Colorado Meetings + Events Fall 2021 / Winter 2022

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Contents

WIN TER 2 02 2

Stanley Marketplace in Aurora

Feature //

18 The Big Change-Up The amount of new happenings around Colorado is simply astonishing.

In Every Issue //

4 Editor’s Note 14 Meet & Eat

Colorado is home to some of the coolest food and market halls in the nation.

2 COM+E » WINTER 2022

38 People Profile

Brady Johnson, a former member of the U.S. Ski Team, now balances time between C Lazy U Ranch, Destination Colorado and his family.

Meeting Notes //

8 Social Media

How to create a rockstar LinkedIn profile and establish yourself as an industry expert.

11 Meeting Spotlight No Barriers USA hosts 2021 Summit at Arapahoe Basin.

12 Flashback

Decades-old blueprints detail Hotel Colorado’s history as a naval hospital.

Industry Update //

26 Infographic

A mix of optimism and staffing concerns in MPI’s recent Meetings Outlook.

28 Regional News

Awards, venues and people news; association updates; and more.

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The Big Change-Up W H AT ’ S N E W I N C O LO R A D O {18}

36 Snapshots

Sheraton Denver Downtown’s renovation celebration and NACE Denver’s Barks, Brews & Buddies.

On the Cover

Skybridge Rooftop Deck & Plunge Pool, The Rally Hotel PHOTO BY NATHAN HINDMAN PHOTOGRAPHY


ROOM TO

MOTIVATE Welcome to Colorado Springs, where our wide-open spaces and stunning natural scenery are the inspirational backdrop to your next meeting. Hold a spectacular event at The Broadmoor’s new 125,000 sq. ft. Bartolin Hall. You’ll enjoy higher attendance, and attendees will enjoy riding the reimagined Broadmoor Pikes Peak and Manitou Cog Railway to the new Pikes Peak Summit Visitor Center at 14,115’ elevation. Let us help you create a successful and memorable attendee experience. Here you’ll find room to inspire, innovate, connect and re-energize.

Learn more CO.MEETINGSMAGS.COM 3

Group Contact - Eric Lund Ph. 970-586-0500 x 1231


E DITOR ’ S N OTE

Getting Meetings & Events on Track Again

comeetingsmags

Nordic skiing near Crested Butte in November 2021.

BETH BUEHLER

Editor beth.buehler@tigeroak.com

4 COM+E » WINTER 2022

P H OTO : L AU R A M A R T I N E AU

co.meetingsmags.com

» LIKE MANY IN THE MEETINGS AND EVENTS INDUSTRY, the magazine took a break for several months during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re thrilled to be back in action along with our sister Meetings + Events publications. At our editorial advisory board meeting and Best of Colorado awards celebration in March 2020, everyone was chattering about COVID, which was just starting to show up in our state, and wondering how it would affect meetings and events. Little did we know how much it would affect life in general! Fast forward to Nov. 3 – 5, 2021, when I served on the on-site planning team for the Colorado Governor’s Tourism Conference held in Pueblo. Showing identification and COVID vaccination cards, doing temperature checks and respecting mask requirements were part of the drill. There wasn’t much grumbling unless someone hadn’t read the preconference emails. People in the tourism industry are a social bunch and were just glad to be together! There were 438 in attendance (327 in-person and 111 virtual) at the Pueblo Convention Center, just shy of the usual 500 people on-site. And Pueblo put on a great show! They showed what their town is made of at the welcome reception showcasing local foods, beers, spirits and more. I loved seeing Neon Alley; savoring amazing meatloaf at an Irish pub, Shamrock Brewing Co.; enjoying live music and great brews at Brues Alehouse; and having an amazing craft cocktail at The Clink, located in Station on the Riverwalk boutique hotel, which previously was the town’s police station and jail. All this and much more is within easy walking distance of the convention center! One of the ways Colorado is helping restart meetings and events is by offering cash incentives. See all the details on page 12 and find a helpful overview and toolkit on Destination Colorado’s website, destinationcolorado.com. Elizabeth O’Rear, director of grants and funding for the Colorado Tourism Office, provided examples of meetings that have applied for and received incentive funding to date. First, after a 2020 Mediterranean cruise for high-producing employees was canceled, one company relocated the event for 40 to Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa south of Grand Junction. More than 110 room nights were booked. Also, the Alzheimer’s Association brought its five-day international conference and more than 1,200 delegates to Denver in 2021. Numerous event spaces, including the Colorado Convention Center and multiple hotels, and a variety of food, beverage and entertainment venues were utilized and more than 5,000 nights of lodging sold. It’s good to see this industry ramping up again. Thanks for doing your part!


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EDITOR BETH BUEHLER MANAGING EDITOR BETH BUEHLER COPYEDITOR SHERRI HILDEBRANDT CONTRIBUTING WRITERS KARIN GAMBA, DEBRA JASON, LAUREN PAHMEIER

EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Tara Ames, Spruce Mountain Events | Justin Clark, Visit Aurora Adam Douglas, Peak Beverage | Ally Fredeen, Stanley Marketplace | Brady Johnson, C Lazy U | Jason Lusk, CMP, VISIT DENVER | Elri Nieuwenhuizen, Occasions Catering Tori Rosenblatt, Bear Aesthetic | Todd Seymour, Wellshire Inn Nicole Steed, Lamont Associates | Terri Taylor, First Western Trust Marsha Temple, Colorado Automobile Dealers Association ART DIRECTOR TRACI ZELLMANN

PRINT PRODUCTION DIRECTOR BRITTNI DYE DIGITAL PRODUCTION DIRECTOR DEIDRA ANDERSON PRODUCTION COORDINATORS LISA STONE, ADRIANNA BLACK BULL PRODUCTION DESIGNER HANNAH BRAUSEN CIRCULATION DIRECTOR KATIE RINGHAND

YOUR OFFICE DOESN’T HAVE A VIEW LIKE THIS Situated in the shadow of the Rockies, The Ridgeline Hotel® Estes Park can take your meeting or retreat higher. The hotel delivers a prime setting — just four miles from Rocky Mountain National Park and minutes from downtown Estes Park. With surroundings that inspire, you’re in business.

PLAN YOUR EVENT TODAY RidgelineHotel.com 970.527.1500

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE / ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE SPECIALIST ALYZABETH OUTCELT CREDIT MANAGER APRIL MCCAULEY CONTROLLER BILL NELSON

ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER COLORADO MEETINGS + EVENTS / NATIONAL SALES BOB HADDAD | 303.617.0548 BOB.HADDAD@TIGEROAK.COM

California Meetings + Events » 303.617.0548 Michigan Meetings + Events » 586.416.4195 Minnesota Meetings + Events » 608.873.8734 Mountain Meetings » 303.617.0548 Northeast Meetings + Events » 586.416.4195 Northwest Meetings + Events » 253.732.7133 Texas Meetings + Events » 469.264.7657

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For address changes, ordering single copies, cancellations, or general questions about your subscription please contact customer service at 1.800.637.033 or customerservice@tigeroak.com Colorado Meetings + Events accepts no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or artwork; they will not be returned unless accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

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Make a Plan. Make it Boise. Centrally located in the heart of vibrant downtown Boise, the recently expanded Boise Centre has a variety of customizable meeting spaces, modern amenities, exceptional culinary services and a friendly and dedicated staff ready to make your next event an unforgettable experience. Explore Idaho’s premier convention center for yourself.

• Centralized, downtown location • Only seven minutes from Boise airport • Over 25 direct flights to and from Boise • Closely surrounded by more than 100 restaurants • Over 1,300 hotel rooms within walking distance • Close to outdoor recreation, including the The Boise Greenbelt

LEARN MORE: boisecentre.com

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M E E TI NG NOTE S Products, Places & Inspiration

Table Mountain Farm’s caramel sauce

P H O T O S : C A R B OY W I N E R Y ; TA B L E M O U N TA I N FA R M ; C O L O R A D O C R A F T E D

Carboy Winery’s Cold Vines Wine Seltzer Colorado Crafted gift box

Great Gifts & Tastes //

COLORADO PRODUCTS Colorado Crafted gift boxes come packed with tasty snacks and wares made across the Centennial State, from cookies and coasters to salsa and stationery. Corporate gifts like the Virtual Events and Conference box features a leather-bound journal, pen, Colorado pottery mug and caramel corn. Or bring joy to your favorite tea drinker with the Homestead Box featuring organic teas from Carbondale’s Two Leaves and a Bud, a Colorado mug and a flour-sack tea towel designed by Counter Culture. coloradocraftedbox.com Table Mountain Farm crafts artisanal caramel sauces that are perfect for gifts or any occasion. Flavors include vanilla bean, salted dark chocolate, whiskey, cinnamon vanilla, lavender vanilla, and the brand new Irish coffee. The caramel sauces are all-natural, gluten-free and made from high-quality ingredients. Based just outside of Boulder, Table Mountain Farm is a small family farm focused on providing the highest quality of care to its animals while using the best land practices to regenerate their soil. From jars to ingredients and design, everything is locally and sustainably sourced to promote small Colorado-based businesses. tablemountainfarm.com Carboy Winery makes award-winning wines using grapes from Colorado’s Grand Valley and has grown its wine operations and footprint to include two vineyards and four locations (Denver, Littleton, Breckenridge and Palisade) in only five years. Last summer, Carboy introduced Cold Vines Wine Seltzer in four flavors (peach, lemon, watermelon and black cherry) made from cold-hardy grape varieties such as Aromella and Vignoles that thrive in Colorado’s high altitude climate and are ideally suited for sparkling wine and seltzers. Cold Vines Wine Seltzer contains roughly 130 calories, is 5% alcohol by volume and gluten-free, and has zero refined sugars. Cold Vines Wine Seltzer is offered in four packs with 355 mL slim cans. coldvinesseltzer.com

COMPILED BY BETH BUEHLER

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M E E TI N G N OTES Products, Places & Inspiration

Social Media //

Based in Boulder, Colorado, Debra Jason is a national speaker, marketing copywriter and consultant. This article is an excerpt from her book “Millionaire Marketing on a Shoestring Budget.”

