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Igloo Mania in Colorado

Three of the state’s lodging properties are offering chic ways for groups to chill out.

By Beth Buehler

What started out as a creative way to offer outdoor dining during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic has turned into an in-demand way to connect with friends and colleagues. For groups, there is certain amount of wow-factor when attendees discover they are going to dine or enjoy happy hour in a clear igloo or even a gondola car.

Returning after its inaugural season, the rooftop igloo is back at The Gant Aspen for the property’s 50th anniversary season. Todd Reese, The Gant’s new director of food and beverage, and his team have elevated the experience with signature dishes, full bar offerings, and specialty cocktails like the Gant ‘73, Espresso Martini, and Ajax Spicy Mule.

Aspen-style igloo CREDIT The Gant Aspen

Starters include coconut fried shrimp, salmon tartare, Kobe beef sliders, and an Italian charcuterie board. On the lighter side, groups can order a grilled Caesar or kale and quinoa salad. For teams that want to go all out, lobster pasta, house-made ravioli, a 12-ounce ribeye steak, and chicken piccata should do the trick followed by desserts like mixed berry cobbler, banana creme brulee, and tiramisu.

Perched on the rooftop terrace of Molly Campbell Conference Center with views of Aspen Mountain’s Silver Queen Gondola, the heated igloo features ski town-inspired decor and cozy seating for up to six guests. There is a $400 food and beverage minimum, and seatings are available at 4:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. daily through April 9.

On the Western Slope in Grand Junction, Devil’s Kitchen restaurant at Hotel Maverick, located on the campus of Colorado Mesa University, has brought back its snow globes and added gondolas on the rooftop this winter. A firepit lounge area and festive lights also add to the festive atmosphere.

Devil’s Kitchen snow globes and gondolas CREDIT Hotel Maverick

Guests are provided warm blankets and heaters in each snow globe and gondola that seat up to six. However, the star of the show is the regionally inspired cuisine that Devil’s Kitchen is known for like Hop & Beet Salad, Mesa Chili Verde, Bison Tamale, Pan-Seared Duck, and a Bourbon Blondie dessert.

In Denver, heated igloos on the terrace at The Curtis, a DoubleTree by Hilton are the perfect place for small group meetings alongside sips and snacks during winter and spring months. The pop culture-themed hotel in downtown Denver doesn’t put their cozy clear structures away at the end of season. The Curtis rents the clear structures as communal areas for events in the connecting Four Square Ballroom; sensory pods and quiet zones in the foyer during large conferences; and zen dens for private meditation, stretching, and journaling.

The Curtis’s cozy igloo in the city CREDIT The Curtis