As wellness travel continues to grow as a niche market, planners are constantly looking for ways to incorporate healthy programs into their meeting agendas in order to create higher levels of energy and engagement. When it comes to planning a meaningful event, it’s extremely important to have all attendees feel a sense of purpose and contribution.
Colorado has a number of properties that are heavily involved in sustainability and local initiatives. Guests can feel good knowing their stay is contributing to communities and environmental efforts.
Denver-based wellness travel company Live for Incredible works with hotels and resorts that not only offer outstanding health and fitness programs, but also focus on the local ecological and economic impact of their efforts. A big part of LFI’s wellness travel formula is contribution to a local cause and many times directly influencing a native sustainability or conservation program at the same time.
It’s one thing to plan a successful event in a gorgeous setting. It’s another to know that proceeds of the experience are having a positive impact locally and that attendees are learning at the same time.
The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs embraces a number of green initiatives. Guests enjoy delicious organic food sourced from local producers such as Arkansas Valley Organic Growers and Venetucci Farms, and food donations are made to the local Marian House Soup Kitchen from large banquets and buffets. The on-site golf courses, which are certified Audubon Sanctuaries, were among the first to partake in the Colorado Golf Carbon Project, and employees have adopted a portion of Cheyenne Creek to ensure it stays clean throughout the year.
Groups staying at The Broadmoor can take part in opportunities such as a build-a-bike program to assemble bicycles for children in need and volunteer projects to help mitigate Colorado Springs’ wellknown attraction Garden of the Gods from erosion and vegetation loss.
Additional green efforts also can be found farther west in the stunning red rock canyons of Gateway. The restaurants at Gateway Canyons Resort support area farmers by using local produce as much as possible, and the property’s adobe-style accommodations utilize alternative and sustainable energy sources. Gateway Canyons also utilizes geothermal heating/cooling and solar water heating.
Groups can get directly involved by participating in community service work at Gateway School and Gateway-Unaweep Volunteer Fire Department. They also can help maintain and create trails through Volunteers For Outdoor Colorado, an environmental organization that motivates individuals to become stewards of Colorado’s natural resources.
Venture to Vail to get involved with Vail Resorts and RockResorts EpicPromise Foundation, which includes an effort to eliminate virtually all plastic water bottles in guest operations by replacing them with reusable bottles and refilling stations. Through this effort, approximately 540,000 water bottles are saved from the waste stream annually.
Vail Resorts’ meetings and events team partners with EpicPromise to help arrange volunteer opportunities for groups such as cleaning up trails and planting trees. RockResorts also gives guests the option to donate $1 per night stayed to local conservation projects such as trail and stream restoration and wildlife habitat enhancement. For each $1 donation per night stayed is matched with $.50 from the National Forest Foundation.
We can all play a strong role in positively impacting the gorgeous state of Colorado. With so many wonderful opportunities, it frequently is possible to choose an effort that directly relates to your program