Going The Extra Mile

This city prides itself on going the extra mile for meeting and event planners, and since we’re talking about the Mile High City, Denver, that statement doesn’t seem cliché. Denver offers a stunning array of venues, resources and activities to please any meeting planner. In this post we’re highlighting new and refurbished hotels, a few venues and the iconic Denver International Airport.  

HOTEL NEWS

A variety of new hotels and renovated properties are coming online this year. Slated to open in August 2012 is the new Springhill Suites to be operated by Metro University students, a 150-room hotel on the campus of Metropolitan State University of Denver, as part of the school’s hospitality program. The hotel will feature 7,500 sq.ft. of meeting space and access to 30,000 sq.ft. of academic space, classrooms and breakout rooms.

Also opening mid-2012 in the Historic Colorado National Bank Building is a Marriott Renaissance, a full-service, four-star hotel with 230 rooms in the building formerly occupied by the Colorado National Bank. The hotel will feature banquet and meeting rooms in the basement, including one inside the bank’s vault, a ground-floor restaurant and retail space, and a lounge in the mezzanine overlooking the lobby. Built in 1915, the Colorado National Bank building is one of the most historic and beautiful in downtown Denver.


Photograph courtesy of Hotel Monaco Denver

Recently named to Travel + Leisure’s 2012 T+L 500 list of the World’s Best Hotels as well as one of U.S. News’s 2012 Best Hotels in Denver, Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco Denver recently unveiled its’ completely renovated lobby and meeting spaces. The new design pairs Western influences with Denver’s charm and urban growth. In 2011, the hotel’s 189 guestrooms were totally redesigned and in 2010, the hotel’s award-winning restaurant, Panzano was completely remodeled with a modern flair and a touch of elegance. The full-service boutique hotel offers a myriad of personal touches such as a pet-friendly environment, hosted evening wine hour, unique honor bar options and a goldfish for every guest room upon request. Hotel Monaco Denver is an edgy and fun destination in the heart of downtown Denver within walking distance of Larimer Square, 16th Street Mall, Colorado Convention Center and Denver's top sporting complexes, as well as dining and nightlife. The hotel is a Green Key Eco-Rated hotel and is the ideal place to unleash your urban adventure.


Photograph courtesy of Four Seasons Denver

The $350 million Four Seasons Denver Opened in October 2010, two block from the Colorado Convention Center. The hotel has 239 rooms located on the first 16 floors of the tower and offers 16,000 sq.ft. of meeting space.

The Embassy Suites Denver - Downtown Convention Center also opened in 2010. This 403-room property offers 17 function rooms totaling 21,000 sq.ft. of meeting and banquet space. 

A new 130-room hotel is to open in historic Union Station in the spring of 2014. The new hotel will join the Oxford Hotel as the only accommodations in Denver’s hip historic district, known locally as “LoDo.” This 26-square block area is home to more than 90 brewpubs, restaurants, rooftop cafes and music clubs. It contains one of the largest collections of Victorian and turn-of-the-century brick warehouses in the nation, as well as being home to Coors Field, the 50,000-seat stadium for the Colorado Rockies. The hotel is a 15 minute stroll, or quick ride via the free 16th Street Mall hybrid shuttle, from the Colorado Convention Center, and will bring the total of downtown hotel rooms within walking distance of the center to 8,550 rooms.  


Photograph courtesy of the Oxford Hotel

Denver International Airport’s South Terminal Redevelopment Program includes the construction of a 500-room Westin hotel and conference center expected to open in 2015. The Crowne Plaza Downtown Denver Hotel, one of the largest metro hotels, is planning a $28 million refurbishing as well. 

VENUES

Denver offers many traditional and non-traditional venues for meetings and events. From the Colorado Convention Center to the Denver Botanical Gardens, and everything in between, there is a place for any type of event. To view a list of event and meeting venues exclusive of hotels click here. To view a complete list, including hotels click here.


Pictures © VISIT DENVER by Steve Crecelius

The Colorado Convention Center is a state-of-the-art facility built by meeting planners for meeting planners. Located in heart of Downtown Denver, one of the most walkable and visitor-friendly downtowns in the country, and within walking distance of 8,400 hotel rooms, the Colorado Convention Center is ideal for any size meeting or convention group. The facility offers 584,000 sq.ft. of exhibit space on one level, 63 meeting rooms providing 100,000 sq.ft. of meeting space on one level, 35,000 sq.ft. Four Seasons Ballroom, 50,000 sq.ft. Mile High Ballroom, the 5,000 fixed-seat Wells Fargo Theatre and 1,000 parking. Spaces.

DID YOU KNOW?

In its Old West days, Denver had a performance of Macbeth before it had a school or a hospital. That performance took place in a saloon. Today, Metro Denver collects more for the arts on a per capita basis than any other city. This city has the second largest performance arts center in the country, with 10 theatres seating more than 10,000 people for opera, symphony, ballet, Tony Award-winning theatre and touring Broadway shows.

TRANSPORTATION


Picture © VISIT DENVER by Rich Grant

The iconic Denver International Airport ranks as the fifth-busiest airport in the United States and the 10th-busiest airport in the world with a record 52,849,132 passengers in 2011. 14 commercial airlines offer nonstop service to more than 160 destinations worldwide, not including charter and regional carriers. For more information about Denver International Airport, parking and ground transportation, click here.

Icelandair, the flagship carrier of Iceland, will introduce direct flights from Reykjavik to Denver beginning on May 10, 2012. From Iceland’s capital city, the carrier offers non-stop flights to more than 20 destinations in Scandinavia, England and throughout Europe.

The Denver International Airport receives much of its electrical power from a solar farm consisting of more than 9,000 solar panels generating more than 3.4 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year. Denver’s solar project is in fact one of the largest solar installations in North America.

Also in the works is the FasTracks Project that will connect Downtown Denver to Denver International Airport and Golden by 2016. The FasTracks Project plans on building 122 miles of new commuter rail and light rail, 18 miles of bus rapid transit, 21,000 new parking spaces at light rail and bus stations, and enhance bus service for easy, convenient bus/rail connections across the eight-county district. Denver’s downtown Union Station will become a hub for rail lines that will branch out to all parts of the city.

ATTRACTIONS

The city’s cultural renaissance can be found in places like the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Covering four square blocks, the complex is the second largest in the country, with 10 theatres seating more than 10,000 people for opera, symphony, ballet, Tony Award-winning theatre and touring Broadway shows. The $92-million Ellie Caulkins Opera House is recognized as one of the finest acoustical venues in the world and Denver voters recently approved a $90 million refurbishing of Boettcher Concert Hall.

Denver has currently added art museums including the Denver Art Museum’s astonishing new Hamilton Building, designed by world famous architect Daniel Libeskind, and the new Museum of Contemporary Art designed by David Adjaye. This is his first building in the United States.

All of the above named venues can be leased for events and meetings.

A comprehensive list of Denver attractions and events can be found here.

DID YOU KNOW?

Located east of a major mountain range, Denver has a mild, dry and sunny climate with more annual hours of sun than San Diego or Miami Beach.  In winter, Denver is dryer than Phoenix with an average daily high of 45 degrees in February. Golf courses remain open all year and have been played as many as 30 days in January.  Denver receives only 14 inches of precipitation a year – about the same as Los Angeles. Oh, and Denver is near the mountains, not in them!

HOW TO BOOK A MEETING

VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau, has a full-time, award-winning staff prepared to assist with just about anything you need in planning your corporate events, conferences or convention. Click here to start planning your meeting.

- Al Wynant