Centennial State Rockies

Why here?
The Centennial State beckons groups with lures ranging from adventures in the rugged Rockies to the more civilized pleasures found in Denver. Getting to the capital city from Denver International Airport is easier than ever thanks to a recently opened light-rail link.

 The 230-room Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa at Beaver Creek Mountain in Avon completed a $3 million-plus renovation of all guest rooms in January. The property offers 7,500 square feet of meeting space.

A plan to develop Aspen's Sky Hotel into a W Hotel has been put off for a year, keeping the property open for the men's and women's World Cup in March 2017.

The 430-room Westin Denver Downtown Hotel's Palm restaurant has reopened after a months-long redo. Along with a new menu, the eatery now has three private rooms.


Local Update
 The $9-per-ride commuter light-rail line from Denver International Airport to downtown's Union Station debuted in April.

 Opening early next year is the 200-room Kimpton Hotel Born next to Union Station. The property will have two restaurants, two outdoor terraces overlooking the city and 8,300 square feet of meeting space.

 Renovations continue at the Denver Marriott Tech Center. About 280 rooms, the lobby and some meeting space have been completed, and a marketplace has been added. The rest of the rooms and meeting space, the new Pint Brothers Alehouse restaurant and the M Club Lounge will be completed by the first of the year. At that point, the property will have 605 guest rooms, including 41 suites, and 50,092 square feet of meeting space.

 Halcyon, a 154-room independent hotel, has opened in the Cherry Creek shopping district with 6,500 square feet of meeting space, a rooftop bar and pool, and two restaurants.

Meeting Hotels: More than 8,600 rooms are within convenient walking distance of the Colorado Convention Center. Among them are the 1,231-room Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, 1,100-room Hyatt Regency Denver at the Colorado Convention Center, 615-room Denver Marriott City Center, 516-room Grand Hyatt Denver, 430-room Westin Denver Downtown and 403-room Embassy Suites-Downtown Convention Center.

To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, visit

Convention Center: Colorado Convention Center; exhibit space, 584,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 63; (303) 228-8000

Airport Transit: Denver International Airport, about 24 miles from downtown. Transfer cost by taxi, $62 to downtown and $70 to the Denver Tech Center; by Super Shuttle, $25

Taxes: Room tax, 10.75%; sales tax, 4.1%; total tax on hotel rooms, 14.85%

Group Venue: Taste a bit of  Italy on Wynkoop Street at Venice Ristorante and Wine Bar. Among menu highlights is homemade ravioli filled with Maine lobster, rock shrimp and leek. Private dining is available for 30, 40 and 70 people; buy out the place for a group of 160. (303) 534-2222

Contact: Visit Denver, the Convention & Visitors Bureau, (303) 892-1112

A 1,500-square-foot meeting space called the Overlook has opened on the road to Cloud Camp, the 12-cabin mountaintop retreat at the 800-room Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. The back deck holds up to 70 people.

When the U.S. Forest Service opened parts of Vail Mountain to snowboarders, the decision also made the area accessible for summer activities, leading to the debut this summer of Epic Discovery. The adventure park features a three-hour zip-line tour, a bungee trampoline, an alpine coaster and more.


Local Update
 The 121-room Four Seasons Vail, the 112-room Sonnenalp and the 100-room Sebastian have formed a partnership to handle larger groups for events. The properties together offer about 23,000 square feet of meeting space.

Meeting Hotels: Among the many top meeting properties in town are the 344-room Vail Marriott Mountain Resort, 165-room Lodge at Vail, 121-room Four Seasons Vail, 112-room Sonnenalp, 102-room Arrabelle and 100-room Sebastian.

To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, visit

Airport Transit: Eagle Vail Airport, 35 miles from downtown. Transfer by Colorado Mountain Express shuttle, $65-$99, depending on the season; group discounts available for 20 or more guests

Taxes: Room tax, 1.4%; sales tax, 8.4%; total tax on hotel rooms, 9.8%

Group Venue: Hike up to a lovely lunch spot, but leave the lugging to a llama. Paragon Guides puts canvas packs on these gentle animals to hold food and gear; they'll get groups of up to 35 out on the mountain, where the journey follows the Colorado Trail as it winds its way through the Continental Divide. (970) 926-5299

Contact: Visit Vail Valley, (970) 477-4002