How To Create a Rock-Star LinkedIn Profile Establish yourself as a meetings industry expert. BY DEBRA JASON » GIVEN THIS CRAZY TIME we’re experiencing, you may be considering reinventing yourself and/or rethinking what kind of impression your LinkedIn profile makes on those who see it. Now is the time to explore what it means to create a robust, optimized and engaging profile. With more than 774 million members, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking site. By interacting with conference/event attendees, vendors, hotel professionals, colleagues, speakers, etc., you give other likeminded professionals the opportunity to get to know, like and trust you, which are three vital keys to building successful relationships. However, when the topic of LinkedIn comes up, many meeting and event professionals say, “A friend invited me to the network so I said ‘yes,’ but I’m not really sure what to do next.” I want to change that and clear up the confusion so you can leverage the brand-building power of LinkedIn. OPTIMIZE YOUR PROFILE WITH KEYWORD PHRASES IN SIX STRATEGIC LOCATIONS Creating your professional profile is more than just posting your resume. Similar to a website, it’s important to utilize keyword phrases in your profile. After all, when prospects are searching for a meeting and event professional, you want your profile to show up high on the LinkedIn results list. If your profile simply says “Meeting professional with XYZ Company,” you’re limiting your ability to be found. As you might imagine, “meeting professional” is a broad search term and if the “XYZ Company” is not a wellknown brand, it’s another phrase that won’t serve you well in a search. For instance, as of this writing, when searching “meeting professional” on LinkedIn, there were more than 3.5 million results for that term. When entering “medical conference planners” the list decreased significantly, down to 26,229. See the difference specificity can make?

8 COM+E » WINTER 2022

Once you’ve determined a few keyword phrases to define your niche, there are six strategic locations to place these phrases within your profile.

1.

Professional headline: This appears right below your name. With up to 220 characters, use the phrases you think someone might search to find a professional like you. If you have a succinct tag line or impact statement, include it here.

2.

About/Summary: This is the most important section because it communicates who you are. Share a little bit about yourself and how you help your clients. Write it in the first person—it should be conversational. You have up to 2,600 characters here so use them! Make your content inviting to the viewer’s eyes by using short paragraphs. This makes your profile easier to read. Consider subheadings that can be keyword enhanced and/or used with bullet points (but not just bullet points).

3.

Current work experience: Include the keyword phrase(s) in your job title. Do not make the mistake of leaving the description field blank. Take advantage of the space provided and incorporate your keyword phrases in the description (you have 2,000 characters here).

4.

Past work experience: If it’s appropriate, weave the keyword phrase(s) in where you can, perhaps again in both the job title and description. For instance, a client of mine entered the relocation business after being in the hospitality industry. Looking at the two different positions, we found “customer service” was a common thread. We then incorporated that keyword phrase into both his current and past experiences in a descriptive way that tied the two together.

5.

Skills and endorsements: List the key areas that you specialize in, areas of expertise that you want


Step Back In Time At The Historic Hotel Colorado 6 elegant newly renovated meeting rooms 10,000 sq. feet of flexible meeting space Full-service conference & catering services

“By interacting with conference/event attendees, vendors, hotel professionals, colleagues, speakers, etc., you give other likeminded professionals the opportunity to get to know, like and trust you.” others to endorse you for such as meeting planning, event management, trade show management, etc.

6.

Websites: Under the contact information section of your profile, LinkedIn allows links for up to three different pages on your website (or to three different sites, if you have more than one). Make sure to use keyword phrases to describe the website pages. When you insert the URL, LinkedIn has generic defaults (e.g., personal website, company website, blog). Choose the “other” option and you’ll be able to insert keyword phrases to describe each of the links you insert. IT’S TIME FOR TO HARNESS THE POWER OF LINKEDIN By taking advantage of these six keyword strategies, establish yourself as a thought leader in the meetings industry, share and access valuable information, become part of a conversation, and nurture longlasting, profitable relationships.

Your escape awaits in Glenwood Springs!

970.928.3785 salesteam@hotelcolorado.com

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Signature Drink //

Flipping Seasons Courtesy of Le Bilboquet Denver 2 ounces Glenmorangie x Scotch .5 ounce Giffard banana liqueur .5 ounce mulling spice syrup* 1 egg grated nutmeg INSTRUCTIONS Add all ingredients in a shaker tin and dry shake hard to whip the egg. Then wet shake, serve up neat and top with nutmeg. *Mulling spice syrup: Heat equal parts brown sugar and water and add 2 cinnamon sticks, grated clove and one nutmeg grated. Double strain syrup and let cool.

Trade Show Spotlight //

HardRock Summit, a new trade show event for the gem, jewelry, mineral and fossil industries, debuted in downtown Denver from Sept. 16–21 , 2021, and welcomed more than 1,900 professional buyers, 3,000 visitors and 200 exhibiting companies. The “Evolution” part of the show that focused on minerals and fossils, along with the annual Denver Gem & Mineral Show, were held at Colorado Convention Center from Sept. 16–19. “Sparkle & Joy,” a destination for fine gemstones and jewelry with a dedicated pavilion by the American Gem Trade Association, took place at Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel from Sept. 18–21. “We are so proud of the event and this new experience that connected the fine minerals and fossils worlds to the fine jewelry and gem communities for both discovery and business opportunities,” says Christoph Keilmann, co-founder of HardRock Summit. “In addition to the business opportunities, HardRock Summit curated some of the most remarkable and breathtaking special exhibits and educational talks for attendees to learn from and enjoy, and we are grateful to the museums, private collectors and thought leaders that helped bring these once-in-a-lifetime exhibits and educational

10 COM+E » WINTER 2022

presentations to life.” HardRock Summit will return to Denver in September 2022, with Evolution and Sparkle & Joy following the same date pat-

tern and being held all under one roof at Colorado Convention Center. hardrocksummit.com

P H O T O : D N V R M E D I A ; P H O T O G R A P H YG . C O M ; ( O P P O S I T E ) D I D R I C K J O H N C K

HARDROCK SUMMIT DEBUTS SHOW & PLANS RETURN TO DENVER IN 2022


GET

Meeting Spotlight //

No Barriers USA Hosts 2021 Summit at Arapahoe Basin

ether TogAGAIN! MAKE YOUR NEXT MEETING COUNT. MAKE IT SPECIAL. MEET IN BRECKENRIDGE, COLORADO.

» A TWO-DAY LINEUP of performers and events celebrating universal accessibility,

inclusion and empowerment took place on August 28–30 at Colorado’s Arapahoe Basin ski resort as well as online. The summit challenged people to craft a powerful vision and pledge for themselves. The 2021 gathering also marked the 20th anniversary of co-founder Erik Weihenmayer’s groundbreaking achievement as the first blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest. The first day featured No Barrier’s annual fundraiser: What’s Your Everest? The mountain hike was led by Weihenmayer and gave participants the opportunity to connect directly with a community of veterans, educators, caregivers and individuals seeking a transformative, life-changing experience. Participation in the hike was open to individuals and those who were part of a rope team that helped mobility device users to reach the mountain summit. Summit events also included an eclectic and motivational lineup of performers and visionaries, including a magic show performed by deaf comedians/magicians, a blind chef who won season three of “MasterChef,” war heroes and veterans, a blind painter, a deaf musician, and a third-generation animal trainer. A virtual panel discussion on the topic of workplace and financial inclusion and a career fair also took place. All event content was available in three languages.

970-453-8780 | BeaverRun.com Groups@beaverrun.com

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Ski Towns

Hear from the Colorado M+E Editorial Advisory Board on the state of the industry

OF TWO

Aspen & Snow valley but offermass Village share a different vibes

EXPLORING THE 5 SENSES

How to incorporate sight, smell, touch, taste & sound

Reunion

ERS L OF FAM T PAST HAL TO NOW {36} SEE WHA ARE UP

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M E E TI N G N OTES Products, Places & Inspiration

Meetings Incentive //

IT PAYS TO MEET IN COLORADO

WHO CAN APPLY?

To receive the incentive rebate, the applicant must be the primary organizer, event host or the meeting or event planner.

ELIGIBLE EVENTS

An event is eligible for a rebate only once per year. Eligible events include but are not limited to business meetings, conferences, conventions, exhibitions, trade shows, consumer shows, festivals, concert series and weddings. The event needs to: » be a new Colorado meeting or event contracted on or after April 6, 2021; » be a previously booked meeting or event taking place in Colorado that is at risk of being canceled, postponed or relocated outside of Colorado without support; » generate at least 25 paid overnight room nights in a motel, hotel, vacation rental or other lodging establishments; » have total eligible hard costs at or above $35,000; and » meet any additional criteria established by the Colorado Tourism Office. destinationcolorado.com

12 COM+E » WINTER 2022

Flashback //

Hotel Turned Hospital

Blueprints reveal details of how WWII temporarily changed the purpose of Hotel Colorado. BY KARIN GAMBA » MOST PEOPLE staying and meeting at Hotel Colorado today would never guess that this historic Glenwood Springs lodging property was at one time commandeered by the U.S. Navy. During a brief, yet valiant period in its nearly 130-year history, the hotel served as a convalescent hospital for injured sailors and marines returning home from WWII. STUMBLING ON HISTORY A set of fragile old blueprints is a fresh reminder of Hotel Colorado’s heroic past, but the discovery was a lucky fluke. Hidden away in the basement for 77 years, the drawings came to the attention of Norm Bacheldor, one of the hotel’s owners. “After we closed on the hotel in May 2018, my first office was in a storage room surrounded by frayed and broken chairs, bags of linens and other supplies waiting for repair

or replacement. In a dusty corner were boxes of tattered and stained construction blueprints,” Bacheldor says. “I started going through the boxes and wow! I realized I was looking at blueprints dated 28, July 1943, the period when the Navy leased the building and transformed it into a U.S. Naval Convalescent Hospital.” HOTEL COLORADO ON DUTY The 500-bed hospital was placed in commission on July 5, 1943. At that time, Hotel Colorado and Glenwood Hot Springs Pool were one entity owned by Frank Kistler. In addition to recuperating at Hotel Colorado, veterans also had access to hydrotherapy treatments in the mineral pools. By the time Hotel Colorado was decommissioned on April 1, 1946, 6,525 WWII veterans passed through the hospital on their journey back to health.

