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.
Event Venues, Additions & Renovations
• Construction continues apace on Denver International Airport’s $2.3 billion improvement project. The first phase, a renovation of Jeppesen Terminal that is expected to be completed by the end of the year, is enhancing security, improving passenger flow and increasing the facility’s capacity. For phase two, 39 new gates will be added by March or April, including 16 for Southwest Airlines. When the airport was built 26 years ago, it was estimated that the facility would see 50 million passengers a year; in 2019, more than 69 million people traveled through.
• Ryman Hospitality Properties has purchased the final 35 percent stake in the 1,501-room Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center for $188 million, and is also buying 129 acres that are zoned for hotels, retail and more. An expansion to the convention resort had been ready to go before the coronavirus hit; that project, which would add 317 more rooms, could restart sometime next year. The property offers more than 517,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 47,748-square-foot ballroom.
• 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
When the night calls for a truly special meal, Colorado has a host of singular eateries that provide the goods. These spots are among the best.
In Aurora, the place to go is Annette
from chef Caroline Glover, who recently created a three-course meal for the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America: Denver. The restaurant serves its eclectic modern menu to up to 65 people for an event.The Warehouse
is a wise choice in Colorado Springs. Western and locally sourced are its food themes, and its largest private space, the gallery, hosts up to 150 people.
Denver has plenty of options, among them the Bindery
, carved out of an old book bindery. A marketplace by day, the kitchen makes magic with unusual ingredients by night for groups of up to 135.
• As of the end of September, the $233 million expansion of the Colorado Convention Center has finally begun. Construction will add an 80,000-square-foot multipurpose room (Colorado’s largest ballroom) and a rooftop outdoor terrace. While the work is expected to finish up in late 2023, events in the new space are being scheduled for 2024.
• The 1,231-room Sheraton Denver Downtown has completed an $80 million propertywide renovation. The hotel now sports the brand’s newest look in the rooms, lobby and 133,000 square feet of meeting space.
• An independent hotel opened in the River North Art District in August. The 165-room Catbird is built around a four-bedroom historic home and offers a 3,300-square-foot rooftop with fire pits, an amphitheater, and the signature bar and restaurant, the Red Barber.
• Also new is the Rally Hotel across the street from Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies. The 182-room property has 21,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space, including two ballrooms: the 2,061-square-foot Baseline Ballroom and the 1,783-square-foot Wynkoop Ballroom.
• The 216-room Thompson Denver, the first Thompson hotel in Colorado, will open in early 2022. 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 lower-level 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.
• Work is finishing up on the Denver Art Museum’s Martin Building, adding two dining spaces, including a restaurant from local chef Jennifer Jasinski. The building is scheduled to reopen for its 50th anniversary at the end of this year.
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 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 Broadmoor’s brand-new 125,000-square-foot Bartolin Hall hosted its first event, the Space Symposium, in August. The new facility brings the 784-room resort’s event space to 315,000 square feet.
Ski In, Never Leave
The perfect mountain retreat awaits in Aspen, home to two properties in OneFineStay’s Luxury Ski Chalet Collection. Cloud Manor
features six bedrooms and eight bathrooms at the base of Aspen Mountain.
• The 40-room Kinship Landing opened in March. Its Greenhaus event space accommodates up to 120 guests.
•A visitors center has opened at the top of Pikes Peak (the purple mountain of the song, “America the Beautiful”). Access to the 14,115-foot summit from Manitou Springs, near Colorado Springs, is by the Broadmoor Manitou Pikes Peak Cog Railway. Incredible panoramas and interactive exhibits are the highlights of the new building.
• At the 116-room Garden of the Gods Resort and Club in Colorado Springs, the organic Strata Spa has the treatments your group needs.
• Sure, you can take serious golfers out on the gorgeous courses at the Broadmoor, but who doesn’t also love a fun round or four of mini-golf? Adventure Golf features four layouts: Around the World, Journey Thru Time, Old West and Story Land. Groups are welcome.
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%
Contact: Visit Colorado Springs, visitcos.com
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, 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