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Exciting Times in Colorado

By M+E Staff

Several hotels are opening on the Front Range, significant renovations are happening at properties around the state, the Colorado Tourism Office’s press release on what’s new for summer is multiple pages long and the restaurants launching just seem to get more creative and find their own unique niches. These are exciting times in Colorado. Here’s just a few new things that stood out recently, and make sure to watch for the Spring and Summer 2017 issues of Colorado Meetings + Events. I don’t want to spoil what you’ll find in those pages!

Tread of Pioneers Museum and Sheraton Steamboat Resort Villas have partnered to launch a new tradition that honors Steamboat Springs’ rich heritage in a unique way. Starting on March 17, “The Whistle: Legends and Lore of Steamboat Springs, Colorado” will begin, sounding daily (one long, three short, followed by one long) at 5 p.m. from the Saddles Deck at the Sheraton, located at the base of the ski area. Legend claims that the town’s name originated from trappers who located a mineral spring in the area and eventually called it Steamboat Spring because it whistled and made a puffing sound that resembled a paddle-wheel steamer. Each day, an honored guest is named “Commodore of the Boat” and sounds the whistle.

This summer at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs, several new outdoor features are being introduced, including a covered, enclosed group space called The Fort that occupies what used to be the maze; the park’s entrance and plaza have been enhanced with more seating and shade trees and a water feature; and the new Haunted Mine Drop is the first drop ride in the world to go underground. The building housing the ride is themed to look like an old mine building and is located on top of Iron Mountain at an elevation of 7,000 feet that drops riders 110 to 120 feet down inside the mountain.

Josh and Jodi Niernberg began pushing the boundaries of the Grand Junction and Colorado food scene when they opened Bin 707 Foodbar, a full-service, seasonally focused American restaurant in 2011. This spring, the couple is launching two new restaurants located side by side in a historic downtown building: TacoParty and DinnerParty. Both can seat 50, but their approaches are quite different. TacoParty is a quick-service taco shop with a farm-to-table ethos, while DinnerParty is Josh’s “incubator” for menu and concept ideas. The Niernbergs plan to host weekly events such as collaboration dinners with featured chefs, purveyors and artisans. The space will be the next generation of the West Slope Supper Club that promotes the Grand Valley as an agritourism destination as well as serve as an extension to Bin 707 Foodbar for hosting wine tastings, art shows and other events.

In the meetings and events world, landing a contract that lasts through 2030 demonstrates that a destination is doing something very right. The kickoff day of education for the SnowSports Industries America’s annual Snow Show in Denver was worthy of a ticker-tape parade. The organization announced, along with VISIT DENVER, that their contract with The Mile High City has been extended through 2030. The original contract began in 2010 and will last through 2020, with the new contract expected to bring at least $35 million of economic impact, more than 18,000 delegates and more than 15,000 hotel room nights annually over the next 10 years. The SIA Snow Show is the largest and most important trade event for the entire snow sports industry.

Congratulations Denver, Steamboat Springs, Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction for being part of Colorado’s exciting future!