P H OTO : H OT E L CO LO R A D O (O P P O S I T E ) B R E N T A N D R E C K

Colorado’s Meeting and Events Incentive program was introduced to assist in the state’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. As an added bonus, it also will help groups get back into the practice of meeting face to face. The program provides preapproved applicants with a 10% rebate of up to $100,000 against the eligible hard costs of hosting meetings and events that take place between July 1, 2021 and December 31, 2022. An online application must be submitted no later than 45 days before the meeting has occurred.


YMCA of the Rockies Estes Park Center Snow Mountain Ranch

Where Nature Inspires Our two locations in Colorado, Estes Park and Winter Park, offer groups of all sizes a place to gather in spacious retreat cabins or hotel-style lodges. Venue Update //

COLORADO CONVENTION CENTER EXPANDS UP A commemorative raise the roof ceremony in September 2021 officially kicked off the Colorado Convention Center (CCC) expansion. The 200,000-square-foot rooftop addition is slated for completion in late 2023 and is happening on the rooftop of the original building. The project includes a new 80,000-square-foot, column-free ballroom; new pre-function and networking spaces; cutting-edge technology improvements; and a rooftop outdoor terrace with sweeping panoramic views of both the city and Rocky Mountains. “The Colorado Convention Center has been a huge economic driver for Denver’s economy for decades, already able to host 95 percent of existing conventions,” says Rachel Benedick, executive vice president of sales at VISIT DENVER. “This expansion will allow Denver to continue to be a leader in the meetings, conventions and hospitality industries for years to come—capturing larger gatherings that were not able to meet here before and bringing new visitors to stay and play in our community, further bolstering our economy.” CCC first opened in 1990, and Denver voters approved the first expansion in 1999, which doubled the building’s size. This expansion was completed in December 2004, and the 1,100-room Hyatt Regency Denver opened directly across the street one year later. Since then, Denver has seen phenomenal growth in hotel building and convention business.

Meals, meeting spaces, and activities are included when you book a conference, group or retreat at YMCA of the Rockies.

RETREATS | CONFERENCES | REUNIONS

800-777-9622 ColoradoConferenceCenters.com

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M E E T + EAT Food Halls

Head to the Halls

A 3,000-square-foot rooftop deck is one of many spaces available at The Golden Mill .

» FOOD HALLS are no longer the latest darlings on the innovative restaurant scene. However, the advantage of more and more halls popping up around Colorado is the fact they are putting their own creative spin on the trend to stand out from the crowd. Luckily for meeting and event planners, one

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of the ways that many operators are stepping up their game is by offering specialized ways to accommodate groups. STANLEY MARKETPLACE

Aurora

Stanley Marketplace is a former aviation

factory turned urban marketplace, food hall and small business collective with more than 50 independently owned and operated services, boutiques, retailers and restaurants. There are several private event spaces to choose from, including the Upper Deck, Plaza, West Patio,

P H O T O S : F R O M T H E H I P P H O T O ; ( O P P O S I T E ) S TA N L E Y M A R K E T P L A C E

Colorado has become a mecca for some of the coolest food and market halls that are providing an array of options for groups. BY LAUREN PAHMEIER & BETH BUEHLER


Mill is the creation of Mark Shaker, owner and creator of Stanley Marketplace, in partnership with five Golden locals. TRIBUTARY FOOD HALL & DRINKERY

Golden

Tributary Food Hall & Drinkery holds up to 140 with a full buyout. “Tributary is smaller than standard food halls, which gives it a sense of intimacy,” says Josh Dinar, a coowner. Reserving the whole joint gives you access to both indoor and seasonal outdoor space, with a food and beverage minimum of $6,000 during peak-season evening events. Lower minimums apply for off-season or daytime events. The offerings from seven micro-eateries, a coffee shop and a full bar are sure to satisfy each of your guests’ unique preferences. ROSETTA HALL

Boulder

The Hangar at Stanley holds up to 1,500.

Community Area and a 5-acre outdoor field. One of the largest spaces, The Hangar at Stanley, is capable of hosting up to 1,500 attendees for a reception. A handy way for groups to tap into all the Stanley offers is through the Market Coin app that allows attendees to use preloaded credit to shop, explore and return to their private event. “A visit to Stanley is an adventure every time because you’ll always find something new, whether it’s a new art installation, pop up, special something from a retailer or great new cocktail to try. Stanley is the community’s gathering place, with a vibe and feel unlike anything else in Colorado,” says General Manager Ally Fredeen.

THE GOLDEN MILL

Golden

Situated in the foothills of Denver, The Golden Mill opened in the community of Golden’s historic flour mill and feed store in April 2021. The food hall fills 10,500 square feet on two levels and features “Old Reliable,” a 42-tap, self-pour wall with home-grown brews, wines, ciders, cocktails and sake and five dining options: Rolling Smoke BBQ, Happy Cones (New Zealand ice cream) and three restaurants from local chef Jesusio Silva including Tacos al Chile, Republic of Chicken and Sushi Tora. The former loading area has been converted into The Yard, and there is a 3,000-square-foot rooftop deck, both with views of Clear Creek. The Golden

Rosetta Hall is a luxe food hall in downtown Boulder with plush velvet seating, a refined navy-and-white color palette, marble countertops and elegant lighting. The three-story culinary hotspot features a coffee shop, two bars and eight restaurant concepts including Italian, Chinese, Thai, Middle Eastern, Mexican, American, Trinidadian and a patisserie that serves amazing desserts and is the entire hall’s bakery. You’ll find live music on occasion and inviting seating on every level, from long tables for groups and intimate nooks for two to rooftop cabanas with unbelievable views of the Flatirons. Chefs who show great promise but don’t have their own brick-and-mortar eateries are hand-selected for Rosetta Hall’s kitchens. MILEPOST ZERO

Denver

The railroad was the center of everything during The Mile High City’s early days, and the train tracks (known as milepost zero) began across the street from what is now Coors Field. As part of the new McGregor Square development, located adjacent to the baseball stadium, Milepost Zero has sev-

CO.MEETINGSMAGS.COM 15


M E E T + EAT Food Halls

The More the Merrier AVANTI F&B // DENVER & BOULDER In 2020, Avanti F&B opened a second location in Boulder based on the success of its first location in Denver’s LoHi neighborhood, which was one of the first food halls in the state. Both have amazing rooftop decks, and the Boulder Avanti F&B offers options for all kinds of diets, such as keto, gluten-free and more. Plus, a grab-and-go coffee concept, Lost City, that’s not available in Denver keeps the Boulder hall fresh, exciting and caffeinated. avantifandb.com

DENVER MILK MARKET // DENVER Located in the LoDo neighborhood near Coors Field, Denver Milk Market is the cornerstone of the historic Dairy Block and has an all-local mix of 16 restaurants and bars envisioned and run by acclaimed Colorado chef Frank Bonanno. Whether you’re looking to host a small group in the Moo Bar or Stranded Pilgrim or do a buyout of the entire market, there are many options for groups. denvermilkmarket.com

Located just a block away from Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre in the new Arapahoe Entertainment District, Grange Hall is chef Troy Guard’s latest endeavor. Grange Hall features eight food stalls run by various chefs, a space for rotating concepts and an in-house craft brewery. The hall is reminiscent of a historic community center and hosts regular events including live music, holiday festivities, sports watch parties and more. Grange Hall encompasses 13,000 square feet of space and is available to host private events.

Denver Milk Market offers a wide range of cuisine (top); Grange Hall has an in-house craft brewery (bottom).

grangehall-colorado.com

IV YWILD SCHOOL // COLORADO SPRINGS Kick it back to your childhood at Ivywild, where a 1916 schoolhouse building has been transformed into a food hall containing a brewery, several restaurant concepts and private spaces. Wandering down the halls, you can examine the changing art offerings during the minutes between meetings in the Gym, the largest private space. Attendees will give planners an A+ for booking this Colorado Springs venue. ivywildschool.com

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RAYBACK COLLECTIVE // BOULDER If you’re looking for something a little more casual, consider Rayback Collective. Event spaces include the Lounge and the Marion, holding up to 75 and 200, respectively. While outside catering is allowed, planners can get food truck vouchers for attendees, creating a more unique dining experience than a traditional meeting might offer. After the meetings are over, conclude with a happy hour in the backyard, where rotating food trucks pair nicely with cornhole, bocce ball and fire pits. therayback.com

ZEPPELIN STATION // DENVER Offering either private spaces or full buyouts along with gift cards, wristbands and drink tickets for groups, Zeppelin Station has it all (even parking). The upstairs mezzanine bar, Big Trouble, can host 113 seated and 250 standing, while the entire space can hold 500-plus. zeppelinstation.com

P H OTO S : D E N V E R M I L K M A R K E T; M A R C P I S COT T Y (O P P O S I T E ) M I L E P O S T Z E R O

GRANGE HALL // GREENWOOD VILLAGE


Milepost Zero is adjacent to a 28,000-square-foot plaza.

eral culinary concepts to choose from, along with a Bar & Beer Wall complete with 35 pour-it-yourself taps of craft beer, wines, ciders, seltzers and cocktails. Eat indoors or go outside on the 28,000-square-foot plaza, which is activated year-round with concerts, movie nights, festivals and baseball games showing on a huge LED screen. NUMBER THIRTY EIGHT

Denver

Named for the fact that Colorado is the 38th state in the union, Number Thirty Eight opened in fall 2020 within a repurposed neon sign factory in Denver’s RiNo district. Inside, 12,000 square feet of open space holds four culinary options and an always-rotating selection of branded taprooms operated by craft brewers, winemakers and distillers from throughout Colorado. A wall of garage doors opens onto 18,000 square feet of outdoor patio, an al fresco stage and two beach volleyball courts. A wristband payment system ensures that individuals and groups have a seamless experience at Number Thirty Eight. Gatherings from 30 to 1,200 can be hosted.

