by Sarah J.F. Braley | April 01, 2009

June 4: Luxury Cottages Unveiled at the Broadmoor
Along the 18th fairway of the East Course at the 744-room Broadmoor in Colorado Springs now sit the Cottages, six units offering 44 rooms. The luxury accommodations feature stone fireplaces, bathrooms with five-fixture baths and heated floors, and verandas with wicker chairs and rockers. An outdoor common patio offers a fireplace, a bowling green and an entertaining area.

May 27: New Leadership Program Offered at Vail Cascade
The 292-room Vail Cascade in Vail, Colo., is launching an executive leadership program. Created with executive leadership coach and consultant Gayle Magee of Global Reach – Coaching and Leadership Development Worldwide, the program lasts two to four days and can be customized to include individual/team assessments, outdoor experiential work, coaching-skills training, 360-degree feedback, one-on-one executive coaching and the opportunity for ongoing work. The resort, managed by Destination Hotels & Resorts, offers about 45,000 square feet of meeting space. 

April 15: Hotel and Conference Center Opens North of Denver
The 263-room Embassy Suites Loveland Hotel, Spa and Conference Center in Colorado now is open. The property features 80,000 square feet of meeting space, including the 28,800-square-foot Front Range ballroom, plus the Grille and Lounge, Caffeina's Internet Café and the Spa Botanica. The hotel is next to The Ranch, the Larimer County Fairgrounds and Events Complex, which offers the 375,000-square-foot Budweiser Events Center.

March 25: Denver Venues Go “Green”
Ten Denver venues have created the Rocky Mountain Green Partnership for Sustainable Communities. The charter members are the Colorado Convention Center, which just completed a 30,000-square-foot rooftop solar-power system; Red Rocks Amphitheatre; the Denver Performing Arts Complex; the Denver Coliseum; the Denver Zoo; the Pepsi Center; Dick’s Sporting Goods Park; Invesco Field at Mile High; Coors Field, and Folsom Field at the University of Colorado. They all have pledged to follow environmental practices in nine areas: energy conservation and efficiency; water conservation and efficiency; responsible materials use and waste management; transportation and air quality; green buildings; local food and agriculture; environmentally preferable purchasing; green economy, and community connections.

March 19: New Denver Hotel Gets Funding From European Bank
According to the Denver Post, the 242-room Hotel Gold Crown, to be built two blocks from the Colorado Convention Center, will get $42.5 million in financing from a Belgian bank. The property, which will include meeting space, is expected to be completed in 18 months.

Resort Company Cuts Compensation Instead of Jobs
Vail Resorts -- which owns five ski resorts in Colorado and Lake Tahoe and 10 hotels under the RockResorts brand, and owns or operates 68 other properties -- is using a wage-reduction plan to cut labor costs while saving as many jobs as possible. All affected employees are having their salaries cut from 2.5 percent for seasonal workers to 10 percent for executives. Full-time, year-round employees are receiving stock as compensation, increasing the number of people who own shares in the company from about 260 to more than 2,500. The company's CEO, Rob Katz, will not take any salary for a year, after which his salary will be reduced by 15 percent. "We have chosen to address this [economic] situation by making the preservation of jobs and protecting the guest experience our highest priorities," Katz said in a statement.

Denver Hotel Completing Renovation
Work is finishing up this month on the renovation of the lobby of the 219-room Warwick Denver Hotel, the final piece of a $25 million project. All guest rooms have new carpeting and furniture, including leather-mahogany desk chairs, 32-inch flat-screen TVs and Serta Eurotop mattresses. The property offers 10,000 square feet of meeting space.

Feb. 11: The Capella Telluride, with 89 rooms and 11 suites, opens in the Colorado ski destination tomorrow. The ski-in, ski-out property has 9,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 3,300-square-foot ballroom. Among the amenities are the Onyx Restaurant, the Suede Bar, the Gray Jay Café and the Nordic Lounge. The spa and the indoor pool open March 15.

Feb. 4: Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs is spending $13 million on upgrades. About $3 million already has been paid out to renovate the lobby, the Will Rogers Lounge, the Mountain View Restaurant, some prefunction space and the Centennial Ballroom. The 316 guest rooms will be refurbished by the end of 2010, and much of the 40,000 square feet of meeting space will get new décor. For meeting guests' comfort, the old ergonomic chairs and banquet chairs are being replaced with upgrades.

Jan. 21:
In Denver, a new bike-sharing program has been launched that will put 500 free bikes on the streets for visitors to borrow from 30-40 stations throughout the city. The metro area has 850 miles of off-road, paved bike trails. The program, to be fully up and running by this summer, has been funded by a $1 million grant from the Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee. A similar bike-sharing program was quite successful during the Democratic National Convention last year.

Dec. 17: The 1,225-room Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel has begun a $70 million renovation with the donation of more than 2,000 "gently used" blankets and pillows to several local organizations. To be completed by mid-2009, the project will redo the property's guest rooms and lobby. Being added is the "Link@Sheraton experienced with Microsoft," a lobby lounge designed for social interaction both digital and face-to-face.
Nov. 19: At its 99th annual board meeting on Nov. 13, the Denver Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau officially changed its name to Visit Denver, The Convention & Visitors Bureau. "Our challenge was to find a 21st-century name that would be easy to remember and enunciate, be consistent with our brand and have a call to action," president and CEO Richard Scharf said of the change, which follows similar renamings by convention and visitor bureaus around the country.

Nov. 5:
In Colorado, Amendment 50 passed, raising the betting limit at the state's casinos from $5 to $100. While this will not have any immediate effect, cities such as Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek might ask residents to approve 24-hour gambling and the addition of games such as craps and roulette.