Need a refreshing change of elevation for your next meeting or event? Within 90 minutes of Denver International Airport, groups can be in breathtakingly beautiful Summit County. The hardest part of your planning will be narrowing down the activities in the well-known ski resort trio of Breckenridge, Copper Mountain and Keystone.
Summit County’s biggest fans like the smalltown feel and the big hearts of the people who work on behalf of the towns and resorts.
From a picture-perfect, historic Main Street to the towering peaks, Breckenridge is an ideal backdrop for both fun and business.
“Having conducted meetings and events worldwide for MillerCoors, I was extremely pleased to have worked first with the Breckenridge Tourism Office to gather options for the ‘Born in the Rockies’ heritage program,” says Doug Kwikkel, owner of 3D Partners. “The ideas and options presented, as well as the key contacts for all the recommended suppliers, made my task of developing the program a breeze. Everyone treated me like family.”
Kwikkel is particularly fond of the town’s newest hotel and conference space, the Residence Inn by Marriott Breckenridge. “Because of the Residence Inn’s willingness to work with me for a two-night stay, not only did they win the contract, but Breckenridge won the program,” he says. The hotel has spacious modern rooms with kitchens, a nearly 3,000-square-foot event space and a pool deck with million-dollar views for outdoor receptions.
With more than 40,000 square feet of meeting space and three ballrooms at Beaver Run Resort & Conference Center, the smallest to largest groups will have plenty of room. After 16 years in Vail, the Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival moved its annual conference to Beaver Run. Laura Lodge, co-founder of the professional conference for brewers and beer aficionados, liked Breckenridge’s beer culture. “Our participants embraced the town,” says Lodge. “Our new location is helping us create a new era of Big Beers in Breckenridge.”
Just around the corner from Beaver Run is Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Breckenridge with 10 meeting rooms delivering 10,000 square feet of space. For attendees with children, Breckenridge’s Ski School is close by and instructors will pick up kids at the hotel.
For the ultimate in luxury, look no further than One Ski Hill Place, a RockResort property with over 3,600 square feet of meeting space and lodging units, ranging from studios to four-bedroom condominiums. On-property activities and amenities are pure fun, such as the two-lane bowling alley, billiard room and pool with water canons.
If vistas are a top priority, consider The Lodge at Breckenridge. This comfy mountain lodge, perched high above Breckenridge, offers captivating vistas and is the ideal spot for secluded corporate retreats and up to 200-person events.
If you haven’t been to Copper Mountain Resort, it’s time to refresh your memory. In March 2017, the resort announced a series of significant capital improvements to enhance amenities.
The resort’s slopeside conference center boasts nearly 16,000 square feet of meeting space. As part of the improvement project, a new outdoor deck with a heated pergola is being constructed at the conference center and will be available for private functions starting this summer.
Also expect a host of new restaurants, including the casual eatery Ten Mile Tavern with 20 beers on tap and meeting space, and Toast & Co., a charming coffee and cocktail spot that features toast toppers, breakfast and sandwiches. Looking for a spin down the mountain but not on skis or a mountain bike? Groups will love the new Rocky Mountain Coaster, which is the longest alpine coaster in North America.
“Our group had a great time at Copper,” says Dana Reinert, communications and CME director for University of Kansas Medical Center. “The CME program went well, the event set up and service was excellent, and the resort setting was perfect.”
Copper Mountain’s condos and hotel rooms are located throughout the Center Village and close to the conference center. For a little more space, consider Union Creek Townhomes for a multi-bedroom home away from home.
Keystone is the perfect hub for meetings where attendees want a resort experience. The mountain is a high-altitude playground with golf, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, horseback riding, tennis and spa services available to keep guests busy from sunup to sundown.
For events that need large-capacity ballrooms, Keystone Resorts’ conference center is the ideal place.
The resort’s expansive 100,000 square feet of exhibit, function and meeting space rivals the size of Denver’s bigger hotel conference spaces.