THE SOURCE HOTEL + MARKET HALL

Denver

The Source differentiates itself by having not one but two market halls on-site. While planners can rent individual restaurant spaces, they also can book one of the market halls. Market Hall I is a former iron foundry, where 30 to 50 people can enjoy catering from any of the counters. Market Hall II accommodates 125 to 150 people, with food and beverage from Safta’s. If planners can’t choose between the two halls, the 2,300-square-foot RiNo Ballroom is a great third space for up to 140 seated guests and has sliding garage doors. Or check out The Woods Rooftop Restaurant on the eighth floor for groups as large as 200 for a buyout that includes the indoor space, patio and pool deck. The Flex Room, adjacent to The Woods, is perfect for private dinners or board meetings for up to 10. If attendees are from out of town, the hotel has 100 guest rooms to book. Food halls are a great option to satisfy a wide range of tastes and dietary needs while offering big tastes of Colorado.

milepostzero.com 303.313.6096 nmbr38.com 303.493.6651 rosettahall.com stanleymarketplace.com 720.990.6743 thegoldenmill.com 720.405.6455 thesourcehotel.com/markethall 720.443.1135 tributarygolden.com 303.856.7225

CO.MEETINGSMAGS.COM 17


The logical side of your brain is likely concluding that little has happened during the most

THE

challenging days of the COVID19 pandemic. Launches of new additions, renovations and venues have been delayed a bit in some cases, but the amount of new hotels and fresh experiences is simply astonishing.

CHANGE-UP A stunning amount of what’s new in Colorado. BY BETH BUEHLER

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Denver Art Museum, Martin Building Rooftop Terrace

P H OTO S : JA M E S F LO R I O P H OTO G R A P H Y

IMPRESSIVE ATTRACTIONS & VENUES //

DENVER ART MUSEUM INTRODUCES REIMAGINED CAMPUS & NEW MEETING SPACE Denver Art Museum (DAM) reopened the Lanny and Sharon Martin Building (previously referred to as the North or Ponti Building) and introduced the new Anna and John J. Sie Welcome Center in style with a gala, housewarming party, member previews, and celebration/free admission day in October 2021. The seven-story Martin Building opened in 1971 and was one of the first-ever highrise art museums. The 210,000-square-foot structure has been fully restored and reno-

vated, including the 33,328 square feet of new gallery and public space, fulfillment of Ponti’s original vision for visitor access to seventh-floor views in the form of a rooftop terrace, and update of environmental and other systems, resulting in the completed project receiving LEED Silver certification. The transformed Martin Building showcases the museum’s collections from around the world and throughout history and places educational programming at the center of the DAM campus. The 50,000-square-foot Anna and John J. Sie Welcome Center, crowned by an elliptical glass meeting, event and program space, visually connects the DAM cam-

pus; provides improved spaces for ticketing and guest services; offers two new dining options; and houses an art conservation and technical studies laboratory on the lower level. The second-story façade has curved structural glass panels, providing outstanding views for function spaces, including Sturm Grand Pavilion. DAM’s Martin Building, Sie Welcome Center, Hamilton Building and outdoor spaces like the new multi-tiered Kemper Courtyard with an amphitheater are available for corporate meetings, parties, dinners and galas. Event spaces can accommodate parties for an intimate group or up to 1,000 guests. denverartmuseum.org

CO.MEETINGSMAGS.COM 19


ness, Footers Catering, moved its entire operation to Arvada in spring 2021. The 40,000-square-foot facility houses the company’s offices, kitchen, production facility and a new venue available to groups. Social Capitol features 20,000 square feet of versatile event space, a mezzanine and smaller breakout rooms. Footers Catering was founded in 1981 by Denver restaurateur Jimmy Lambatos. Lambatos’s son, Anthony, and his wife, April, took over the business in 2010. footerscatering.com

ery into a surreal, science-fiction epic that occurs in four anchor spaces. Wandering through, you will see a kaleidoscopic cathedral, Corinthian catacombs, lush alien habitats, and gritty cityscapes. In addition to the art, guests can experience The Perplexiplex, a live performance venue that holds up to 488. Also check out the large gift shop and HELLOFOOD, a fast-casual café with an outdoor patio. meowwolf.com

The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t stopped the opening of new hotels in Denver, with one of the latest being the 264-room Hyatt Centric Downtown Denver launching in October 2021. Located at 1776 Champa St., a vibrant mural by local artist Megan Walker greets guests upon arrival in the hotel’s driveway. Moving inside, the lobby features energizing colors, natural lighting and places for guests to work, meet, eat and lounge. Of special interest to groups is a spacious rooftop terrace with plush seating, outdoor fireplaces, and a small plates and drinks menu. With sliding-style doors, the space flows into a pre-function area and 2,530 square feet of meeting space. The penthouse level also features a 975-square-foot hospitality suite. On the main floor, Apple Blossom is helmed by local restaurateurs Paul C. Reilly and Aileen V. Reilly and holds 68 guests in addition to a 20-seat bar and lounge area. The Apple Blossom team also oversees rooftop food and beverage, room service, catering and banquets for the hotel. hyatt.com

FOOTERS CATERING MARKS 40 YEARS WITH NEW LOCATION & EVENT SPACE A second-generation Denver busi-

The latest addition to the River North Art District’s (RiNo) lodging scene is Catbird, an independent hotel by Sage Hospitality Group that opened its doors in August 2021.

Meow Wolf Denver, Convergence Station Library

“Denver’s art scene is active and vibrant, making it the perfect place for our next exhibition.” CHADNEY EVERETT // Executive Creative Director, Meow Wolf Denver

MEOW WOLF DENVER OPENS TO GREAT EXPECTATIONS The U.S.-based arts and entertainment company Meow Wolf, with permanent exhibitions in Sante Fe and Las Vegas, officially opened the doors of its third location, Denver’s Convergence Station, on Sept. 17, 2021. More than 300 creatives (muralists, sculptors, fiber artists, technologists and more), including 110+ Colorado-based collaborating artists, have brought four floors of mind-boggling interactive space to life. Located near Empower Field at Mile High, Convergence Station transports guests and groups on a journey of discov-

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P H O T O S : K AT E R U S S E L L ; ( O P P O S I T E ) N AT H A N H I N D M A N P H O T O G R A P H Y

ABUNDANCE OF NEW MILE HIGH CITY HOTELS //


The Rally Hotel, Club House Boardroom

The hotel’s 165 guest rooms feature full kitchens, while the Catbird Playroom is stocked with bikes, cameras, musical instruments and more for guests to check out. The 3,800 square feet of meeting and event space includes a 3,300-squarefoot rooftop deck with fire pits, hot tubs, an amphitheater, a lawn with life-sized games and the hotel’s signature bar and restaurant, The Red Barber. Catbird Kitchen is for coffee and grab-and-go dining, and there are all sorts of other amenities such as a dog run,  fitness center, plant rental program, complimentary laundry services and package delivery lockers. catbirdhotel.com The Rally Hotel opened in March 2021, just in time for the Colorado Rockies’ opening day and Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game. A location in the vibrant LoDo district next to Coors Field isn’t The Rally’s only geographic advantage, it’s also part of the new McGregor Square development that features restaurants, a food hall, shops, office space, residential living and a 28,000-square-foot circular plaza with a 110-foot LED screen.

The Rally has two ballrooms, a boardroom, pre-function space and a large terrace overlooking the outdoor plaza, which can be booked through the hotel. The 182 accommodations range from cozy rooms to spacious suites, and the eighth floor is known as The Mile High Floor because it sits at exactly 5,280 feet above sea level. The color scheme on this floor is a nod to the milehigh row of purple seats at Coors Field. Three food and beverage concepts are part of the property, along with the Skybridge Rooftop Deck & Plunge Pool featuring incredible views. therallyhotel.com Emily Griffith Opportunity School, situated on 2.4 acres downtown, sat unused for years until Denver-based Stonebridge Companies created a vision to transform the historic buildings into The Slate Hotel, which plans to open in the near future under the Tapestry Collection by Hilton brand. The four-story, 135,000-square-foot property encompasses 251 guest rooms and 4,370 square feet of meeting and event space along with a signature bar and restaurant, lounge, outdoor patio, and fitness center.

“From the stunning rooftop views on the Skybridge Rooftop Deck & Plunge Pool down to the multitude of restaurants spilling out into McGregor Square, The Rally Hotel is uniquely situated to be a destination for year-round excitement and fun.” DICK MONFORT // Partner, McGregor Square and Owner/ Chairman & CEO, Colorado Rockies.

