks and retired airplane hangars. In fact, The Hangar is one of the area’s largest indoor and outdoor venue, featuring the original hangar’s design elements, including steel beams, large wooden wire spools and polished concrete floors.

One of the “must see” spots for attendees to explore is Aurora’s Stanley Marketplace. A former aviation factory, this marketplace is teeming with locally owned businesses, shops, eateries, a brewery and galleries. In addition, Aurora boasts a cultural arts district and various historical sites that will entice attendees during their free time. And it’s in the cultural arts district where planners will discover the People’s Building, a unique venue that offers 3,000 sf of flexible meeting and event space.

For a unique team-building experience, Create Kitchen and Bar offers a variety of private cooking classes and a full-service bar where attendees can socialize while sipping some unique concoctions.

Jackson Hole, WY

Every year, millions of visitors explore Jackson Hole as it is located on the doorstep of two monumental national parks, Yellowstone and Grand Teton. While a tourist town, Jackson Hole also is a great mountain escape for planners looking for a unique locale for meetings and events.

Overlooking the National Elk Refuge on the outskirts of Jackson Hole, the National Museum of Wildlife art offers several indoor event rental spaces. Among these spaces, the museum’s Terrace offers 2,000 sf of space and is ideal for small affairs, and the Pike and Susan Sullivan Hall, which opens onto the museum’s Sculpture Trail Terrace, is ideal for group dining and receptions.

The beautiful Snow King Resort in Jackson Hole offers 20,000 sf of indoor and outdoor event space and can accommodate up to 300 attendees. Thanks to being located mountainside and within walking distance of Jackson Hole’s downtown, Snow King Resort offers the best of both worlds – plenty of outdoor amenities for nature aficionados and ample opportunities for non-sporting enthusiasts to explore the cultural and shopping experiences of Jackson Hole.

The Snow King Resort recently renovated its Grand View Lodge, which is complete with an expansive Grand Teton Ballroom and an array of outdoor terraces, lawns and patios for those planners looking to include the mountain landscape as a backdrop to events of all sizes.

Lake Tahoe, CA

When you think of mountain spots in sunny California, what comes to mind? Why, Lake Tahoe, of course. One of the newest, renovated venue spots gracing Tahoe is the Everline Resort & Spa, formerly known as the Resort at Squaw Creek.

This newly redesigned Tahoe resort features several team-building experiences designed for groups looking to connect and bond, while enjoying the great outdoors. For example, a favorite resort experience at Everline is the Pedal Paddle Adventure, which including a seven-mile guided bike ride to Lake Tahoe, followed by a paddleboard tour of the west shore of Lake Tahoe. The adventure is completed by a seven-mile bike ride back to the resort.

For business meetings and events, Everline features 33,000 sf of indoor meeting space, as well as 14,700 sf of outdoor meeting spaces, which provide expansive views of the nearby mountain meadows, as well as several scenic locations at the Links at Everline, a one-of-a-kind golf course that takes advantage of the resort’s dramatic mountain setting.

Another favorite meeting venue is the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe. This luxury property boasts ski-in/ski-out amenities and offers more than 10,000 sf in event space throughout five spacious event rooms. In addition, the resort features several private outdoor terraces, offering over 15,000 sf of space to allow attendees to enjoy the resort’s pristine mountainous location.

Poconos, PA

And while most people consider mountain meetings take place on the Western side of the country within the great Rocky Mountains, plenty of mountain escapes can be found on the East Coast as well.

One favorite mountain locale is the Poconos. Located in northeastern Pennsylvania, the Pocono Mountains offer plenty of conference and meeting facilities, including the Mount Airy Casino Resort, Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, and the Skytop Lodge, which offers a 12,000 sf executive conference center. In addition, the Poconos Mountains area is filled with team-building outlets including whitewater rafting, paintball and retreat experiences.  I&FMM.


Back To Top