When it comes to planning the next meeting or event for your company or association, next winter may seem too far away and the least likely season in which to do so unless you’re planning on hosting in a warm weather locale. Yet, a snow-covered landscape holds its own allure – resorts with roaring fireplaces and cozy lounges, days spent attending to business indoors, interspersed with team building and excursions in an invigorating environment filled with unique activities.
For scenic beauty, a wealth of winter sports, and resorts equipped to ward off even the worst case of cabin fever, why not elevate your event and host it at one of Colorado’s 26 ski resorts? With 58 mountain peaks that top 14,000 feet – more than any other state in the U.S. – seven mountain ranges, and an average altitude of 6,800 feet, Colorado is the perfect place to converge for an event your attendees will be talking about long after the snow melts on those majestic peaks. Here are a few of our favorite picks for a winter gathering:
Beaver Run Resort and Conference Center, Breckenridge
Guests at this ski resort, boasting the largest indoor conference center in Breckenridge, have a 2,908-acre winter playground steps away, complete with 187 trails, and base and summit elevations of 9,600 and 12,998 feet respectively. With the mountain on one side and historic Breckenridge’s Main Street on the other, up to 1000 attendees have plenty to see and do in between meetings and functions. When not skiing or snowboarding, by way of the two nearby chairlifts at the base of Peak 9, build company relations through CBST Adventures’ corporate team building events. Activities combine cerebral, physical and creative challenges, such as Winter Olympics and Winter Rescue Challenge. Or engage your group by booking a walking historic tour, organized in conjunction with the Breckenridge Tourism Office. On their own, attendees can also stroll through the largest historical district in Colorado, with 249 structures including more than 200 stores and 75 restaurants and bars. When it’s time to get down to business, the resort offers more than 40,000 square feet of flexible meeting space ranging from the 333-square-foot rooms that comprise the Summit to the 7200-square-foot Colorado Ballroom.
The Peaks Resort & Spa, Telluride
Meet in the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado – the highest concentration of 13,000- and 14,000-foot peaks in North America. Telluride offers 147 trails and more than 2,000 acres of terrain from a base elevation of 8750 feet to the summit at 13,150 feet. Guests at The Peaks Resort & Spa can take the complimentary gondola to and from the historic downtown, founded in 1878, though with so much to do on property it will be difficult finding time to venture into town. Ski-in/ski-out access puts everything from skiing and snowboarding, to ice skating, snowmobiling, dog sledding, snowshoeing, winter horseback riding, and cross country skiing within easy reach. A complimentary ski valet, ski storage and boot warmers, ski and snowboard rentals, and retail are on property, as is the heli-skiing operation, Heli-trax. Warm up indoors with the largest spa in Colorado at 42,000 square feet with 32 treatment rooms, or in a state-of-the-art fitness center, an indoor/outdoor heated pool, a Pilates studio and private yoga studio, the squash/racquetball court, in steam rooms, saunas, and Roman tubs. Guest can also spend time in a 1,600-square-foot game room or enjoying 3,200-square-feet of sunset deck views. Dine at ALTEZZA restaurant, Legends Restaurant (hot breakfast buffet in winter), The Great Room for drinks and food in the lobby lounge, or The Steaming Bean, where you’ll find coffees, breakfast and lunch. There are more than 10,000 square feet of meeting and event space indoors and an additional 9,000 square feet of outdoor decks and terraces in which to conduct business, ranging from the Golden Slipper or Liberty Bell meeting rooms at 551 square feet each to the Mountain Village Ballroom at 5,220 feet.
The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch
Though this ski area wasn’t established until 1996, it has everything winter sports enthusiasts need to feel right at home. Located on Beaver Creek Mountain, the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch is in the center of the village-to-village ski experience between Beaver Creek Village to the east and Arrowhead to the west. Get on the high-speed quad chairlift just out the back of the hotel and hit the slopes. Winter sports abound, including ice climbing, Nordic skiing, sleigh rides, snowshoeing, Alpine Skiing, dog sledding, snowboarding, snowbiking, ice skating, sledding, snowmobiling, and kids snowmobiling. Onsite conveniences include a complimentary in-house driver available on a first come/first served basis, a ski concierge, ski nanny services, a lift ticket office, ski/snowboard rental, and retail outfit. Attendees can warm up off mountain in the 21,000-square-foot spa and fitness center, with 19 treatment rooms and gender specific saunas, steam rooms, and hot and cold plunge pools. The resort offers a group fitness studio, Pilates and yoga studio, a game room, a heated outdoor swimming pool, an outdoor hot tub, two indoor hot tubs, and four restaurants and lounges. Fuel up between activities at Spago restaurant, Buffalos, Daniel’s Bar on the Mountainside Terrace, Expresso Chair 16, Bachelors Lounge, The Great Room (served by Spago Bar), Ash, or The Mountainside Terrace. There are more than 26,000 square feet of function space, ranging from the intimate setting of Anderson’s Cabin, once home to one of the area’s original settlers in the 1900s, to the expansive 7,107-square-foot Ritz-Carlton Ballroom. Book your group with Impact Experiences for social and environmental on-property or offsite activities that make a difference in the community. Group spa bookings, a wellness concierge, and group wellness seminars are other offerings to round out your conference or event.