CO.MEETINGSMAGS.COM 21

sla


Opened in May 2021, Clayton Members Club & Hotel is a 63-room boutique hotel with approximately 5,000 square feet of indoor meeting and event space and convenient access to the Cherry Creek neighborhood’s wide range of shopping and dining. However, you don’t need to leave the hotel for delicious food and beverage as there are three public culinary outlets: Five Nines, a hidden lounge with live entertainment; Of A Kind, offering elegance and the bright flavors of Mediterranean and California coastal fare; and OAK Market, an all-day eatery. Hotel guests also have access to Clayton Members Club events and amenities, including a members’ restaurant, fitness center, social spaces, co-working areas, and a rooftop restaurant and pool. claytondenver.com

KEY RENOVATIONS & ADDITIONS //

SHERATON DENVER DOWNTOWN UNVEILS $80 MILLION RENOVATION Sheraton Denver Downtown has long been an anchor on the 16th Street Mall and

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Sheraton Denver Downtown, Bezel (left); The Broadmoor, Bartolin Hall (right)

served as the largest meetings and events hotel in the city. The hotel was recently purchased and refreshed from top to bottom, including a new arrival experience, 133,000 square feet of meeting and event space, 1,236 guest rooms and 138 suites, all public spaces, and culinary and beverage experiences. The property is among the first in the country to undergo the larger brand revitalization that will ultimately transform all Sheraton hotels. The interior design incorporates various elements and materials inspired by the beatnik movement of the early 1960s. One of the most dynamic changes is the lobby, which now serves as the hotel’s “public square.” The central pillar is 16th Street Commons Coffee Bar Bar that transitions from day to night with food and beverage options. A community table also anchors the Sheraton’s lobby and allows guests to work, eat and drink while soaking up the energy of the space, whereas The Studios are flexible gathering spaces that are enclosed with glass and available for collaborative working. marriott.com

THE BROADMOOR’S BARTOLIN HALL OFFICIALLY LAUNCHES Construction of Bartolin Hall, The Broadmoor’s new exhibition space, was completed in March 2020 in time to welcome the annual Space Symposium. Instead, all official opening ceremonies and other inaugural fanfare were cancelled along with the 2020 Space Symposium. Finally, on Aug. 20, 2021, Bartolin Hall had its moment in the spotlight during an official ribbon-cutting ceremony and celebration, and The Broadmoor welcomed the rescheduled 36th Space Symposium only a few days later. Bartolin Hall encompasses 125,000 square feet of state-of-the-art space, including 32 meeting rooms and a 93,500-squarefoot exhibit hall with direct connection to the 60,000-square-foot ballroom known as Broadmoor Hall. The new addition brings the total amount of convention and exhibit space at The Broadmoor to more than 315,000 square feet. broadmoor.com

P H OTO S : P H OTO G R A P H Y G ; (O P P O S I T E ) T H E B R OA D M O O R

Also in the bustling LoDo district, the 216-room Thompson Denver debuts in February 2022, blending the Thompson Hotels brand’s mid-century modern and urban style with upscale mountain chalet chic. The hotel will feature Chez Maggy, a sophisticated 90-seat brasserie by celebrated chef Ludo Lefebvre (his first concept outside of Los Angeles and within a hotel) and Reynard Social, a sixth-floor sunroom bar and lounge. Groups can book the 1,032-square-foot Thompson Suite and meeting and event spaces that are centered around a two-story hearth fireplace. Thompson Denver also features a private dining space and bar for up to three dozen guests tucked into the mezzanine, a lobbylevel café and retail space, and a 24-hour fitness center. hyatt.com


PEAK MOMENTS - MOUNTAIN HAPPENINGS//

house and tasting room that will have a large front patio. stormpeakbrewing.com; yampavalleybrew.com

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation is in the midst of a three-year, $135 million improvement program, the largest in the resort’s 58-year history. This ski season, the new lower gondola terminal is opening, as well as an entrance featuring a custom art wall and escalator. The plan also includes a newly developed après ski plaza, ice rink, restaurants, bars and a ski beach, ideal for hanging out and soaking up the sun and fun. Future initiatives include adding 650 acres of terrain and North America’s longest 10-person gondola. This will expand terrain by 20 percent, making Steamboat the second largest resort in Colorado. steamboat.com

What began as a COVID-19 survival tactic has become a winter mainstay for another local brew house. Gondola car and outdoor fire pit table seating are back at Mountain Tap Brewery. The business worked with a gondola restoration company in Fruita, Colorado, to obtain three gondola cars that previously shuttled skiers at Killington Ski Area in Vermont. Each gondola seats six adults and is equipped with an electric heater, twinkly lights and a Bluetooth speaker so guests can choose their own music. mountaintapbrewery.com

The brewery scene in Steamboat Springs also has plenty to toast about. Storm Peak Brewing Company has expanded its rooftop bar and is opening a new tasting room adjacent to the ski resort to serve up an array of house-crafted beers. Yampa Valley Brewing Company, with tap houses in Craig and Hayden, is expanding to Steamboat this summer with a tap

VAIL & BEAVER CREEK Located in Lionshead Village, Vail Mountain Marriott Resort has rebranded as The Hythe, a Luxury Collection Hotel and is completing the final phase of a $40 million renovation. A redesigned arrival and lobby and four new food and beverage concepts are part of the latest phase. The Hythe has 29,000 square feet of meeting and event

space and 344 guest rooms, 22 suites and 16 residences. marriott.com Grand Hyatt Vail has introduced several new experiences just in time for ski season, including Topgolf Swing Suites where guests can try their hand at virtual golf or other interactive games such as soccer, zombie dodgeball and hockey. Each Topgolf Swing Suite accommodates groups of up to 12 with lounge seating and food and beverage service. In addition, private rental of the Moët Imperial Yurt is available from 3 to 6 p.m. daily and includes two private fire pits, champagne sabering, a s’mores kit and a house-made charcuterie spread. The yurt can host up to 10 guests. hyatt.com The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa Avon, Vail Valley unveiled more than $1.5 million in resort upgrades last summer, including a renovated lobby, expanded patio seating and dining, extensive new fitness equipment and a series of unique outdoor group exercise classes overlooking the Eagle River. marriott.com

CO.MEETINGSMAGS.COM 23


“We are thrilled for the relaunch of the BRECKENRIDGE Broken Compass Brewing Company is ushering in its first winter on Main Street with a new taproom, and Breckenridge Distillery has introduced an interactive spirits lab, allowing groups and guests to taste award-winning spirits and delve into the behind the scenes of spirit production. Participants can blend their own bottles and sample paired bites from the distillery’s restaurant. brokencompassbrewing.com; breckenridgedistillery.com

Viewline Resort Snowmass and the Wildwood Snowmass for our guests, groups and locals to enjoy, not to mention new flights, restaurants and activities.” ROSE ABELLO // Tourism Director, Snowmass Tourism

ASPEN & SNOWMASS Aspen Snowmass celebrates 75 years of skiing and riding this winter season and the renovation of three major hotels. The first property of the Limelight Hotel brand, Limelight Hotel Aspen, has undergone a six-month makeover and began welcoming guests back in November 2021. The upgrades included all 126 guestrooms and suites and public spaces such as the Limelight Lounge, conference room and lobby. Guests and groups will notice a new arrival experience, expanded seating for dining, and relocation of the lounge’s stage area to better accommodate events. The Westin Snowmass and Wildwood Hotel sold in December 2020 and closed in April 2021 to undergo complete renovations. The Westin reopened in December as Viewline Resort Snowmass, Autograph Collection and features fully renovated guestrooms and public spaces; a new signature restaurant, Stark’s Alpine Grill; a new bar concept; refreshed meeting space; and the expanded Lupine Spa. Situated within the same complex, Wildwood Snowmass has 1960s retro-style furnishings and an edgy color palette along with a new restaurant and bar, Last Chair. marriott.com; wildwoodsnowmass.com

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Viewline Resort Snowmass (top); Wildwood Snowmass (bottom)

P H O T O S : V I E W L I N E R E S O R T S N O W M A S S ; W I L D W O O D S N O W M A S S ; ( O P P O S I T E ) T H E E D DY TA P R O O M & H O T E L

Here’s a new one, beer pairing with sourdough pizza and homemade cookies. This is the specialty of Tin Plate Pizza and Dynamite Cookies. tinplatepizza.com; dynamitecookies.com


The Eddy Taproom & Hotel

THE LATEST HOTELS & RESORTS AROUND COLORADO //

Monarch Casino Resort Spa in Black Hawk was unveiled in stages starting in November 2020 and is equipped with more than 10,000 square feet of function space, 516 guest rooms and suites, four restaurants, and a casino that has been expanded to 60,000 square feet. A rooftop pool and Spa Monarch also top the amenity list. Opened last year in Copper Mountain’s Center Village, Element 29 is a hip fourstory hotel with 127 guest rooms. The property features a bar, fitness center and outdoor patio with fire pits and two hot tubs. Element 29 is only a short walk to meeting and event space, shopping, dining and outdoor adventure in the village. The Eddy Taproom & Hotel features 49 guest rooms and various indoor and outdoor gathering spaces, including two rooftop patios, and is situated on the site of Golden’s Rocky Mountain Fire Brick Works. Amenities include Truck Eddy (the property’s food truck with BBQ and shakes), the taproom featuring a hearty mountain menu paired with craft beers on tap, and an outdoor lawn with weekly activities. The four-story property opened in June 2021. theeddygolden.com

TRAINS, SLOPES & ADVENTURES Rocky Mountaineer debuted its Rockies to the Red Rocks luxury train route in August. The route is a two-day rail journey between Denver and Moab, Utah (going either direction) with an overnight stay in Glenwood Springs. Launching the route generated a great deal of interest, prompting Rocky Mountaineer to offer 56 departure options from Aug. 15 – Nov. 19, 2021. New this winter, Winter Park Resort is offering sunset guided skiing and snowboarding experiences. Also, the resort and Amtrak have resumed the Winter Park Express ski train service from Denver Union Station after a year hiatus. There are two new attractions in Estes Park: the year-round Mustang Mountain Coaster with 2,000 linear feet of gravity-fueled descent and Cloud Ladder, the steepest and most vertical Via Ferrata route in the United States. Cloud Ladder, opened this past summer as part of The Alpine Jewel adventure destination, provides 625 feet of vertical climbing, suspension bridges and two headwall sections.

