Making the Most of Travel Opportunities

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    POSTED September 28, 2017
     

    Participating from the Colorado House of Representatives at were Hugh McKean, Faith Winter, Kim Ransom, Chris Hansen, Steve Lebsock, Matt Gray and Alec Garnett. Courtesy of 4 Noses Brewing Company.

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    POSTED September 28, 2017
     

    Brew Master Tommy Bibliowicz of 4 Noses Brewing Company talks to his team of legislators about crafting beer.

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    POSTED September 28, 2017
     

    Senator Tim Neville; Brian O’Connell, owner Renegade Brewing; Senator Steve Fenberg; Aimee Soete, head brewer; and John Ham, packaging operator. Courtesy of Colorado Brewers Guild. 

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    POSTED September 28, 2017
     

    Photo Courtesy of Beth Buehler

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    POSTED September 28, 2017
     

    Photo Courtesy of Beth Buehler

Anyone who works in the meetings and events industry, even as a magazine editor, will tell you that there is no such thing as cut-and-dry road trip for business or pleasure. They key is to look for the unexpected opportunities along the way.

When I was moving my daughter to the University of Colorado Boulder for the start of her freshman year in August, I received a press release while on the road inviting me to check out Hop the Vote. I just happened to have the morning free on Aug. 24 and was about 20 minutes from Broomfield so went to learn about brewing beer with a team of both Democrats and Republications from the Colorado House of Representatives at 4 Noses Brewing Company. It was entertaining to meet the legislators and brewery staff and to sample a variety of excellent fruit beers.    

After taking a sabbatical for election year, Colorado Brewers Guild brought back Hop the Vote to encourage Colorado legislators to set aside their differences, brew craft beer, and pour and campaign their creations at Denver’s Great American Beer Festival, which this year is on Oct. 5-7 in Denver. The Colorado State Senate team gathered at Renegade Brewing Company in Denver to craft beer on Aug. 25.

Colorado Brewers Guild introduced the Hop the Vote initiative in 2014 to highlight the importance of beer in the Colorado economy, as well as the relationship between lawmakers and Colorado craft brewers. “The 300+ breweries account for $1.7 billion which directly impacts the state economy, and that means it is important to keep our legislators informed on what is going on with craft brewers,” says Steve Kurowski, operations director for the nonprofit trade association.  

Kurowski and I talked about the different ways corporate, association and nonprofit groups can tap Colorado’s growing beer industry in unique ways, so expect an article on this very topic in a future issue of Colorado Meetings + Events. Not only is it fun to visit craft breweries and have a special beer made for a conference, which Kurowski says is again happening for the Colorado Governor’s Tourism Conference in Grand Junction on Oct. 25-27, the beer challenge concept is certainly one to consider. Perhaps there could be teams that make interesting beer snacks as well to bring in the culinary angle. The sky is the limit!

I’ll be helping at the Governor’s Conference again this year; hope to see you there!

Living in Crested Butte now for 14 years and traveling the state often, I can confirm without a doubt that there are many fun winter activities to enjoy in Colorado ski towns that don’t involve skiing. While I strongly encourage you to offer downhill skiing and snowboarding as an activity option when planning meetings, events and incentive trips in winter, I’ll utilize Snowmass (just over the mountains from me about 20 miles as a crow flies but not as a car drives) as an example of the huge range of non-skiing options.

 

As mentioned in my most recent blog, two of Colorado’s best-known historic properties are marking significant anniversaries. The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa in Denver wrapped up celebrating 125 years in 2017. The Broadmoor is embarking on a yearlong salute to 100 years of rich history in Colorado Springs in 2018.