Why Colorado for Your Next Meeting or Event?
The Centennial State has a wealth of outdoor event and adventure space, and more indoor meeting space is on the way. Denver is in the process of expanding the Colorado Convention Center, and in Colorado Springs, The Broadmoor hopes to add more square feet for exhibits by spring 2020.
Event Venues, Additions & Renovations
Winter or summer, groups can head out for hikes from Snowmass Village
guided by a naturalist from the Aspen Center for Environment Studies
to explore forest health, civic leadership and more. Try the 3.5-mile Snowmass Wildflower Walk through lush alpine meadows.
• While construction has not yet begun on the expansion of the Colorado Convention Center, a project approved by Denver voters in 2015, there has been some related activity. The original developer was fired in December 2018; this past July, the Denver City Council hired Rider Levett Bucknall to manage the work for $8 million. The plan is to add 80,000 square feet of meeting space and 100,000 square feet of prefunction space, which will include a 50,000-square-foot rooftop terrace with mountain views. The center’s technology and networking spaces also will be enhanced.
• Also coming to Colorado is a new outpost of Hello! Destination Management. The company is opening its eleventh office in Denver, which will specialize in destination management services in Denver and Colorado Springs.
• The 1,231-room Sheraton Denver Downtown, has begun an $80 million project that will touch on all aspects, including its 133,000 square feet of meeting space. The hotel, Denver’s largest, also will get a new lobby and entryway, revamped restaurants and a new lobby bar. All guest rooms will be redone, as will the Plaza Ballroom and foyer. Completion is set for April 2020
• Marriott has added the Element Denver Downtown East Hotel near the convention center. The property opened in August with 118 guest rooms, 39 suites and two meeting rooms.
• Hyatt Hotels has broken ground on the 216-room Thompson Denver, the first Thompson hotel in Colorado, which is expected to open in 2021. The property will be on Market Street in LoDo (Lower Downtown), around the corner from Union Station. The design aims for a modern-day chalet vibe, evidenced in the oversized fireplace that will extend from the lowerlevel meeting space through to the lobby floor. Amenities will include a grab-and-go café that will become a bar in the evening. The brand’s signature Thompson Suite will be one of 15 luxury suites offered by the hotel.
• The Mission Ballroom, a music venue for up to 3,950 people, has opened. It includes a flexible stage, great sight lines and an advanced sound system.
• The 201-room Jacquard Hotel & Rooftop, an Autograph Collection property from Marriott, has debuted with 6,900 square feet of event space and a 75-foot rooftop pool that can be covered for events.
• A new restaurant, Gattara (referencing the kittenish décor), has debuted at the 216-room Warwick Denver. The eatery seats guests indoors and outdoors, serving classic Italian cuisine with modern influences as created by executive chef Thomas Newsted. A cat-themed cocktail menu features such specialties as the Sphynx (Leopold’s gin, Courvoisier and the local Stranahan’s single-malt Colorado whiskey).
• The 400-room Renaissance Denver Stapleton Hotel, built in 1986, has completed a $15 million renovation. The guest rooms and approximately 40,000 square feet of meeting space were redone, as were the lobby and the hotel’s dining options. A new American regional eatery, Fifty300, has a ski-lift motif.
• Built in the 1920s as a movie palace (the marquis still lights up the block), the Gothic Theatre was repurposed in the 1990s as an event venue, with all the art deco details refreshed. Holding up to 1,100, the facility hosts concerts and more.
Next Door to Denver
Raw Space With Promise
At the People’s Building
in Aurora, the Gallery has floor-to-ceiling windows and a bar, while the Flex features an LED wall and retractable seating.
The city of Aurora has instituted a $2 destination marketing improvement fee per room night, hoping to bring in an extra $3 million per year to promote the city. The charge is in addition to the city’s 13 percent total tax on hotel rooms. Meeting hotels in Aurora include the 249-room Hyatt Regency Aurora Denver and the brand-new 1,501-room Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center.
The Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center debuted in December 2018, and is already planning to expand. About $80 million is being invested in the property to add an extra 317 guest rooms, which are expected to open in early 2022. The Rocky Mountain retreat also offers nearly 518,000 square feet of meeting space, an indoor/outdoor water park, a lazy river, and a 17-room spa and salon.
Colorado Springs is also improving its offerings for groups. The Broadmoor, a 784-room which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2018, will debut new meeting space in April. The Broadmoor Exhibit Hall will feature 93,500 square feet of trade-show space and 32 meeting rooms, bringing the hotel’s total event space up to 315,000 square feet. Over the past couple of years, the property has also expanded the lobby, renovated the golf club, and opened Café Julie, a Parisian patisserie serving decadent chocolate, housemade gelato and more. The rejuvenating spa also has been updated, as have a number of the on-site dining options, including the hotel’s bar and the Ristorante del Lago.
The 10-story, 168-room Hilton Garden Inn Colorado Springs Downtown featuring four meeting rooms debuted in September 2019, the first newly built hotel to open in downtown in more than 40 years. But it won't be the last.