“We’ve taken this idea where outdoor adventure meets rest and relaxation to create a hotel that’s fun, lively, comfortable and welcoming.” JOHN DRUGAN // General Manager, The Eddy Taproom & Hotel

CO.MEETINGSMAGS.COM 25


I ND U STRY U PDATE Infographic

Optimism Returns

With the positive outlook comes real challenges in luring talent back and training newcomers. RESEARCH COURTESY OF MEETING PROFESSIONALS INTERNATIONAL » MEETINGS PROFESSIONALS are anticipating major growth for the year to come in areas like hiring, budgets and attendance, according to the summer 2021 edition of Meeting Professionals International’s “Meetings Outlook.” Respondents to the Meetings Outlook survey also are taking getting vaccinated seriously, with more than 91 percent reporting being fully or partially vaccinated. Optimism and business expectations are the highest ever seen in Meetings Outlook, with 93 percent projecting favorable business conditions over the next year compared to only 36 percent reporting optimism the prior summer. In addition, more than 81 percent anticipated holding their next face-to-face event in 2021. With all this good news comes real concerns, especially staffing challenges and getting teams back up and running to offer quality customer service as the meetings and events industry revs back up. Even with possible impact from coronavirus variants on the horizon, confidence remains high. Watch for upcoming Meetings Outlooks to keep up with the latest information, which seems to ebb and flow. Here’s to positive outlooks! mpi.org |

MPI | » Download the full report at: mpi.org/docs/default-source/meetings-outlook/meetings-outlook-summer-2021.pdf

ATTENDANCE FORECASTS

Getting back to in-person meetings is definitely a priority, and the number of virtual meetings is dropping. Here’s what planners had to say about upcoming gatherings. In comparison, 87 percent of respondents in summer 2020 indicated favorable virtual attendance. That number has shifted to 36 percent.

Live Attendance Projections

Virtual Attendance Projections

26 COM+E » WINTER 2022

77% 4% 19% 36% 16% 47%

WELLNESS CONTENT

As the industry builds back to former levels, the pandemic has focused a spotlight on the importance of wellness being part of the conversation and most meeting and event agendas. Sixty-three percent expressed a greater interest in wellness-specific content, while only 4 percent indicated less interest in onsite wellness programming. It’s not only physical health but mental health as well.

As the meetings and events industry transitions back to more “normal” levels, it will require understanding and patience from every direction … planners, suppliers and attendees. Everyone is doing their best and juggling unique challenges. Thank you to MPI for providing helpful insights into what’s happening during what has been one huge rollercoaster ride.


BUSINESS CONDITIONS

There has been a big leveling out of the buyer’s and seller’s market landscape in just a quarter as things begin to settle. The numbers speak for themselves, but it’s important to note that planners weren’t able to leverage the advantage much due to limited numbers of in-person events from fall 2020 through spring 2021. As more gatherings return and venues deal with hiring challenges, the limited supply likely will continue to swing the pendulum to a seller’s market.

FALL WINTER SPRING SUMMER 2020 2021 2021 2021

Buyer’s Market

73% 76% 67% 44%

Balanced Market

14% 13% 19% 18%

Seller’s Market

13% 12% 14% 38%

Pricing Movement

It’s also interesting to look at how pricing has changed, as respondents indicated that costs for many meeting/event-related expenses increased in 2021. The price tags that seem to be least affected are office space, speakers/presenters, on-site security and entertainment. According to respondents, prices for many meeting/event-related expenses have risen this year. How much have they increased?

+1%-5% +6%-10% +11%-25% >25% No change

AIRFARE

12% 24% 19% 13% 20%

AUDIOVISUAL

11% 20% 17% 9% 32%

ENTERTAINMENT

11% 23% 7% 3% 39%

F&B

16% 32% 22% 5% 16%

GUEST ROOMS

17% 17% 19% 7% 29%

OFFICE SPACE

14% 10% 2% 2% 50%

ON-SITE SECURITY

10% 12% 9% 4% 44%

RENTAL CARS

7% 15% 13% 24% 26%

SPACE RENTAL

16% 23% 12% 6% 33%

SPEAKERS/PRESENTERS

12% 17% 9% 2% 45%

THE TALENT CHALLENGE

Much of the summer 2021 edition of MPI’s Meetings Outlook was dedicated to the biggest elephant in the room: a shortage of industry talent. Lengthy furloughs and job loss due to the pandemic drove many in the meetings/events and hospitality industries to find new jobs or new career paths. Women have accounted for nearly 80 percent of people who left the workforce during the pandemic, according to 2021 U.S. Census Bureau statistics, and women make up approximately 77 percent of the meetings and events workforce, noted one source. As venues and hotels have started ramping up the meetings and events side of their businesses again, the amount of qualified staff hasn’t necessarily been available, which has required looking at new and more diverse pools of people to hire and adding new skills to employees’ repertoires. Companies in the industry also are becoming more open to hiring contract employees and freelancers to address the ebbs and flows of business levels.

CO.MEETINGSMAGS.COM 27


IN DUSTRY U PDAT E Regional News

Food & Beverage //

COLORADO RANCH ADDS A HYDROPONIC FARM

C Lazy U Ranch near Granby has added an automated vertical hydroponic farm built by Colorado-based FarmBox Foods to grow seed-to-harvest produce on-site. Located inside a repurposed shipping container with sensor-based technology, the climate-controlled garden is 320 square feet and allows ranch guests to see where the lettuce and herbs they are eating is grown. C Lazy U also has a hay harvest operation to feed the property’s 225 horses, uses the water supply from its own spring, and has beehives. The property welcomes guests to take part in interactive and educational tours of its sustainable operations, including the new culinary garden. clazyu.com

Stir Cooking School has debuted a new look both online and in-house and welcomed a new executive chef. Fatima Hafiz brings nearly two decades of culinary experience to Stir Cooking School from San Francisco, where she led several different cooking school programs. The school presents a variety of cooking and cocktail classes, hosts private parties for up to 50 guests, and offers off-site gatherings and team-building experiences. stirtolearn.com

CATERING BY DESIGN OPENS LOCATION IN GYPSUM

Denver-based Catering by Design recently opened a location in Gypsum to provide catering and decor services in Vail, Aspen and the entire mountain region in Colorado. The company’s in-house décor, design, floral and graphic design departments team up with the catering division to provide clients with elaborate weddings and grand galas along with intimate celebrations. “Gypsum is a sensible choice for us and for our clients,” says COO Syd Sexton. “Our passion is creating customized event experiences, and we are excited to bring our key team members and join with local talent in the mountains to create crafted memorable events.” cateringbd.com

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P H O T O S : FA R M B OX F O O D S ; W E R K C R E AT I V E ; B R O O K E H E AT H E R ; (OPPOSITE) BRIAN BISHOP; ERIC SPRINKLE

WHAT’S NEW AT STIR COOKING SCHOOL


The Numbers

The 3,000-square-foot venue can accommodate 65 people, with the tasting room/ cocktail lounge seating 35 and the adjacent production area/barrel room holding 30. In addition, an outdoor patio hosts up to 16 guests.

The Vibe

The tasting room is a 1960s-style cocktail lounge with décor reminiscent of the “Mad Men” era. Native woods warm the space, and lighting is a mix of vintage and modern fixtures. Groups can access the vintage sound system (a tube amplifier) with a Bluetooth music player or utilize the vintage vinyl record player.

The Catering

New Space for Gatherings at Dry Land Distillers in Longmont Colorado distilleries, like their brethren in the state’s vibrant craft brewery industry, offer many terrific places for groups to sip, sample and gather. It’s hard to beat the local vibe, neat spaces and flexible food avail-

able. Dry Land Distillers is one of the latest options, opening a tasting room and cocktail lounge inside its new distillery at 519 Main St. in Longmont. Kelly Dressman is serving as events manager.

Associations //

of hours of calls with our local government, advocating for our industry and our frontline workers. When the pandemic hit, we realized that our industry, unlike the hotel or restaurant industry, didn’t have a unified entity to represent our industry or support frontline workers,” says Brynn Swanson, a board member and owner of First Look Events. “We do have funds available for those who are in need. Our organization is not centered around COVID; any hardship will qualify for help.” coeventalliance.org

COLORADO EVENT ALLIANCE LAUNCHES DURING PANDEMIC Established in April 2020, Colorado Event Alliance was formed in direct response to the impact of COVID-19 on the state’s vibrant event industry. The nonprofit was launched with the goal of being the primary resource for all event professionals in Colorado who have suffered a hardship or are in need of support. The founding board represents leaders in the industry from venues, catering, planning and entertainment. To date, Colorado Event Alliance has presented more than $200,000 in grants directly to frontline workers. “We’ve had hundreds

KEEPING MEMBERS CONNECTED HSMAI Southern Colorado held drop-in happy hours and coffee meet-ups in July and

Food must be prepared off-site by an independent catering company or other licensed food vendor and can be brought in for special events. The venue can coordinate food through a separate catering company, Dry Land Provisions that specializes in crafting a custom food menu that pairs with Dry Land spirits and cocktails, or work with a group’s preferred catering company.

August to encourage members to attend at a time that was convenient for their schedules. The July happy hour was held at ICONS Colorado Springs, and the August gathering was at Smiling Toad Brewery. socohsmai.org

CO.MEETINGSMAGS.COM 29


IN DUSTRY U PDAT E Regional News

Associations //

Hotels //

FIVE SENSES HOSPITALITY ACQUIRES HOTELS IN FRISCO AND LAKEWOOD Denver-based hotel company Five Senses Hospitality has announced the acquisition of the former Baymont Inn & Suites in Frisco and Residence Inn by Marriott and Courtyard by Marriott in Lakewood.

