As Colorado's original resort community, Estes Park has played host to everyone from gunslingers and ranchers to inventors such as F.O. Stanley, who opened the famed Stanley Hotel here in 1909. Known as one of the finest full-service meeting destinations in Colorado, Estes Park is ahead of the curve when it comes to hosting conference groups, who enjoy its stunning vistas and warm, hometown feel. With so much to offer, it's no wonder Estes Park welcomes nearly three million visitors each year.
Seamlessly combining affordability with accessibility, Estes Park is an easy choice for meeting planners. Just a scenic 90-minute drive from Denver International Airport, visitors can access Estes Park from all corners of the globe. Ranked as the 9th busiest airport in the world, Denver International serves an average of 1,500 flights per day. Once in Estes Park, the convenience continues with a free shopping and hiking shuttle service ready to ferry passengers to attractions and park trails during summer months. Year-round chartered shuttles are also an economical option for groups large and small.
When it comes to meeting venues, planners can take their pick from several top-notch facilities. Topping the list is the new Assembly Hall at the YMCA of the Rockies, with a 10,000 sq. ft ballroom. The YMCA, which started as a camp in 1907 offers over 100 meeting rooms and accommodations for groups up to 4,000. A $42M renovation, completed in 2010, offers 200 new guest rooms designed with the corporate group in mind. Estes Park also offers the phenomenal Estes Park Conference Center. Featuring 12,000 square feet of flexible meeting space including an 8,000-square-foot ballroom – the largest in the region – the Estes Park Conference Center can accommodate social events and conferences of up to 1,000 people. Situated in the heart of the city, the center's soaring timber and native stone fireplace offer attendees a very cozy welcome to Estes Park.
Meanwhile, the celebrated Stanley Hotel offers a majestic atmosphere throughout its 138 guest rooms and 16,000 square feet of meeting space. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and a member of the Historic Hotels of America, The Stanley Hotel was recently restored to its former glory with the added convenience of modern amenities such as free wireless Internet access. The hotel is a breathtaking spot to host corporate functions, banquets and team building activities within view of Rocky Mountain National Park.
Estes Park has no shortage of unique meeting facilities for planners looking for alternative venues. Draw inspiration from the serene setting of the Taharaa Mountain Lodge, which has hosted meetings, conferences, executive retreats and more in its boardroom and spacious Great Hall. Or, for a taste of local flavor, try out one of the private dining rooms at the Twin Owls Steakhouse, capable of accommodating up to 185 guests, or kick back at the at the tasting room and deck of the Estes Park Brewery. Meanwhile, the stunning Della Terra Mountain Chateau offers 3,650 square feet of meeting space at the doorstep of the Rocky Mountains.
A popular mountain retreat and Colorado's original resort town, Estes Park's economy is based largely on the tourism industry. The town was also the site of the organization of the Credit Union National Association, a milestone in the history of American credit unions.
Nestled on the front range of the Rocky Mountains at the eastern entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park sits at 7,522 feet above sea level. A cozy resort retreat approximately 60 miles northeast of Denver, Estes Park spans approximately 5.9 square miles. With stunning vistas and snowcapped mountains, Estes Park has long been a popular resort community. In fact, archeological evidence suggests that the Ute and Arapaho Indian families would spend summers in the region as far back as 10,000 years ago, making it Colorado's oldest resort town.
Founded by and named after Missouri native Joel Estes in 1859, Estes Park has continued to flourish through the years as a celebrated Rocky Mountain getaway. Today a number of intriguing attractions allow visitors to peer into Estes Park's storied past. Guests can step into a genuine log cabin or explore the restored original headquarters of Rocky Mountain National Park at the Estes Park Museum. Visitors who want to get to know the fascinating ranching heritage of Colorado should not miss out on a trip to the MacGregor Ranch Museum. Here, original furnishings, memorabilia, horse-drawn machinery and other items from three generations of a local ranching family are on display.
Meanwhile, guests can uncover the life and times of F.O. Stanley of Stanley Steamer automobile fame at the Stanley Museum. A prominent fixture of Estes Park's past, the legacy of F.O. Stanley can also be experienced at the famed Stanley Hotel, which was the setting for Stephen King's chilling book The Shining. The Stanley Hotel still "shines" to this day with spine tingling ghost tours that include a trip through the hotel's underground tunnel.
