Welcome to the Meeting and Event Planning Guide to Boulder, a city guide written for meeting professionals. Lovingly coined "the city nestled between the mountains and reality," Boulder is a destination known for its natural beauty, urban culture, love of the outdoors and unwavering commitment to a green lifestyle. The compact, pedestrian-friendly city is home to a variety of museums, award-winning restaurants, a highly regarded science laboratory, outdoor adventures and the University of Colorado Boulder, one of the country's premier public research institutions. As a center for innovative thought, Boulder also boasts an entrepreneurial spirit with a small-town feel, offering a range of venues and event services for everything from team building activities to large meetings.
Boulder sits 45 miles from the expansive Denver International Airport, the fifth-busiest airport in the U.S. and the largest airport site in North America. Easily recognizable by its peaked roof that resembles snow-capped mountains (or teepees), Denver International offers nonstop service to more than 170 destinations worldwide, including major markets in the U.S., UK, Germany, Iceland, Canada, Mexico and Costa Rica. After flying into Denver, delegates can easily get to Boulder via the Regional Transportation District's SkyRide service, which runs daily between the Boulder Transit Center and the airport. Once in Boulder, delegates can hop aboard the Community Transit Network's variety of buses that service downtown Boulder, major shopping areas and the University of Colorado Boulder.
Nestled in the heart of Boulder, the University of Colorado Boulder offers a number of meeting and event spaces throughout its 786-acre, 200-building campus. The university features a full range of event and meeting management services, accommodating groups of 25 to 5,000 delegates and more than 110 conferences each year. The university offers more than 70 air-conditioned meeting spaces, including classrooms, lecture halls and theater-style rooms, most of which with a full range of audiovisual equipment, and all with free Wi-Fi access. Event spaces include the 2,047-seat, two-level Macky Auditorium and 11,200-seat CU Coors Events Center, as well as the University Memorial Center, which features a 300-person Multi-purpose Room, 1,200-person Ballroom and 130-person Aspen Room. Additional spaces include the 8,750-square-foot CU Stadium Club at Folsom Field and the Balch Field House, Carlson Gym and UMC Ballroom, which offer a combined total of more than 50,000 square feet of exhibit space. Outdoor event spaces and summertime dormitory housing options are available.
Aside from the University of Colorado Boulder's variety of indoor and outdoor event spaces, Boulder features a number of special event venues perfectly designed for group functions. Colorado Chautauqua National Historic Landmark offers a range of event spaces throughout its 40-acre site. Delegates can enjoy a performance at the historic Chautauqua Auditorium and Community House before gathering at the picnic shelters, the flagstoned Auditorium Terrace or Grand Assembly room with a wrap-around indoor balcony, among other spaces. Many of Boulder's performing arts spaces and cultural museums double as special event venues. For example, the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art welcomes private events in its three galleries and 100-seat, black-box theater, all housed in a historic warehouse in the heart of downtown Boulder. The Dairy Center for the Arts, a nonprofit cultural arts organization housed in the historic Watts-Hardy Dairy Building, features a number of group event spaces, including 80-seat, 100-seat and 250-seat theaters, a 70-seat cinema, an 80-person gallery space and 120-person lobby area. The downtown Boulder Theater is known for its events that span most musical genres, as well as its Art Deco facade and event and screening space for groups of up to 700 people. The Boulder History Museum, situated in the historic Harbeck-Bergheim House on University Hill, welcomes small receptions and events in its gallery space, front porch and front lawn.
Offering the best of both worlds with its vast open space and quaint cityscape, Boulder features a convenient, central location in the foothills of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, 35 miles northwest of Denver and a few hours from Rocky Mountain National Park and many of Colorado’s world-famous ski resorts. Boulder itself is a place for outdoor adventure, intellectual stimulation and relaxing getaways, as the mountain destination is infused with a deep commitment to green practices and a healthy community lifestyle. Locals and visitors frequent the city’s Boulder Creek Bike Path, which runs through historic downtown and along Boulder Creek, with scenic stops along the way. Bicycling is so popular in Boulder that sometimes the city plows the Boulder Creek Bike Path before it plows the streets; in fact, the city’s bicycle count is nearly equal to its population. In addition to Boulder Creek Bike Path, Boulder is home to more than 300 miles of biking and hiking trails, exemplifying this city’s love for the natural outdoors. Aside from hiking and biking, local outdoor activities include fly-fishing, mountain climbing and hot air ballooning.
