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On The Road: Going the Extra Mile High

By Selena Fragassi


Denver, Colorado is known for a lot of things—impeccable views, champion sports teams, and a lot of beer. But as these six venues show, it’s also becoming known as a destination for meetings and events that want something extra special.

University of Denver

Time is on the side of the University of Denver. Established in 1864, this largest private institution in the Rocky Mountain Region offers many, many years of experience in hosting a range of meetings and events. “Whether private, corporate, or nonprofit, the University offers distinct venues year-round,” says Mary Kay Mauro, manager of client services, noting the availability of ballrooms, two large auditoriums, 50-plus classrooms, a world-class performing arts center, sports & wellness facility, historic chapel, and abundant lawn spaces—some with mountain views. In fact, the campus has developed a reputation as the place to host not only groups like LIV Sotheby’s and the Colorado Medical Directors Association year-round, but also high profile events such as the 2012 Presidential Debate and The Denver Post Spelling Bee.

In addition to ample spaces, walking paths, and proximity to a number of local businesses, the University of Denver offers a breadth of services and amenities on-site, including Cisco TelePresence and video conferencing, free Wi-Fi service, in-house catering, single, double, or suite-style rooms for up to 2,000 guests during the summer, and ample parking. The campus also has a light rail stop, which provides guests access to downtown Denver, the Denver Tech Center, and the nearby Denver International Airport. All services can be coordinated with helpful event staff, says Mauro. “We offer a one-stop-shop approach providing clients one contact, one contract, and one bill … as well as attractive rates for an incredibly easy event planning experience.”

UA Denver Pavilions Stadium 15 & RPX

Meeting at the movies isn’t just for social events anymore; it can also be a thrilling business experience. Regal Business Events provides a team of dedicated consultants that help planners coordinate trainings, presentations, and other corporate affairs at the UA Denver Pavilions, conveniently located at the 16th Street Mall in the downtown district. Here, 15 screens (measuring up to 60 feet) offer state-of-the-art visual and sound experiences in auditoriums that can accommodate 45 to 250 people. “Our projectors are designed to showcase Hollywood movies, so they are the best in the business, and the audio and sound systems are second to none,” says Barry Brown, director of national event sales, saying that because the cost of producing training videos and short movies has come down dramatically, movie theatres are now in a unique position. “A lot of businesses want to find a special venue where they can showcase content, and we can provide a great learning environment.”

Inside each auditorium at UA Denver Pavilions Stadium, guests will find comfortable reclining chairs and attached writing tables that allow for laptops and note taking. Regal Business Events also offers a number of amenities that planners might not expect. “We provide everything from event signage and registration tables to standard concessions and customized catering,” says Brown, noting they can work with high-end vendors in the area to do themed catering. “Planners can leave all the event needs to us so they can focus on driving attendance and coordinating their program.

Howl at the Moon

Entertainment has become a prominent part of many meetings and events nationwide—but when Denver-based planners want to find the best in show, they head to Howl at the Moon. This interactive piano show has 17 locations across the country; in Colorado, the venue is situated just outside Gate E at Coors Field, home of the Rockies baseball team, three blocks away from the 16th Street Mall, and one block from Union Station with mass transit. “We do corporate events, company holiday parties, client appreciation nights, and we work with a lot of conventions that come here,” says Justine Brown, national director of sales, noting that every show is tailored to the individual group.

“They request the music and we provide custom songs that are based on the info the client provides, such as the company history or any upcoming promos they want to throw out. We can incorporate inside jokes and terminology or jab at competitors. And we always incorporate guests and bring them up on stage.” For example, she says, “We might make the CEO come up and do a dance. There’s a lot of interaction and team-building so everyone feels involved.” Howl at the Moon also creates custom piano banners and sidewalk sign highlighting the company logo and provides an in-house photographer to snap photos to commemorate the experience, all free of charge. In addition to being the “after party hot spot” for conventions and conferences, the venue also provides meeting space of its own during the day, comfortably seating up to 240 in the showroom. Services include A/V, on-site catering with a full-service wait staff, as well as drapery and décor for a complete experience.

History Colorado Center

If you want the full scope of what Denver has to offer, the History Colorado Center is the ideal venue. Not only does the accredited museum offer sweeping views of the Rocky Mountain Range and downtown city center, but inside guests can also explore a range of exhibits about the Living West. “Access to the museum is always included with every event,” says Casey Bishop, catering services manager. “During the day attendees can explore while on breaks or lunches; and for events outside of museum hours, we keep the lights on, which has become a popular component of cocktail hours.”

History Colorado Center offers a good mix of meeting spaces, from a 40-person boardroom to the larger Colorado Room that offers an area for presentations and speakers. Two spaces are also on the top floor, one of which has an outdoor terrace where tables and chairs can be set up for mingling. There’s also an atrium that can be used in the early morning or at night; the key feature here is a floor decorated with a map of Colorado. “Everything is very interactive,” says Bishop. Because the museum is managed by the state of Colorado, there are discounted rates available for nonprofit groups, though weddings and corporate functions are also return clients. All visitors enjoy a range of amenities, including free basic A/V, with screens, projectors, audio and microphones built into each room, as well as the on-site café that offers fresh catering. However, the biggest benefit for planners, says Bishop, is that “guests are really excited to come here.”

Boettcher Mansion

For a retreat setting away from the city, there’s also Boettcher Mansion in Golden, Colorado, about 30 minutes from downtown Denver and located at the summit of Lookout Mountain. Originally built as a summer home for a local entrepreneur, Charles Boettcher, in 1917, the Craftsman-style mansion has existed as a private rental for much of the past century. “It’s a great example of adaptive reuse,” says Director Cynthia Shaw. “Our spaces really lend themselves to modern day functions.” The entire property is available for rent, which is a popular option for weddings and weeklong business conferences, but individual rooms can also be booked for a range of corporate and social events.

All of the original bedrooms are each their own meeting space, comfortably fitting 8-15 people around a board table. More notable quarters include a large terrace in the front of the house that holds up to 200 people or the Fireside Room (originally called the Great Hall) with a cathedral-beamed ceiling, fireplace, stone walls, and wood floors. “There’s incredible ambiance here,” says Shaw. Though there are no overnight accommodations, Shaw’s team offers a preferred list of hotels and B&Bs in the area. Boettcher Mansion also has a preferred list of local caterers and photographers. Though the house upkeeps its vintage charm (it’s on the National Register of Historic Places), there are “modern-day amenities” for clients, says Shaw. That includes Wi-Fi, state-of-the-art A/V, teleconferencing systems, and big screen TVs and whiteboards, offering the best of both worlds.

Get Connected

Sports Authority Field at Mile High

University of Denver
(303) 871.4333

UA Denver Pavilions Stadium 15 & RPX
(866) 507.3425

Howl at the Moon
(303) 291.0880

History Colorado Center
(303) 866.4597

Boettcher Mansion
(720) 497.7630