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 updates to the Denver Airport are underway, making more space for large groups and easing their arrivals.
An expansion project is adding 39 new gates at Denver International Airport. The first four opened on Concourse B in November 2020 and 16 gates debuted on the east side of Concourse C in May 2022. The final 19 gates should open by the end of this year. The facility has entered phase two of renovations to the Great Hall, to be completed in 2024.
Event Venues, Additions & Renovations
• Access to Denver International Airport is about to get a little easier, in the form of the 7-mile Aerotropolis Parkway. Plans call for a six-lane thoroughfare with no traffic lights.
• A $20 million exterior project is underway at the 1,501-room Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center. A new games lawn and some terraces are being added, along with native plants. The property has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star certification. To earn the designation, buildings must use 35 percent less energy and produce 35 percent fewer greenhouse-gas emissions. An expansion to the convention resort had been ready to go before the onset of Covid-19; that project, which would add 317 more rooms, could restart sometime this year. The property offers Moore than 517,000 square feet oof meeting space, including a 47,748-square-foot ballroom.
• Take events to new heights at the Hangar at Stanley. With more than 18,000 square feet indoors and outdoors, and a capacity of up to 1,500 people, it's one of Aurora's largest venues.
• At Cherry Creek State Park, horse lovers can venture over to 12 Mile Stables for a ride. Outdoor events are welcome here for up to 250 people, complete with trail rides, Clydesdale-drawn hayrides, horseshoe pits, volleyball and Western cookouts.
Group properties include the 1,501-room Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center, 287-room Radisson Hotel Denver–Aurora, 250-room DoubleTree by Hilton Denver–Aurora, 249-room Hyatt Regency Aurora Denver and 238-room Denver Airport Marriott at Gateway Park.
To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, visit Northstar Meeting Group’s venue finder.
Denver International Airport, 15 miles from downtown Aurora. Transfer cost:
- By taxi, $42
- By Lyft or Uber, $28
- Room tax, 8%
- Sales tax, 5%
- Total tax on hotel rooms, 13%, plus a $2 per night destination marketing fee
Event Venues, Additions & Renovations
• The Slate Denver, a 251-room Tapestry Collection by Hilton property, debuted last May across from the Colorado Convention Center. Formerly the Emily Griffith Opportunity School, the hotel has 4,500 square feet of its own educationally named meeting spaces, such as the Library, the Assembly and the Study Hall. The restaurant, the Teachers’ Lounge, offers three meals a day and an outdoor patio.
• Debuting in early 2024 is the 190-room Kimpton Denver Tech Center, the brand’s third hotel in the Denver area. The property will feature 7,000 square feet of meeting space, a signature restaurant and bar on the ground floor, and a 19th-floor rooftop lounge with views of the Rocky Mountains from Pikes Peak to Longs Peak.
• Lower Downtown (LoDo) welcomed the 216-room Thompson Denver in February. The property has more than 7,500 square feet of meeting space, and on-site dining options include Chez Maggy, a French brasserie from chef Ludo Lefebvre, his first restaurant outside Los Angeles. Reynard Social, a sixth-floor sunroom lounge, serves craft cocktails and an upscale bar menu; the space hosts events for up to 200 people.
• Expansion work at the Colorado Convention Center continues, to be completed by late 2023. The project will add an 80,000-square-foot ballroom that will be divisible into as many as 19 breakout rooms, a 35,000-square-foot prefunction area, and a 20,000-square-foot outdoor terrace with panoramic views of the mountains and the city. The convention center remains open during construction.
• Among the many new eateries in town is Point Easy in the Whittier neighborhood. Serving seasonal, local, “interesting” fare, the menu recently featured such mouthwatering options as roasted beet salad, mushroom marsala, braised Colorado lamb shank and Buxton Boats mussels. Bring in up to 100 people for a private event.
• Surround your guests with the Wild West at the American Museum of Western Art, the Anschutz Collection. The intimate facility hosts groups of up to 130 people.
• The Denver Art Museum’s reimagined Martin Building has two new restaurants, including one from local chef Jennifer Jasinski.
• Home to six professional teams, Denver has multiple downtown stadiums and arenas that are available to host events of all sizes. The 20,000-seat Ball Arena, home to the Denver Nuggets (NBA), Colorado Avalanche (NHL) and Colorado Mammoth (professional lacrosse), has 15 meeting rooms. The NFL’s Broncos play at Empower Stadium at Mile High, which also welcomes groups of all sizes in its 200,000 square feet of event space. The Colorado Rockies’s Coors Field is one of the most popular stadiums in major league baseball. Special event spaces throughout the facility include the warning track, the Rooftop and the Sandlot Club. Finally, the 18,000-seat Dick’s Sporting Goods Park hosts Major League Soccer’s Colorado Rapids. Among the private event spaces are the 100-seat Summit Club, and the concourses, which hold up to 2,000.
More than 51,000 rooms are available in the metro area, and about 9,000 guest rooms are within walking distance of the Colorado Convention Center. To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, visit Northstar Meetings Group’s venue finder.
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
• Home to the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum, the city now offers a comprehensive guide to accessible attractions, experiences and itineraries on the Visit Colorado Springs website.
• Construction is underway on the four-story, 139-room Residence Inn by Marriott at Peak Innovation Park, just minutes from the Colorado Springs Airport. Opening in October, the hotel will be the first of a two-phase project that will include a 127-room Courtyard by Marriott. The two properties will be connected with a common lobby and shared amenities. Work on the second hotel will start about a year after the Residence Inn opens. If demand for meeting space is strong, developers might add a 12,000-square-foot conference center.