Boulder’s history dates back to its 1859 founding by explorers looking for gold. Mining, then agriculture and grain milling, all played an important role in Boulder’s early development. The city’s roots in education began in 1860, when its first schoolhouse was opened, and then strengthened with the 1876 founding of The University of Colorado Boulder. In 1898, the Colorado Chautauqua, now known as Colorado Chautauqua National Historic Landmark, was created as a retreat to escape hot Texas summers. With a focus on culture, music, nature and family activities, the founding of the Chautauqua started Boulder’s active preservation of parks and open spaces. By the 1950s to 1970s, Boulder experienced a boom in big business with the arrival of IBM, Ball Aerospace, Celestial Seasonings, the Naropa Institute and the Boulder School of Massage Therapy.
Today, in addition to its steadfast dedication to the preservation of outdoor spaces, Boulder is known for its thriving arts and culture scene. The city is home to more than 30 art galleries, four local museums, and 32 movie and stage theaters, as well as the host of a variety of festivals, including the Colorado Shakespeare Festival and Colorado Music Festival. Locals uphold Boulder’s legendary live music scene and fill such music venues ranging from a restored Art Deco theater to a 100-year-old barn. When it’s time to shop, people-watch or dine, the four-block Pearl Street Mall is the place to be.
With all of Boulder’s recreational and cultural activities, it’s a good thing that the city is home to more than 300 restaurants to satisfy any appetite. Boulder features a number of independently owned eateries that showcase the region’s fresh and seasonal products. The family-owned Flagstaff House Restaurant serves French-American fare and holds the distinction of earning Wine Spectator’s Grand Award, while The Kitchen incorporates seasonal, farm to table selections in its simple preparations of comfortable classics. Frasca Food and Wine transports visitors to Friuli, Italy, while Red Lion Restaurant is known for its range of local wild game creations. Black Cat sources from its very own 130-acre farm to create a daily changing menu that highlights the very best of the Front Range region.
All average costs based on U.S. Government Per Diem rates as published by the U.S. General Services Administration.
Boulder experiences a four-season moderate climate with more than 300 sunny days and an average of 83 inches of snow each year. With an average high of 87°F and an average low of 58°F, July is Boulder’s warmest month, while an average high of 45°F and an average low of 18°F makes January its coldest month. Spring and fall seasons bring highs in the mid 60s to low 70s and lows to the mid 40s to mid 30s. Boulder sees an average of 19 inches of rain a year, with most falling from April through June.
Denver International Airport (DEN)
Approximate taxi fare: $114.53 USD
Situated 42 miles from Boulder, Denver International Airport is one of the world’s greenest airports, boasting a roof made out of a Teflon-coated, fiberglass material that’s as thin as a credit card. Easily distinguished by its peaked roof reflective of snow-capped mountains or teepees, Denver International is the fifth busiest airport in the U.S., as well as the largest airport site in North America and the second largest airport site in the world. Denver International accommodates nonstop services to more than 170 destinations worldwide, including major markets in the U.S., Germany, Iceland, the UK, Canada, Mexico and Costa Rica. Passenger amenities include a variety of food and beverage options, 50 shops, free Wi-Fi and a spectacular art program. The airport features more than 40,000 parking spaces with garage, valet, short-term, economy and shuttle parking options.
Airline carriers serving Denver International Airport
Regional Transportation District’s Community Transit Network runs a fleet of buses that transport passengers throughout Boulder and connect to regional lines daily. The HOP bus runs throughout downtown Boulder, University Hill, the University of Colorado Boulder and the Twenty Ninth Street retail district, while SKIP runs north and south on Broadway through downtown Boulder and the University of Colorado Boulder. JUMP runs east and west on Arapahoe Avenue throughout downtown Boulder and the Twenty Ninth Street retail district, while BOUND runs north and South on 30th Street and DASH runs east and west along South Boulder Road. STAMPEDE runs throughout the University of Colorado boulder campus, while BOLT runs along the Diagonal Highway between Boulder and Longmont. One-way fare is $2.25 for adults and $1.10 for children ages 6 to 19. Children under age 6 ride free.
Regional Transportation District’s SkyRide service provides daily service to and from Denver International Airport via six routes. Route AB runs from the Boulder Transit Center to the airport, departing hourly. One-way SkyRide fare is $13 for adults and $6.50 for children ages 6 to 19. Children under age 6 ride free. Group Shuttle transportation from $22 one-way is available from Denver International Airport to/from Boulder hotels.
Denver International Airport houses rental car counters for Advantage, Alamo, Avis, Budget, Collar, E-Z, Enterprise, Fox, Hertz, National, Payless and Thrifty. Each company offers its own courtesy shuttle to and from the terminal.
Visitors to Boulder arriving via Denver International Airport should expect to pay about $80 in taxi fare.
Photo Credit: Boulder Convention & Visitors Bureau
There are no current promotions in Boulder, CO.
Interested in placing a promotion? Call Cvent for information on advertising opportunities at 1-866-318-4358.