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The deals are part of a joint venture between Bedford Lodging, a Dallas-based hotel development company founded by Jeff Blackman, and Five Senses, which has an exclusive partnership to manage the day-to-day operations of the hotels. The Frisco property will operate independently as Summit Suites while undergo-

ing an extensive renovation before joining a major hotel brand. With the acquisitions, Five Senses Hospitality’s portfolio includes eight properties totaling more than 600 guest rooms under its management. fivesenseshospitality.com

P H O T O S : D E S T I N AT I O N C O L O R A D O ; ( O P P O S I T E ) A L L D I G I TA L P H O T O A N D V I D E O

DESTINATION COLORADO’S 2021 CUSTOMER APPRECIATION EVENT Monarch Casino Resort Spa in Black Hawk was the location of Destination Colorado’s 2021 Customer Appreciation Event on Sept. 29–30. The first day featured a welcome reception in the resort’s Presidential Suite, tours and an informal gathering in the casino. Day two highlights included a group breakfast and a choice of several activities including a yoga class and day pass for Spa Monarch; historic Central City tour; fly fishing with guides; and horseback riding through aspen trees and old mining areas. The event wrapped up with lunch at Monarch Chophouse.


Meetings & Conferences //

22ND ANNUAL MIC CONFERENCE: MARCH 1-2, 2022 First conference under leadership of new association managers Kinsley Meetings

Keith and Freddie Templeton and MIC Chair Kimberly Forte

Awards & Certifications //

GOLDEN PROPERTY RECEIVES 2021 BEST OF CHOICE Golden Hotel has received the 2021 Best of Choice award within Choice Hotels’ Ascend Collection. One hotel from each Choice brand is recognized for commitment to superior guest service and operational excellence. Best of Choice properties rank among the top in Choice Hotels’ system for achieving high performance scores and exceptional guest ratings. Located in downtown Golden, Golden Hotel is part of the Denver-based hotel company Five Senses Hospitality. thegoldenhotel.com JESSICA SCHUETTE EARNS CMP DESIGNATION The Events Industry Council’s Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) program is recognized around the world as a badge of excellence in the events industry. Thirtyseven professionals earned their CMP

designation in September 2021, including Jessica Schuette of Transamerica in Aurora, Colorado. eventscouncil.org/cmp MIC LEADERSHIP AWARD PRESENTED TO KEITH & FREDDIE TEMPLETON At the 2021 Meetings Industry Council of Colorado Educational Conference & Trade Show in June, Keith and Fredrica (Freddie) Templeton, owners of Rocky Mountain Event Consultants, were presented MIC’s prestigious Leadership Award. Rocky Mountain Event Consultants served as the association’s management company for 15 years and stepped down from this role as of July 1, 2021. “Some think we are retired but far from it,” Freddie says. “We are full speed with MPI Rocky Mountain Chapter in its 50th year as the first chapter of MPI.” Two MIC Chair Awards also were presented to Lora Knowlton, chair elect, and Tiffany Carson, treasurer. Congratulations!

The Meetings Industry Council of Colorado Educational Conference & Tradeshow is scheduled to return to a fully in-person gathering at Colorado Convention Center in Denver on March 1–2, 2022. The annual MIC conference attracts more than 1,000 participants, including approximately 350 meeting and event planners along with suppliers and others who attend from around the country. Kinsley Meetings, a meetings and events management firm based in Littleton, Cololorado, became MIC’s new association management company effective July 1, 2021. Kinsley Meetings has been involved in a volunteer capacity since the early years of the conference, and Allison and Steve Kinsley have both served on the council. The Kinsley meeting architect team, led by Vice President Andrea Brennan, will plan and manage the annual MIC Conference, Serving Up Hope, and MIC’s engagements during Global Meetings Industry Day. MIC was officially established in 2000 and is a coalition of 13 professional meetings industry-related organizations with chapters or headquarters in Colorado. To find out more and register for the conference, visit mic-colorado.org.

CO.MEETINGSMAGS.COM 31


IN DUSTRY U PDAT E Regional News

People //

LEADERSHIP TEAMS ANNOUNCED FOR TWO NEW DENVER HOTELS Catbird, an independent hotel by Sage Hospitality Group in Denver’s RiNo District, named Courtney Griffith general manager and Austin Cooper director of sales and marketing prior to the property’s opening in July 2021. A leader in hospitality for more than 20 years, Griffith most recently worked for Makeready Hotels, where she served in the role of director of operations at Halcyon, a hotel in Cherry Creek. She was a member of Halcyon’s opening leadership team under the management of Sage Hospitality Group. Prior to this, Griffith was senior operations manager at Denver Marriott City Center, food and beverage learning coach for JW Marriott Orlando Grand Lakes, and general manager of Hampton Inn Denver Tech Center. Cooper joined the Catbird team with 13 years of experience in the hospitality industry, including various sales roles within Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Warwick Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and Aparium Hotel Group. He brings an intimate knowledge of the boutique and lifestyle sector of hospitality. Hyatt Centric Downtown Denver recruited Colleen Huther as general manager and Kimberley de Tessan as director of sales and marketing to guide its opening in October 2021. Previously the GM of El Encanto, a Belmond Hotel in Santa Barbara, California, Huther has held several executive hotel positions from coast to coast. Shortly after college,

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she quickly moved up the ranks in various sales and marketing roles at Grand Heritage Hotels, until her promotion to GM of Thayer Lodging Group’s Annapolis Waterfront Hotel in 1994. That role culminated in her appointment as vice president of asset management, overseeing 11 full- and selectservice hotels. Huther then moved to southern California, where she served as GM for several hotels including Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Resort, Hilton Santa Clara and Hilton Checkers Los Angeles. Bringing extensive Hyatt experience, de Tessan most recently served as director of events for Grand Hyatt Denver. She launched her hospitality career in events at Hyatt Regency New Brunswick and moved on to becoming event sales manager at Grand Hyatt New York. That role culminated in her 2011 move to Denver, where she worked for Hyatt Regency Denver as associate director of events before her most recent role. She was honored as Hyatt Hotels’ 2019 Director of the Year. WESTIN RIVERFRONT RESORT & SPA ANNOUNCES NEW HIRES & PROMOTIONS Brian Harrier was named general manager after serving the Viceroy Snowmass, another luxury Colorado resort managed by East West Hospitality, as director of operations. He helped lead the Snowmass property through a full renovation while also overseeing operations. Harrier began his hospitality career at The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas in Hawaii, where he rose to director of engineering. Wendy Mallas has been elevated to the position of director of sales and marketing. In 2017, she joined the property as a leisure sales manager and worked her way up to director of leisure sales. Mallas

previously launched new properties for Vail Resorts and served on the company’s international sales team. Jing Butler joined The Westin Riverfront in 2013 as an executive meetings manager and over the years became sales manager, senior sales manager and now associate director of sales. She previously worked in sales and events at The Arrabelle at Vail Square and Aloft Charleston Airport & Convention Center in South Carolina. Scott Copertino is the new dining room and banquet manager and comes to The Westin Riverfront from Grand Hyatt Vail, where he most recently served as national sales manager. He spent more than nine years at Vail Cascade Resort & Spa, going from the role of front office manager to director of banquets. SHERATON DENVER DOWNTOWN ANNOUNCES NEW & PROMOTED SALES STAFF With the recent completion of an $80 million renovation, Sheraton Downtown Denver has added three new team members and promoted Deseri Martinez to senior sales executive. Deseri Martinez joined the property in 2014 and has served in many roles including destination sales executive for the past three years. Martinez began her journey with Marriott in 2007 at The Westin Denver Downtown in senior catering sales before being promoted to group sales. In her new role as senior sales executive, she covers the West Coast, south central and Colorado convention markets.


Leorah Young, a new senior catering sales executive with the Sheraton, has more than 10 years experience in the hospitality industry and started her career with the Denver Art Museum as director of event sales and catering. She transitioned into the hotel industry by joining JW Marriott Cherry Creek as senior catering manager in 2014 and was promoted to director of catering sales. Jessica Swensen, destination sales executive, began her journey with Marriott as an event operations voyager in 2013 before joining the northern mid-America sales office as a group sales manager. The Hiltons of Chicago hired Swenson as group sales manager before Renaissance Chicago called Swensen back to Marriott in July 2018 as a destination sales executive. Chris Beck, senior sales executive, held various management positions in operations before entering sales. He moved to Maui as senior sales executive for Marriott’s Wailea Beach Resort after a $120 million transformation and was brought back to the western regional sales office as a regional sales leader, overseeing group sales for 17 hotels in northern California. Beck completed Marriott’s Emerging Leaders Program in 2019. MANAGERS Timothy Wolfe began his new role as director of the Colorado Tourism Office in August 2021. Wolfe was most recently complex general manager of The Brown Palace Hotel and adjacent Holiday Inn

TWO NEW SALES TEAM MEMBERS AT THE BROADMOOR Christopher Thornton has been named sales manager for executive meetings and golf and Maria Saavedra as director of northeast and international sales. Thornton spent his early career path as a partner in two different businesses serving as the spokesperson and director of marketing. A move to the West Coast brought Thornton to Seattle, where he sold, managed and produced medium- to large-budget trade shows and events. Upon returning to the East Coast, GES offered him the position of trade show project manager, and he later worked as a talent agency director and project design consultant. Saavedra has more than 25 years of senior management experience with luxury hotels, including Marriott International, Caribe Royale All Suites Resort, Rosen Hotels & Resorts and Fontainebleau Miami Beach. Most recently, she was director of group and international sales for Loews Miami Beach Hotel.

