If you close your eyes and imagine “quintessential” Colorado, you likely envision Aspen in winter, complete with snow-packed slopes, frosty pines, roaring fires and chic socialites dressed in designer faux fur for the finest après-ski. But neither Aspen nor winter has a monopoly on the Centennial State. In fact, groups that are interested in a Colorado meeting or incentive should consider an alternative -- and in some respects opposite -- option: summer in Aspen’s sister city, Snowmass.
Located just a short drive from Aspen, Snowmass is experiencing something of a renaissance thanks to the Aspen Skiing Co. This winter, the operator of four ski mountains in the Aspen-Snowmass region completed a $600 million expansion of Snowmass Base Village, a 3,300-acre dining and entertainment district that includes slopeside hotels and condos; a new community center with art exhibits and yoga; a public plaza with fire pits, an indoor climbing wall and an ice rink in winter; plus shops and restaurants.
One of the anchors in the revamped Snowmass Base Village is Viceroy Snowmass, which opened in 2009 and has just completed a multimillion-dollar renovation encompassing its outdoor pool and spas, bar, restaurant and lobby, plus a brand-new yoga studio.
The property, which offers over 9,000 square feet of meeting and event space, also is renovating its 150 guest rooms. Scheduled to debut in June, the refreshed accommodations will include new carpeting, wall coverings, furniture, lighting, bedding, décor, bathrooms and artwork.
In addition, this summer the hotel will open a new hike-in/hike-out bar adjacent to its outdoor pool; located directly on the trails of Snowmass, it will offer local beers, craft cocktails, house-made juices, food and outdoor games like cornhole, ping-pong and life-sized Jenga.
“With our premier slopeside location on Snowmass Ski Mountain, it’s our goal to make the mountain experience as seamless as possible for our guests,” general manager Robert Purdy said in a statement. “Our newly renovated … spaces recapture the beauty of being in the mountains while providing luxury touches our hotel is known for.”
Four More Colorado Ski Resorts for Summer Meetings
Because they turn into eccas for seasonal activities like hiking, biking and zip lining, ski mountains like Snowmass are as ideal for summer events as they are for winter ones. Here are four more slopeside venues ideal for groups visiting Colorado in the summertime:
• The Steamboat Grand. Part of the Steamboat Ski Resort in Steamboat Springs, the Steamboat Grand has 327 guest rooms and over 17,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, plus 10,000 square feet of outdoor function space, four bars and restaurants, a sauna, a steam room, a heated pool, hot tubs, a fitness center and a spa. During the summer, Steamboat offers hiking on its scenic Vista Nature Trail, as well as gondola rides, golf, outdoor movies, tubing on the Yampa River and even hot-air balloon rides.
• The Peaks Resort & Spa. At the Telluride Ski & Golf Resort, the Peaks Resort & Spa features 160 guest rooms -- including three luxury penthouses -- and 18,000 square feet of meeting space, not to mention over 20,000 square feet of additional indoor/outdoor meeting space at the adjacent Telluride Conference Center. There also is an on-site restaurant with panoramic mountain views, a 42,000-square-foot spa and fitness center, a heated indoor/outdoor pool and a waterslide. Beyond the resort, summer activities in Telluride include gondola rides, horseback riding, rock climbing and stand-up paddleboarding.
• The Arrabelle at Vail Square. Located in Vail Ski Resort’s Austrian-inspired Lionshead Village, the Arrabelle at Vail Square feels like a cozy European ski resort in the winter. In the summer, however, it feels like the perfect home base for an alpine adventure. Along with 81 guest rooms, suites and luxury condominiums, it has an upscale restaurant; an amphitheater for outdoor concerts; a 10,000-square-foot spa; a fitness center; a rooftop pool and hot tubs; a terraced, landscaped patio; and 5,200 square feet of meeting space. Summer is especially exciting here thanks to Epic Discovery, Vail’s integrated on-mountain summer experience, which includes adventure courses, zip lines, a mountain coaster, tubing hills, a climbing wall and a bungee trampoline.
• The Osprey at Beaver Creek. A boutique property at the Beaver Creek Mountain Resort, the Osprey at Beaver Creek claims props as the hotel closest to a chairlift in North America. It offers an intimate 47 guest rooms, an outdoor pool and hot tub, a tapas-style restaurant, a fitness center with a steam room and sauna, and 1,200 square feet of meeting space for groups of up to 75 people. Plus, guests get exclusive access to the Beaver Creek Golf Club and the Red Sky Golf Club, each of which features 18 holes of championship golf surrounded by the Rocky Mountains. Beaver Creek more broadly offers summer draws like hiking, 4x4 tours, summer ice-skating, fly-fishing and alpine wine excursions.