• The dual-branded SpringHill Suites by Marriott and Element Colorado Springs Downtown debuted last May, just a few blocks from the Pikes Peak Center for Performing Arts and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum. Together, the properties offer a combined 261 guest rooms, 3,600 square feet of meeting space, and a rooftop bar with indoor/outdoor seating and firepits.
• The Federal Aviation Administration has earmarked $6 million for a concourse modernization project at Colorado Springs Airport. The work will increase passenger capacity and improve accessibility. Environmental upgrades also are expected, including water-usage reduction methods in the bathrooms and the addition of LED lighting. The funds come from a grant provided through President Biden’s $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Bill.
• Coming soon to nearby Cripple Creek is the 300-room Chamonix Casino Hotel. Plans call for a rooftop pool, a full-service spa, a fine-dining restaurant, a casino and extensive meetings space. Scheduled to open in a few months, the property will be connected to Bronco Billy’s Casino, which renovated its gaming space in December 2022.
• Work has begun on a 32,000-square-foot visitor’s center and a 375-room hotel at the U.S. Air Force Academy in El Paso County, just north of Colorado Springs. The venues will be outside of the academy’s security checkpoint and will be open to the public. The hotel will offer 26,000 square feet of event space, and there also will be retail and office space. Most of the project will be completed in 2024.
About 5,000 guest rooms are available for groups, including the 784-room Broadmoor, 313-room Cheyenne Mountain Resort and 303-room Colorado Springs Marriott.
To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, visit Northstar Meetings Group’s venue finder.
Colorado Springs Airport, about 13 miles from downtown. Transfer cost:
- By taxi, $36
- By Uber and Lyft, $19
- Most area hotels offer shuttle service
- Room tax, 7.35%
- Sales tax, 2.9%
- Total tax on hotel rooms, 10.25%
Get down to business over a glass — or two or three — of Colorado's finest at the Bourbon Brothers Smokehouse and Tavern. This Southern-inspired restaurant prides itself on serving mouthwatering BBQ that can be paired with an extensive list of whiskeys from across the Centennial State to as far away as Canada and Japan. The barrel-lined Bourbon Room accommodates seated dinners for up to 25 people, while the bright and airy Sunroom hosts 60 guests for a banquet or up to 80 people for a reception. For larger events, head next door to the Boot Barn at Bourbon Brothers, a 15,000-square-foot venue with a 7,000-square-foot patio and five firepits.
For gatherings with a gallery backdrop, book the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. The 132,000-square-foot facility features a variety of event spaces, including the jazz-inspired Deco Lounge, which fits 40 guests for a seated dinner. The Smith Family Gallery seats 160 people or hosts 300 for a reception.
A recent addition to the city’s eclectic dining scene is Zocala, an authentic and creative Mexican-fusion eatery that opened in late 2022. Unique menu items include poke nachos with sashimi-grade tuna, a brisket quesadilla and fried chicken tacos. Pair your meal with a classic margarita or guava mojito — and don’t forget the churros.
As the snow starts to melt around the state, the warm-weather lovers are coming out of hibernation. Beginning in mid-April, Adventure Out West offers hot-air balloon rides that depart at sunrise. Thrill-seeking attendees also can book ziplining adventures above Manitou Springs; arrange a Rocky Mountain tour via Jeep, bike or Segway; or take a guided hike.
The award-winning Goat Patch Brewing Company features a dozen ales on tap. Standouts include the Oat Milk Mocha Latte Stout and the Baaah-ley Wine ale.
Visit Colorado Springs
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 Golf Resort, Southwest, The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs (Silver)
Best Golf Resort, Southwest, Garden of the Gods Resort and Club, Colorado Springs (Bronze)
Best Hotel/Resort Renovation, Southwest, Sheraton Denver Downtown (Silver)
Best Hotel/Resort Event Space, Southwest, Hilton Garden Inn Denver Union Station (Bronze)
Best On-Site Support Staff, Southwest, The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs (Bronze)
Best Boutique Property, Southwest, The Art Hotel Denver, Curio Collection by Hilton (Silver)
Best Boutique Property, Southwest, Halcyon Hotel, Cherry Creek, Denver (Bronze)
- Best Hotel/Resort, Southwest, The Broadmoor, Gold winner
- Best Hotel/Resort Event Space, Southwest, Grand Hyatt Denver, Gold winner
- Best Sustainability Initiative, Southwest, The Broadmoor, Gold winner
- Best Food and Beverage, Southwest, The Broadmoor, Silver winner
- Best Food and Beverage, Southwest, Halcyon, a Hotel in Cherry Creek, Finalist
- Best Décor/Design, Southwest, Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center, Gold winner
- Best Hotel/Resort, Southwest, The Broadmoor, Silver winner
- Best Renovation, Southwest, The Broadmoor, Gold winner
- Best Renovation, Southwest, Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort & Spa, Silver winner
- Best Renovation, Southwest, Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center, Bronze winner
- Best Conference Center, Southwest, Beaver Run Resort & Conference Center, Gold winner
- Best Convention Center, Southwest, Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center, Silver winner
- Best Hotel/Event Space (On-Site), Southwest, The Broadmoor, Gold winner
- Best Golf Resort, Southwest, The Broadmoor, Silver winner
- Best Decor/Design, Southwest, Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort & Spa, Gold winner
- Best Decor/Design, Southwest, Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center, Silver winner
- Best Food & Beverage, Southwest, Grand Hyatt Denver, Gold winner
- Best Food & Beverage, Southwest, The Broadmoor, Silver winner
- Best On-Site Support Staff, Southwest, The Broadmoor, Gold winner
- Best On-Site Support Staff, Southwest, Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center, Silver winner
- 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