Keystone is home to two 100-plus room hotels that span the three picturesque villages. Private and public shuttles transport guests to and from the primary conference center to their hotels. Inquire about the newest facility at Hyatt Place Keystone for lodging and another 2,187 square feet of indoor meeting space and more than 2,000 square feet of outdoor event space.
Ski Tip Lodge with a stone fireplace, exposed beams and 10 guest rooms is the quintessential Colorado experience for small groups. Other lodging and event spaces include Lakeside Village and River Run Village and the mountain venues of Summit House, Keytop Overlook, Timber Ridge and Alpenglow Stube.
When you add up Summit County’s most prized assets, it’s difficult to decide which is more valuable: the vistas and majesty of the mountains or the people who work hard to make the area such a hospitable place. Either way, groups win!
MEET & EAT
Breckenridge Distillery has grown up from a simple still to a full-service restaurant with expansive patio. Reserve the barrel-room for private events and the Dark Arts Lounge for smaller dinners.
Hearthstone Restaurant’s Victorian décor takes guests back to the days of the gold rush. The upper dining room can be sectioned off for up to 40 guests. The specialty of the house is lamb, and each night features a different preparation of the chef’s choice.
BoLD’s breakfast menu is over the top with items like biscuits hollowed out and filled with piping hot chicken pot pie or pork belly chipotle bennies.
As Copper refreshes its new food and beverage options, there are some new spots to check out. Downhill Duke’s, named for Copper’s avalanche dog rescue program, is a place for humans and canines alike (yes, dogs are welcome). The south-facing patio is the ideal place to soak up the sun, warm up your feet at the outdoor fire pits and listen to live music. At the top of the new Kokomo Express Lift is KoKo’s Hut for casual meals and snacks.
High atop Keystone Resort's North Peak, Ski Tip Lodge is a cozy retreat with an award-winning, fine-dining restaurant that features a rotating four course menu. For aprés ski or hike, 9280 Tap House is a craft beer and cocktail gathering place, and the patio at Keystone Ranch is a perfect spot to take in the views before a steak dinner.
PLAYTIME & FIELD TRIPS IN SUMMIT COUNTY
Ridden is your place for snow gear rentals and guided bike tours to Broken Compass Brewing, Breckenridge Distillery and more.
Located at the base of Peak 9, Bhava Yoga has a wide range of classes that take attendees’ blood pressure down a notch. Owner Jenni Frank offers private group classes, an apparel boutique and a lounge for small meet-ups.
The Cheese Shop of Breckenridge is great for box lunches of imported and domestic cheese and cured meats and sandwiches.
Blend, bottle and cork custom crafted wines at Continental Divide Winery, which is available for wine tasting receptions.
At Mountain Escape Rooms, the Boreas’ Revenge Avalanche Survival Cabin requires players to work together and find help while trapped in a virtual avalanche.
REI Adventure Station hosts experiential outdoor activities for people of all abilities and ages. For instance, at the mountain mixology class, forage for wild herbs and learn how to use them for cocktail shaking and stirring.
Get your game on at Woodward Copper Barn, a 19,400-square-foot indoor center with trampolines, foam pit jumps, skate zones, and indoor ski and snowboard training.
Don’t forget the charming town of Frisco, just 10 minutes from Copper Mountain, for shopping, restaurants and Frisco Bay Marina, located on the shore of Dillon Reservoir for water sports and boat rentals on the lake.
Newly launched in spring of 2018, the Private Twilight Ski for groups can accept up to 1,000 guests. Ski as the sun sets on privately groomed runs or ride the gondola to one of the signature Keystone dining places such as Alpenglow Stube or the recently expanded Labonte’s Smokehouse.
In summer and early fall, groups can tie into all sorts of festivals such as the Keystone Bacon & Bourbon Festival, Wine & Jazz Festival, River Run Art Festival, Bluegrass & Beer Festival, Mountain Music Festival and Oktoberfest.