The 744-room Broadmoor is offering a service guarantee that waives the master account if attendees aren't fully satisfied.
Scheduled to open next March is the 300-room Renaissance Hotel, Spa and Conference Center. The property will offer approximately 50,000 square feet of meeting space and a Spa Botanica.
In nearby Manitou Springs, the east addition to the 54-room Cliff House opened in June with a bar and grill, a fitness center, the 1,800-square-foot Cathedral Spires Pavilion with walls that open up to mountain views, and a new boardroom with an 800-square-foot patio. The property also has a 2,500-square-foot ballroom and three small breakout rooms. Phase II, called Cliff House West, is a $20 million project that will add another 79 rooms, a 4,800-square-foot ballroom and an indoor pool; while funding is in place, groundbreaking and opening dates have not yet been announced.
Both the 72-room Residence Inn Colorado Springs South and the 84-room Fairfield Inn Colorado Springs South have completed $1.5 million renovations.
Colorado Springs Airport, despite being a regional outpost, still handles 106 arrivals and departures per day and is served by eight airlines. The facility features nonstop service to 11 cities: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Salt Lake City and San Francisco.
Meeting Hotels: Major properties include the 744-room Broadmoor, 500-room Crowne Plaza Hotel Colorado Springs, 316-room Cheyenne Mountain Resort, 309-room Colorado Springs Marriott, 299-room Doubletree Hotel Colorado Springs–World Arena, 292-room Antlers Hilton Colorado Springs, 206-room Embassy Suites Colorado Springs and 105-room Garden of the Gods Club. For more area hotels, visit omfg.com.
Colorado Springs Airport, 10 miles southeast of downtown. Transfer cost by taxi, approximately $20 to $25. Many area hotels offer airport shuttle service.
Taxes: Room tax, 2%; sales tax, 7.4%; total tax on hotel rooms, 9.4%
Group Venue: Hard times call for comfort food, the type of down-home fare offered at The Mason Jar since 1982. Chicken-fried steak is the popular choice at the lodge, married with mashed potatoes and gravy, followed by juicy buttermilk-crusted blackberry cobbler. The original location hosts groups of 30 people, while the new north location welcomes events of up to 50 diners; take over the establishment for a party of 150. (719) 260-6555; masonjarcolorado.com
CVB Services: Experience Colorado Springs, (800) 888-4748; visitcos.com
Looking for Adventure Colorado is justly celebrated for its myriad winter attractions, but the state also offers plenty of activities for groups in summer. For example, snow runoff makes for great white-water rafting, and American Adventure Expeditions (866-927-RAFT; americanadventure.com), just west of Colorado Springs, has been taking groups of as many as 300 people out on the Arkansas River for more than 10 years. Arrange a pre- or postride barbecue at AAE's Riverside Pavilion or Riverside Beer Garden.
Most ski resorts also put their properties to good use during the off-season. From the end of June through Labor Day, Keystone Resort's ski routes become a 55-trail mountain bike park covering 55 miles. Just like in the snow, green trails are easy, blue are intermediate and black are expert. Rentals are plentiful and include helmets. More than 1,200 rooms are available throughout the resort in condos and hotels, including the 152-room Keystone Lodge & Spa. (800-258-0437; keystoneconferences.com)