If meetings and events have fallen into a rut, you may simply need a higher calling. The Rocky Mountains are so stunning and the sunsets so vibrant that reaching a vantage point to enjoy them is a great way to rise above the blasé. Check out these venues to help gain this unique per - spective for upcoming get-togethers.
The tallest buildings in the state are in Denver, and while its skyline is impressive, it’s not overwhelming. Currently the city boasts 32 high-rises, including the DANIELS & FISHER TOWER that was built as part of a department store in 1910. At that time, its 325 vertical feet made it the tallest building between the Mississippi River and state of California. Modeled after St. Mark’s Bell Tower in Venice, Italy, the department store was bought out and eventually demolished, however, the tower was spared. One group at a time can rent out floors 17 through 21 with a wide array of setups for 10 to 150 people. For presentations, book the 18th floor, which is surrounded by clock faces on four sides.
Not far away, the TAVERN DOWNTOWN recently tripled the size of its second-story deck on its old warehouse building with views of Coors Field. For a sports focus, planners can buy tickets to a Rockies game at Coors Field, stop by at the elevated Tavern Ballpark and then head for after-game drinks to the downtown location that can hold 650 guests.
Denver’s tallest venue is PINNACLE CLUB BY GRAND HYATT DENVER, which recently completed an $8 million makeover and boasts 10,000 total square feet divided between two ballrooms that can be split up into five spaces. With the redo, the kitchen was moved to the interior so guests are surrounded by windows on all four sides. It was a brilliant move since the club is on the 38th floor. A geological survey estimates it has the farthest views of any event facility in the U.S. with a panorama covering 10,600 miles across prairies and 200 named peaks.
“The views from the Pinnacle Club are spectacular and bring a whole different feel to a meeting. Placing our exhibitors in the foyer, framed by wide windows looking onto Denver’s streets, facilitates conversation and networking in a way that other venues might not. Our attendees regularly comment on how much they enjoy the view,” says Amanda Averch, director of communications for the Colorado Bankers Association.
Speaking of peaks, PEAKS LOUNGE is on the 27th floor of the 37-story Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center. With floor-to-ceiling windows and warm, sophisticated décor, it’s an ideal place to take in a sunset and see city lights while gathering. Peaks Lounge offers 2,250 square feet of space that can accommodate 60 for theater-style seating, 200 for a reception and 100 for a banquet.
There is a lot to rave about the food at DEL FRISCO’S GRILLE and now guests also can rave about the view. The Cherry Creek location just opened a third-story rooftop patio, providing fabulous views of the Cherry Creek North neighborhood. The space can seat up to 40 or 50 and has its own bar. Guests go up a grand staircase to reach the lofty space filled with lush landscaping and fire features.
Take events to new heights by scheduling activities that are thrilling and exhilarating. For example, book a high-flying adventure with Dillon-based COLORADO HOT AIR BALLOON RIDES that boasts the highest altitude balloon rides in North America. The company’s fleet can handle 23 people a day, with one large basket holding 13. The company offers a variety of locations such as Breckenridge, Vail Valley and the Front Range. Purchase the platinum package for complimentary transportation and hot drinks and snacks upon arrival. Then toast your experience post-flight with champagne or nonalcoholic drinks, which are included along with a sitdown, white-linen breakfast.
For more high-level mountain amusements head to BRECK SUMMER FUN PARK, located at the base of Breckenridge Ski Resort’s Peak 8 and accessible by Breck Connect Gondola from the village below. There’s no official capacity for groups and activities include a zip line, roller coaster, alpine slide and climbing wall. Those seeking more strenuous activities can take guided hikes, participate in mountain bike clinics or even learn how to operate a Segway.
ROYAL GORGE BRIDGE & PARK near Cañon City hasn’t just recovered from the wildfires, it improved and added new features ideal for groups. Explore gathering options such as the Juniper Junction picnic pavilion for groups of up to 175. Or try Bighorn Mountaintop Lodge with stunning views of the bridge and gorge. The lodge is a smaller venue that holds 30 to 40 for a sit-down gathering or up to 60 standing. During off-time, take in a show at Plaza Theater or ride the gondola. For an added cost, groups can zip line or speed along a track on Royal Rush Skycoaster.
GLENWOOD CAVERNS ADVENTURE PARK is a longtime favorite of groups since it offers experiences for all ages. And if you’re looking to sample the air up there, there are thrill rides that fly out over the canyon 1,300 feet above the Colorado River. The park has hosting groups down to a science with picnic or dinner package options that include tickets to ride and meal choices such as deli sandwiches, appetizer assortments and barbecue or fajita buffet dinners for up to 500 guests. Kendra Rhodes, director of development for Colorado Mountain College, chose Glenwood Caverns for Colorado Mountain College Day, an employee gathering of around 400 for professional development, training and teambuilding. She says, “This event showcased the entire Roaring Fork Valley. Everyone was taking pictures of the sunset. And the alpine coaster was awesome. Everybody loved it!”
SOARING TREE TOP ADVENTURES is ideal for group outings of up to 100 that include families or are focused on team-building. It’s an all-day zip-line tour on the longest course in the country with 27 spans, 36 platforms and a mile-and-a-half of cable. Participants first hop aboard the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad in Durango or Rockwood. The train has seen 140 years of continuous operation and is pulled by a vintage steam locomotive, climbing more than 3,000 feet. Meeting attendees who don’t want to brave the heights can stay onboard for the trip into Silverton.
Those with lofty ambitions to provide a team with something truly unique should consider the new ESTES PARK EVENTS CENTER. Two spots are highly recommended: the Silo meeting room that can accommodate 35 people and the VIP View Room for up to 46. Guests enter the facility through a two-story grand lobby, and an executive boardroom is available for 37.
Mark Purdy, board chairman for Estes Park Western Heritage, Inc., often hosts meetings in the VIP View Room. He says, “The second floor looks out over the new auditorium so you can have a VIP gathering upstairs while watching the event below.”
Another option is PERIODIC BREWING, the nation’s highest craft brewery in Leadville, North America’s highest incorporated city at almost 10,200 feet. The brewery makes eight to 10 in-house brews that guests can sample and purchase in one of two upstairs rooms that can be combined or booked separately. The Fireplace Room is 1,400 square feet and the banquet room is 1,225 square feet.
Football fans love the new rooftop terrace at University of Colorado’s FOLSOM FIELD in Boulder. Rooftop Terrace Club provides sweeping panoramic views of the Flatirons and 13,900 square feet of space with an estimated capacity of 400 to 600 based on setup. Planners also can request use of the Byron R. White Club for additional space.
Telluride Ski Resort’s TEMPTER HOUSE lays claim to being one of the highest elevation homes in North America at 12,200 feet. The five-story abode perches above the Tempter Chute into Bear Creek Canyon, is available for meetings and events in winter and can be accessed only by skiing. The home sleeps four but is available for afternoon and evening functions for up to 50 reception-style.
Another option for a small affair—up to 90 attendees—is the Vida Ellison Gallery on the seventh floor of DENVER PUBLIC LIBRARY. The library has an ideal location within the Golden Triangle Museum District across from the Denver Art Museum.
Choose any of these elevated options, and you’re sure to have an uplifting meeting or event.