Express Denver Downtown, a post that capped extensive service for multiple hotel groups and distinguished hospitality properties. A former chairman of the Colorado Tourism Board and board member for the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association (CHLA), Wolfe was inducted into the CHLA Hall of Fame in 2015 Frank Kastelz has been appointed general manager of Aspen Meadows Resort in Aspen after serving in an interim capacity. With more than 20 years of hospitality experience, Kastelz most recently served as hotel manager for The Tremont

House, a Wyndham Grand Hotel in Galveston, Texas, and complex director of food and beverage for three Wyndham hotels including Hotel Galvez & Spa. Kastelz has worked with a variety of Wyndham properties in roles such as GM at Wyndham Santa Monica At The Pier and director of operations at Wyndham San Diego Bayside. Prior to working in hospitality, Kastelz was a cryptologist for the U.S. Navy for nearly a decade. He says, “I had zero intentions of moving to Aspen when I took this temporary role, but I rapidly grew attached to the amazing team and to the potential of this special property.”

CO.MEETINGSMAGS.COM 33


IN DUSTRY U PDAT E Regional News

Venues //

Inactive Spaces in Denver Now Available for Events

Denver Sports Castle: Built in the 1920s to be a Chrysler automobile showroom, the 35,000-square-foot Sports Castle still features an Art Deco-inspired façade with original stained glass accent windows and turn-of-the-century interior details, including a show-stopping main staircase, an open mezzanine and breathtaking rooftop views. Denver Rock Drill: Situated between the RiNo Art District and Cole Historic Neighborhood, the 110,000-square-foot Denver Rock Drill is a collection of historic warehouses with plentiful windows and brick details that embody Denver’s Western spirit and pioneering history. The Denver Post Printing Plant: Once a major printing and distribution center for Denver’s leading newspaper, this 75,000-square-foot space in north Denver is a blank canvas with tall ceilings and an open floor plan.

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Top to bottom: Denver Rock Drill, ReelWorks Denver, Denver Sports Castle

ReelWorks Denver: This RiNo entertainment venue, formerly known as EXDO Event Center, offers 22,000 square feet of space. It was originally built in 1945 as a tinsmith manufacturing facility. Through-

out the past year, the space was significantly upgraded and recently relaunched as ReelWorks Denver. npuevents.com

P H O T O S : N O N P L U S U LT R A ; ( O P P O S I T E ) L U C Y B E A U G A R D

A California-based company that turns inactive spaces into rentable places has entered the metro Denver market with leases to Denver Sports Castle, Denver Rock Drill, the former Denver Post Printing Plant and ReelWorks Denver. Non Plus Ultra gives property owners and developers the ability to maximize their return on investment and supports local communities by activating landmark buildings as event and entertainment venues on a nearterm or temporary basis. Based in San Francisco, the company currently works with several Bay Area historic landmarks and also has a portfolio of spaces in Los Angeles and Seattle.


we provide exceptional bar services so you don’t have to. ARAPAHOE ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT WELCOMES PINDUSTRY Located just south of Denver, the community of Greenwood Village recently added Pindustry, the first redevelopment in the new Arapahoe Entertainment District. Featuring nearly 55,000 square foot of space spread across two floors, Pindustry is an entertainment-focused restaurant, bar and events venue that offers experiential options for events, both large and small. Highlights include two kinds of bowling (duckpin and traditional), a huge variety of other games, a downstairs beer garden with a custom stage, and a rooftop patio that holds 1,000. Sky Deck is one of the largest rooftop patios in Denver with 16,000 square feet of partially covered space and features a lengthy bar made from shipping containers and a cornhole arena with stadium-style seating. Elsewhere in the venue, pinball machines, classic arcade games, skeeball, billiards, ping-pong and foosball round out the wide range of fun. Situated at Arapahoe and Syracuse, in the heart of southeast Denver’s tech corridor, the total capacity is 2,300 guests. The food and beverage program features a menu of Italian-inspired shareable dishes alongside house-made craft cocktails and an extensive wine and beer list. Menu items include charcuterie and cheese boards, salads, ciabatta sandwiches, a variety of pane rustico toasts, and wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas.

5 Reasons to Partner with Peak 1. Our all-inclusive bar

catering packages make the planning process a breeze.

2. We handle all liability, insurance, and safety.

product selections 3. Our and menus are the best in the industry. been in the 4. We’ve business for over a decade with over 10k successful events. employ local staff to 5. We support the community’s workforce.

YOUR PUBLICATION (OUR PRODUCTION)

Please reach out to info@peakbev.com for more information.

LET US TAKE THE GUESS WORK OUT OF YOUR MAGAZINE

CO.MEETINGSMAGS.COM 35


S NAP S HOTS Sheraton Denver Downtown Celebration; Barks, Brews & Buddies

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P H OTO S : P H OTO G R A P H Y G ; (O P P O S I T E ) T WO O N E P H OTO G R A P H Y

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Sheraton Denver Downtown Unveils $80 Million Renovation

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The fanfare surrounding completion of the Sheraton Denver Downtown’s $80 million, full-scale renovation may have been delayed due to COVID-19, but the VIP/media ribbon cutting and community unveiling event on Sept. 16, 2021, was done in true style. The porte-cochere and lobby were taken over for the event that featured live music, a sampling of local food and drink, and the chance to savor a cocktail in Bezel Denver. marriott.com 1. Robert Harbison and Jose Sanchez. 2. Local mini sausage, Palisade peach jam and brioche bun. 3. DJ RIPM. 4. VISIT DENVER President/CEO Richard Scharf, center. 5. Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock. 6. Peter MacDowell, Joyce Reilly, Chase Lopez De La Garza. 7. The porte-cochere transformed into an event space. 8. The Sheraton’s food and beverage team kept the crowd happy. 9. Spinphony. 10. Samantha Peckinpaugh and Kristina Luthy. 11. Deseri Martinez. 12. Coffee drinks and craft sodas were served from the Sheraton airstream. 13. Little Man Ice Cream scooped up dessert.

Barks, Brews & Buddies

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After working at home, having meetings on Zoom and catching glimpses of colleague’s canine companions along the way, it seemed only natural for National Association for Catering & Events (NACE) Denver to host a Barks, Brews & Buddies happy hour in September at Denver’s Watering Bowl. Check out the wide variety of pooches in attendance with their NACE parents at Colorado’s only dog park attached to a tavern. nacedenver.com; denverwateringbowl.com 14. Casey Van Horn and Vanessa Miranda. 15. Amanda Piper and a canine friend. 16. Pets and people mingling. 17. Emma Sayiner greeting furry attendees. 18. Sara Stolpe, Aimee Palifroni, Lori Williams and Angie Johnston. 19. Aimee Palifroni, Christal Ayala and Brunny Ayala. 20. Paige Apostoli and Char Linhard. 21. Brunny Ayala. 22. Zola having a sweet time.

To have your meeting or event photos featured here, contact the editor at beth.buehler@tigeroak.com.

CO.MEETINGSMAGS.COM 37


PE OPLE PROF I L E Brady Johnson

From Slopes to Sales

Brady Johnson, a former member of the U.S. Ski Team, now balances time between C Lazy U Ranch, Destination Colorado, his family and the ski slopes. BY LAUREN PAHMEIER once in their lifetime, C Lazy U Ranch’s Brady Johnson wants to retire three or four times. “I think that’s the fun part about life. Find something new, chase a goal and accomplish it, and then find something even more fun and exciting that aligns with what you’re doing with your life at the time,” says Johnson. And Johnson is already one-third of the way there. After a successful career in competitive freestyle skiing, including winning the North American Tour, Skiing World Cup for four years and forerunning in the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, Johnson retired from the sport at age 26 after coming back from a knee injury. Shortly after, Johnson secured an interview for an unpaid summer internship with the owner of C Lazy U Ranch, thanks to a connection in skiing. Thirteen years later, he’s director of sales and marketing for the property located northwest of Winter Park in Granby. Although Johnson is a busy man, he finds marketing not only the property, but also Colorado as a whole, is easy because he loves it. So naturally, he joined Destination Colorado 10 years ago to get more involved in Colorado’s tourism industry and now serves as president. “If we’re promoting on a state level and getting business that would otherwise go to California or Montana or Wyoming and it comes to our state, everybody’s going to win in the end,” he emphasizes. Eventually, he’ll retire from Destination Colorado and C Lazy U Ranch, but in the meantime, Johnson enjoys being based in Denver, saying that there aren’t many days he doesn’t have the chance to ski, bike or hike. “At the end of the day, we sell a lifestyle, and it’s the lifestyle we live. And if we’re not able to go out and enjoy a mountain bike ride after work or something like that, what are you really working for?” clazyu.com |

970.887.3344

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P H O T O : TAT E C A R L S O N

» WHILE MOST PEOPLE RETIRE just


EARLY BIRD N REGISTRATIO st! 31 Y R ENDS JANUA

REGISTER

TODAY!

22nd Annual Meetings Industry Council of Colorado

Educational Conference and Trade Show March 1-2, 2022 | Colorado Convention Center

FEATURED SPEAKERS

Michael Dominguez

David Dubois

Scott Friedman

Sherrif Karamat

Carol Benavidez CMP Bootcamp

Titanium Sponsors

Diamond Sponsors

Scan he more inf re for ormation

Platinum Sponsors

Group Contact - Eric Lund Ph. 970-586-0500 x 1231


Spruce Mountain is an award winning first-class venue, which exemplifies Colorado’s style and culture. Pristinely preserved on 450 acres of the most beautiful front range mountain terrain, this family owned and operated working Black Angus cattle ranch, is bound to impress. Centrally located between Denver and Colorado Springs, it is the perfect location for any corporate, non-profit or social event.

Premier Food & Beverage Options Indoor & Outdoor Spaces Accommodating 10-400+ Guests Tables & Chairs Included Built - in Bars Lighted courtyards Fishing Ponds and Recreational Activities Centrally Located, Only 30 Minutes South of Denver and North of Colorado Springs

info@sprucemountainevents.com

| 719-484-0800 Group Contact - |Eric www.sprucemountainevents.com Lund Ph. 970-586-0500 x 1231