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  • Exceptional & Impactful Ways to Give Back

     
    POSTED June 12, 2017
     

    Hotel Ritz-ylvania in honor of a very special Make-A-Wish Colorado guest, Christopher. Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Denver.

  • Exceptional & Impactful Ways to Give Back

     
    POSTED June 12, 2017
     

    Hotel Ritz-ylvania in honor of a very special Make-A-Wish Colorado guest, Christopher. Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Denver.

  • Exceptional & Impactful Ways to Give Back

     
    POSTED June 12, 2017
     

    Hotel Ritz-ylvania in honor of a very special Make-A-Wish Colorado guest, Christopher. Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Denver.

After 12 years of serving as editor of Colorado Meetings + Events, one of the main things I’ve discovered is that the meetings and events industry in the Centennial State is generous. If a colleague in the industry becomes ill or experiences a devastating loss, people step forward. If there is a worthy cause to be part of, venues, staff and creative resources are available to assist. Two of the latest examples are from lodging properties representing mountains and cities.

The Ritz-Carlton, Denver was recently awarded the Most Innovative Wish in 2016 by Make-A-Wish America for its innovative response to a very special wish for Christopher, a young boy diagnosed with a rare and aggressive brain tumor who wanted nothing more than to become a vampire due to his favorite movie, Hotel Transylvania. The award was presented at Make-A-Wish Colorado’s 11th annual fundraiser, The Sporting Affair, that was held in March at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum in March and raised $260,000 to help grant the wishes of Colorado children with life-threatening medical conditions.

A committee was formed by The Ritz-Carlton, Denver with the goal of making Christopher’s dreams a reality and transforming the property into “Hotel Ritz-ylvania.” Known as “Christovitch” during his wish weekend in fall 2016, Christopher and his family and friends were treated to a vampire warm welcome with staff members wearing capes and fangs and a fully decorated suite full of bats and other spooky surprises. Scenes from the animated film were enlivened with a fog-filled ballroom where a monster dance party was held and “scare school” was taught by a vampire using real-life creepy crawlers of all kinds. An outdoor campfire with a sing-along was enjoyed by the group before an interactive dinner at ELWAY’S, the hotel’s signature restaurant, complete with potions and other fun creations provided by Denver’s Inventing Room catering group. A video was created by Make-A-Wish Colorado to share Christopher’s story.

For the third year, Antlers at Vail hosted a free mountain getaway weekend to Vail for Colorado nonprofits. Rob LeVine, longtime general manager of the property, conceived the idea of holding a “Pay It Backward” event each May, a quieter time in the mountains. It is a play on the more familiar “Pay It Forward” concept to thank those who work so hard to help others. The recently retired LeVine continues to be involved in fostering a growing list of 50 Front Range nonprofits invited to participate in the May 12–14 weekend escape.

Nonprofits are invited to designate the person of their choice—with most choosing staff, volunteers or even clients—for two free nights’ lodging and a Saturday night reception with wine and appetizers prepared by Vail catering chef Barry Robinson.

Guests are welcome to bring spouses, family or friends and spend the weekend enjoying the Vail Valley. “It has already become a much-anticipated spring tradition,” says Magda King, who was promoted to general manager upon LeVine’s retirement. “It’s fun to give back with what we do best: providing comfortable lodgings, top-notch personalized service and a chance for guests to kick back and relax.”

Known for its community-minded focus, The Antlers at Vail was presented Vail Valley Partnership’s Community Impact Award last year.

The remodel that began in fall 2016 has been completed at the Courtyard by Marriott Denver Downtown. In celebration of the renovation, the hotel and Wynkoop Brewing Co. have partnered to offer guests exclusive access to the historic LoDo brewery.

The package includes accommodations in a downtown guest room, a 32-ounce growler filled with a craft beer of your choice and a $40 credit toward valet parking.

 

Under 5 percent is what Carmen Callo, executive chef at Centerplate, estimates is the percentage of special dietary requests he received about five years ago. Today, as he oversees catering at Colorado Convention Center in Denver, he and his team are cooking for groups where 15 to 20 percent of attendees have special dietary requirements.

 

Make-A-Wish America recently awarded The Ritz-Carlton, Denver the "Most Innovative Wish" in 2016 because of the hotel’s creativity and partnership with Make-A-Wish Colorado. In the fall of 2016, the two organization worked together for Christopher, a child with a rare and aggressive brain tumor, to help make true his wish of becoming a vampire.