Ground has been broken on Kinship Landing, a boutique property offering 40 guest rooms and a greenhouse-inspired event space that will host up to 120 people for a reception. The hotel is expected to open later this year.
In 2021, a dual-branded SpringHill Suites by Marriott and Element by Westin will debut downtown with 259 guest rooms, a rooftop bar and 4,200 square feet of meetings space.
The city will also soon house the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum and Hall of Fame. The museum is designed to showcase the history of the games from ancient Olympia to present day. In addition to interactive exhibits and a hall of fame, the facility will feature a 20,000-square-foot exhibition hall and additional event space. The museum is expected to open by the end of May.
More than 8,600 guest rooms are within walking distance of the Colorado Convention Center. To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, visit Northstar Meetings Group’s new venue finder.
Colorado Convention Center
Colorado Convention Center; exhibit space, 584,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 63.
Denver International Airport, about 30 miles from downtown. Transfer cost to downtown:
- By taxi, $68
- By Lyft and Uber, about $40
- Room tax, 10.75%
- Sales tax, 4%
- Tax on hotels with 50 or more rooms, 1%
- Total tax on hotel rooms, 14.75% (15.75% in larger hotels)
CONTACT: Visit Denver
Event Venues, Additions & Renovations
• The 784-room Broadmoor, which already sports 185,000 square feet of meeting space, is building an additional 110,000-square-foot exhibit hall with 32 breakout rooms, which is expected to be completed by April 2020 for the property’s largest event, the Space Symposium. The hall, being built next to Broadmoor Hall, will be available exclusively to multipurpose exhibitions and events held in conjunction with the property for multiday conferences. The Broadmoor has plenty of great space for smaller events, as well, including three offcampus spots for retreats: Cloud Camp on top of Cheyenne Mountain; the Ranch at Emerald Valley, a forested getaway; and the Fly Fishing Camp. Two new sports venues, one indoor and one outdoor, are being built in the city for $60 million. Opening in 2021, both Weidner Stadium and the Robson Arena will host professional, Olympic and amateur sports events, as well as concerts, corporate events and other gatherings.
• Perfect for an eco-conscious crowd is the 174-room SCP Hotel, which opened last January. (SCP stands for “soul, community, planet.”) A 2,500-square-foot communal space can be used for gatherings, and the Provisions Market sells nutritious “vegan-forward” items. The SCP Fit workout rooms offer state-of-the-art equipment and dedicated yoga and meditation rooms.
• The city plans to build the $60 million Colorado Sports and Event Center, featuring two multipurpose venues for professional, Olympic and amateur sporting contests, as well as entertainment and cultural events.
10 Awesome Attractions in the Centennial State
- Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver - nature
- Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs - nature
- Rocky Mountains - nature
- Main Street, Breckenridge - landmark
- Peak to Peak Scenic Byway, Estes Park - scenic drive
- Colorado Chautauqua: Park, Boulder - nature
- Maroon Bells, Aspen - nature
- Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and Museum, Durango - scenic railroad
- Boreas Pass Road, Breckenridge - scenic drive
- Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs - nature
- Best Hotel/Resort; Best Golf Resort; Best Food and Beverage; Best On-Site Support Staff; Best Renovation (within past year), Southwest: The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs
- Best Convention Center (regional, standalone facility); Best Décor/Design; Best Food and Beverage; Best On-Site Tech/Wi-Fi; Best Green Initiative, Southwest: Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center, Aurora, Colo.
- Best Renovation (within past year), Southwest: Hyatt Regency Denver at the Colorado Convention Center
- Best Boutique Property; Best Décor/Design, Southwest: The Sebastian - Vail, Colo.
- Best On-Site Support Staff, Southwest: Grand Hyatt Denver
- Best Conference Center (regional, standalone facility), Southwest: Beaver Run Resort & Conference Center, Breckenridge
- Best CVB/DMO (regional), Southwest: Visit Denver
- Best DMC (regional), Southwest: Imprint Events Colorado
- Best DMC (regional), Southwest: Visit Colorado Springs
- Best Hotel/Resort, Southwest: The Broadmoor
- Best Golf Resort, Southwest: The Broadmoor
- Best Décor/Design, Southwest: The Broadmoor
- Best Food and Beverage, Southwest: The Broadmoor
- Best On-Site Support Staff, Southwest: The Broadmoor
- Best Conference Center, Southwest: Beaver Run Resort & Conference Center, Breckenridge
- Best Boutique Property, Southwest: The Sebastian - Vail
- Best Décor/Design, Southwest: The Sebastian - Vail
- Best DMC, Southwest: Imprint Events Colorado
- Best Décor/Design, Southwest: Grand Hyatt Denver
- Best Décor/Design, Southwest: the ART, a hotel
- Best Hotel/Resort, Southwest: the ART, a hotel
- Best Green Initiative, Southwest: Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center