Groups meeting in Snowmass during the 2017/2018 winter season and especially over the weekend of Dec. 15-17 will notice there is a party underway in conjunction with Snowmass Ski Area’s golden anniversary.
In 2017, Colorado’s hotel inventory is surging in a big way and shows no signs of letting up. “It certainly is a boom time,” says Amie Mayhew, president and CEO of Colorado Hotel & Lodging Association. “Hotels across the state are doing very well. We’re seeing a lot of happy hoteliers. In the mountains we’re seeing a lot of renovations, and a lot of new construction on the Front Range.”
It’s always fun to talk about new happenings around Colorado, and 2017 is proving to be a banner year for places of interest to groups.
In Aspen, Hotel Jerome is integrating the neighboring Aspen Times Building into the historic Hotel Jerome will expand the property’s guest capacity through the addition of eight new rooms and revitalization of the courtyard between the two buildings, including a repositioned pool, two hot tubs, two new meeting rooms, deck, lawn and patio. Plans also include a barbershop and speakeasy.
Continuing my tour of new Denver hotels, I had the good fortune of visiting Cherry Creek North’s Halycon, which opened in August 2016 and was the first new lodging property in this hip, high-end district to open in a decade, with more coming online in the near future.
With entrances in Estes Park and Grand Lake, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK experienced its highest annual visitation ever in 2016 with 4,517,584 people entering the park (and countless animals of course!), representing an 8.7 percent increase over record visitation in 2015. All months in 2016 set visitation records except for December. The top 10 busiest days in 2016, in order from one to 10, were Sept. 24, July 3, Sept. 4, Sept. 17, July 24, July 10, July 17, Sept. 5, July 23 and July 30.
Eleven Experience has unveiled Taylor River Lodge, a Colorado mountain retreat with rustic-yet-chic cabins situated on a pristine trout fishing and rafting river just outside of Almont. Rock climbing, hiking and more also are on the menu of activities offered.
Traveling for meetings can take a hit on healthy eating and fitness habits. In Colorado, one of the healthiest and fittest states in the nation, that doesn’t have to be true. Meeting and event planners can help attendees stay fit by simply asking the hotel or venue they are booking and the local tourism office or convention and visitor bureau what options are available or by planning activities for the few hours before registration is underway and in the morning before meetings get started.
Times are a changing. In Crested Butte, Colorado, where I live and work, two longtime businesses have recently changed ownership or management (including Cristiana Guesthaus, a European-style inn) or are morphing into something new. I also discovered that our friendly community chiropractic office and has a new location in hip new digs down the street. Just like in communities, things rarely stay the same in the meetings and events industry, but this is especially true here and now in regard to Colorado’s lodging sector.
Oink and Moo, a food truck that has operated in New Jersey since 2012, is making big news! The truck is known throughout NJ towns like Hoboken and Asbury Park, but after expanding to Philadelphia, it won a Vendy award for Rookie of the Year. Now, The Daily Meal has rated Oink and Moo the No. 2 best food truck in the United States. The food is straight up BBQ—beef brisket or pulled pork sliders, chili, tacos, quesadillas, and ribs.
Longmont, one of Colorado’s Front Range communities, is adding two new event venues: The Wild Game Entertainment Experience and The Oak Room at Oskar Blues Brewery.