A special anniversary event on Nov. 19 recognized The Westin Denver International Airport hotel’s successful first year in style. A select list of VIP guests and clients enjoyed a night’s stay and culinary exhibition tour de force from Executive Chef Scott Snodell. As one of the first of its kind—a resort-style hotel at an airport that is only 5 minutes from the main terminal and on a new commuter rail route to downtown—the hotel is already 62.6 percent ahead of revenue expectations.

While the 519-room property offers convenient lodging for travelers with overnight layovers and Coloradans who have early morning flights, the meetings and conventions business is driving much of the property’s success with a 37,500-square-foot, on-site conference center and an 80,000-square-foot, open-air event plaza shared with the airport. See photos from Naughty or NACE held at The Westin DIA on page 86.  

The uptick in quick turnaround meeting bookings that condense meeting duration and keep budgets in check has benefited The Westin DIA since attendees can fly in and out with short notice and without the time and expense associated with ground transportation, says Michele Chalupa, director of sales and marketing for the hotel.

A work of art in itself, award-winning architecture also is a large factor in its popularity for business and pleasure travelers. The towering glass and steel structure comprises more than 433,000 square feet of crisp design and amenities appealing to groups and planners. The hotel has received three key awards recently including a Best of Year Award in the transportation category from Interior Design magazine; a Gold Magellan Award from Travel Weekly in the hospitality, overall business/conference resort/hotel category; and 2016 Best Project for the airport/ transit category from Engineering News-Record Mountain States. 

Our editorial advisory board sounds off about what’s happening in their sectors of the meetings and events world.

 

Chef Adam Vero joined Hearth & Dram in Denver as executive chef last year and recruited Jeff Hickman as his chef de cuisine. Both previously worked for TAG Restaurant Group, also located in Denver. The duo has created inventive new menus at Hearth & Dram and reimagined the “Whole Beast Feast,” a group dining event for 10-12 participants that is designed to showcase the eatery’s nose-to-tail philosophy. Five to seven courses are prepared on a sevenfoot, wood-fired grill and served family style to highlight the team’s culinary abilities and no-waste philosophy.

 

Napa Valley’s Meritage Resort & Spa recently debuted a new program designed to help groups gathering at the resort achieve more “Mindful Meetings.” The program, offered in partnership with Bare Health, can be custom tailored for groups and includes the following wellness-focused activities: meditation, yoga in the vineyard, sound healing, and the creation of juices, smoothies and morning elixirs at the resort’s brand-new Food & Wine Center.