Colorado has 58 mountain peaks exceeding 14,000 feet, known locally as “fourteeners” or “14ers.” This is more than any other state and includes the 14,115-foot Pikes Peak, where standing at the summit in 1893 inspired Katharine Lee Bates to write the poem “America” that today is known as the song “America the Beautiful.”
Keeping up with the ebb and flow of trends and best practices for meetings and events during the past few years has been like running a Colorado trail race without a map or directional signage. Where do you turn left, turn right, go straight, or temporarily stop at an aid station to take a breath and renourish?
With meetings returning to normal as the COVID-19 pandemic levels out, outdoor mountain pursuits are finding more time on meeting agendas. Taking events outdoors not only boosts attendees’ comfort level as they ease back into in-person meetings, time spent in nature is proven to improve brain health and stimulate creative thinking as well.
We’ll be looking at this topic in-depth in the Spring/Summer 2022 issue of Mountain Meetings. Consider this as an introduction to some of the possibilities.
Outdoor activities have become even more popular with groups during COVID-19. Adding fresh-air time on the agenda is becoming the norm, and people seem more open to trying new things after being cooped up and working in home offices for months. Consider a wide variety of unique opportunities with hot air balloons offered by Rainbow Ryders in Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado.
So far, webcams and Zoom meetings have been an essential part of 2020. While digital options are functional placeholders for meetings, chatting with a coworker over Skype doesn’t always set up a team for success. Human connection is vital to team building, and hosting safe, small meetings is a great way to revitalize teams after months of working from home.
Benchmark has released its list of top dining trends for 2020 as observed by executive chefs and culinary experts at the global hospitality company’s 80 luxury hotels, resorts and restaurants, including Garden of the Gods Resort and Club in Colorado Springs and Tivoli Lodge in Vail as well as the very recent addition of Manor Vail Lodge.
The International Live Events Association Denver Chapter held its May meeting at WhirlyBall in Colorado Springs. WhirlyBall combines lacrosse, hockey, basketball and bumper cars into a game that is both skill and chance. Attendees also enjoyed 12 lanes of bowling, craft beer and cocktails, and a chef-driven menu.
The land that originally held a Colorado Springs dairy farm and gambling casino in the late 1800s was transformed into The Broadmoor, one of Colorado’s most iconic luxury resorts, with the vision and guidance of founder Spencer Penrose. The resort’s doors opened to the world on June 29, 1918, and the rest is history.
Since writing about amusing places as something different for groups to tap into for the summer issue of Colorado Meetings + Events, I’ve run across additions to the state’s fun quota. Colorado Springs’ is embracing the new 30,000-square-foot WhirlyBall, an entertainment center where the meeting space can be utilized and team-building incorporated into the program all in one location.
The time-honored tradition of meeting in an establishment that places value in a perfectly aged steak says a lot about how the host feels about his or her guests. It reflects the importance of the people at the table and creates a lasting impression. And as American steakhouses go, Colorado is in the thick of many fine dining and blue-jean casual restaurants that fit the bill for a successful business outing.
EAST OF THE DIVIDE STEAKHOUSES
Guard and Grace, Denver