St. Regis, Aspen
Founded in 1947, this ski resort is famous for its black-diamond terrain spread across 675 acres between base and summit elevations of 7945 and 11,212 feet, respectively. The St. Regis is located in downtown Aspen at the foot of Aspen Mountain, with restaurants, shops and attractions just steps away. Attendees can ski, snowmobile, dog sled, snowshoe, or winter fly fish nearby. The property offers the 15,000-square-foot Remède Spa with 15 treatment rooms, a sauna, warm and cold plunge pools, and a 24-hour fitness center. Guests can dine at innovative Chefs Club by FOOD & WINE, where an acclaimed group of chefs curate an annually changing dinner menu featuring American regional cuisine. Trecento Quindici Decano serves Italian cuisine in a more casual setting, while the Shadow Mountain Lounge provides the perfect place to unwind with before- or after-dinner drinks. Warm up off the mountain in the year-round heated outdoor pool or one of three hot tubs. When it’s time to get down to business, set up shop in more than 29,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor conference and banquet venues, ranging from a 513-square-foot Boardroom to the 9,146-square-foot Grand Ballroom.
Steamboat Grand, Steamboat Springs
It’s no wonder, with almost 2965 acres of skiable terrain stretched across six peaks, that Steamboat has produced 88 winter Olympians – more than from any other town in North America. Descend from a summit elevation of 10,568 feet to the base at 6900 feet on one of 165 trails. The Steamboat Grand, located at the base of the ski resort, makes it simple to ski and snowboard in between meetings or functions, with onsite ski and snowboard equipment rental and slopeside storage in Gondola Square to store gear overnight. When off the slopes, your conference or event attendees can soak up the Western heritage in this ranching community and within the Western-themed mountain lodge, affording stunning views of the mountains and the Yampa Valley. Warm up in the full-service spa and fitness center, outdoor heated pool, and two whirlpool spas. Get down to business in 17,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor conference and function space ranging from the 649-square-foot Saddle Creek room to the 5,484-square-foot Korbel Grand Ballroom, or transport attendees via gondola to on-mountain restaurants for a truly unique setting. As an added convenience, Steamboat has the closest major airport of any ski resort in Colorado – the Steamboat/Hayden Airport just 22 miles away.
Winter Park Mountain Lodge, Winter Park
With a 75-year history, Colorado’s longest continually operated ski resort features 3,081 acres with a base elevation of 9,000 feet and a summit elevation of 12,060 feet. The Winter Park Mountain Lodge is located directly across from the ski area, with free shuttles transporting skiers and snowboarders directly to the lift during the winter season. While onsite, attendees can spend off-business hours at Moffat Station Restaurant and Microbrewery, and warm up in the heated indoor pool, steam room, or one of two, 10-person hot tubs. The onsite ski/snowboard shop and an onsite snowmobile tour operator make it convenient to partake in winter sports when time permits. Book your group in a two-hour Grand Adventures Snowmobile Tour for all ability levels to the Continental Divide. Back on property, more than 8,000 square feet of flexible meeting space accommodates up to 200 attendees anywhere from the 320-square-foot Rocky Mountain room to the 2,865-square-foot Shadow Mountain Ballroom.
Four Seasons Resort and Residences, Vail
Vail is one of the largest ski areas in the world with more than 5,200 acres, including seven Back Bowls that span seven miles. This well-seasoned resort first opened lifts in 1962 and today boasts the most groomed terrain anywhere. There is something for everyone at the Four Seasons – even for attendees traveling with their families. The contemporary, alpine lodge is ideally located at the main entrance to Vail Village, just a short walk from Vail Mountain. Guests spend time at a 14,395-square-foot spa with 13 treatment rooms; the 2,185-square-foot fitness facility offering yoga and Pilates; the sauna, steam room, two hot tubs, or heated outdoor pool; a game room; or the library. Keep the younger set occupied in the Kids For All Seasons program in the Young Adult Club. Find food and libations in Flame restaurant, The Remedy lounge, Pool Bar, and Bean & Gone coffee shop. When it’s time to hit the slopes, find the ski concierge located at the Gondola One chair lift. Besides skiing and snowboarding, you’ll find dog-sledding and snowshoeing tours, and snowmobiling nearby, tubing at the multi-lane Adventure Ridge hill, or 13-passenger snow coach tours of White River National Forest. Meetings and events at the Four Seasons take place in 8510 square feet of meeting space ranging from the 270-square-foot Wilder meeting room to a 3,550-square-foot ballroom. Catering is available at onsite and offsite locations, while team building activities like an ice climbing adventure give attendees options, as do cooking demos with the chef, or art gallery tours.
When it’s time to plan your next meeting, event or conference, set aside your aversion to winter and schedule some time in the mountains of Colorado where the cold and snow will be the last thing on your mind unless you’re out enjoying it.