Outdoor activities are also a must on any itinerary in Estes Park. Located at the eastern entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park is the perfect place to get outdoors and enjoy the scenery from new heights. Rocky Mountain National Park, considered one of America's natural treasures, offers a bird's eye view of rushing rivers, canyons, forests and a patchwork of flower-covered meadows. Meandering over 415 square miles of wilderness, this scenic wonder offers plenty of recreational options including biking, climbing, hiking, snowshoeing, stargazing, bird watching, picnicking and more. In addition to all this, the National Park and surrounding community boasts about having some of the best wildlife watching in the State of Colorado. With a herd of more than 2,000 elk roaming about freely, conference goers are likely to experience wildlife on any given day of the year.
Also at the park, visitors can drive around the 23-mile Bear Lake Road to enjoy some of the most magnificent scenery in the area, including the glistening Bear and Sprague lakes as well as the 12,713-foot-high Hallett Peak. No trip along Bear Lake Road would be complete without a stop at the Moraine Park Visitor Center, full of unique insights into the mountain terrain such as tectonic activity, glaciation, volcanism, weathering and more. Other Rocky Mountain State Park highlights include the Peak to Peak scenic byway and Trail Ridge Road – the highest continuous paved highway in North America and scenic byways the Peak to Peak Highway, both scenic byways.
Relaxing, nature-filled days in Estes Park spill over to starry nights lit up by eclectic eateries, cozy pubs and live entertainment venues. Visitors wishing to have their taste buds tempted can try out regional wild game fare such as elk, trout and buffalo at eateries such as the Other Side Restaurant. Those wanting to indulge in a hearty meal amidst a warm lodge setting can pull up a chair at Marys Lake Lodge. After dinner, visitors can enjoy live music and libations at venues such as Lonigan's Nightclub and Grill, or, during summer months, catch a free outdoor concert in Performance Park.
All average costs based on U.S. Government Per Diem rates as published by the U.S. General Services Administration.
Estes Park's high elevation allows for a pleasant, dry climate with low humidity. Average temperatures in summer tend to be in the 60s. During July, the warmest month of the year, temperatures can reach the mid-80s. Winter temperatures average in the 20s, with the coolest month of the year being December.
Estes Park receives an average of nearly 14 inches of rainfall per year, occurring most commonly during the summer months. Snowfall averages 36 inches annually.
With approximately 300 days of sunshine per year, Estes Park is a year-round resort destination. However, the very best time to go is during the summer months. The weather is mild and visitors can get outside and enjoy the aromatic blooms, outdoor festivals and recreational activities of this delightful mountain retreat.
Estes Park Conference Center
Just a stone's throw away from Rocky Mountain National Park and within walking distance to several shops, dining and attractions, the Estes Park Conference Center is one of the town's premier meeting facilities. Upon arrival, groups experience the ambiance of an authentic mountain retreat, thanks to an airy lobby complete with towering timbers and a massive native stone fireplace.
The center features 12,000 square feet of meeting space including an 8,000-square-foot ballroom – the largest in the region – that can accommodate up to 1,000 people. The facility also boasts dedicated meeting space at its 11 possible breakout rooms, executive boardroom and pre-function space lined by floor-to ceiling-windows.
Amenities include high-speed Internet access, business services and on-site catering. In addition to phenomenal meeting facilities, the center is attached to the Holiday Inn Rocky Mountain Park, which offers 150 guest rooms and suites.
The Stanley Hotel
333 West Wonder View Avenue
Estes Park, CO 80517
Total Meeting Space – 16,000 Sq. Ft.
Denver International Airport (DEN)
Approximate taxi fare: $98 USD
Just a scenic 80-mile drive from Estes Park is one of the nation's most convenient and beautiful airports. Opened in 1995, Denver International Airport evokes the spirit of the Rockies with its unique architecture, which includes a roof molded into 34 separate peaks. It also boasts a spacious Great Hall, whose lofty ceiling is more than 10 stories high, and enormous glass windows that allow for panoramic views of the nearby Rocky Mountains.
The modern facility was also designed with practicality in mind, as it's equipped to provide transportation for over 110 million passengers each year. In 2008, Denver International was ranked as the 9th busiest airport in the world with over 1,500 flights passing through daily.
Even with the large number of passengers that visit Denver International Airport every year, traffic inside and outside the building is low and travelers remain comfortable thanks to numerous amenities. Each terminal is lined with restaurants, bars and snack shops for relaxing in between flights. The airport is also lucky to have America's largest public art program, which features artwork on Western life, travel, light and space. Complimentary wi-fi is available in the Jeppesen Terminal and Concourses A, B and C. Finally, the airport offers 40,000 public parking spaces.
Airline carriers serving Denver International Airport
During the busy summer months, the city operates a shuttle that connects visitors to all attractions around Estes Park. This free shuttle runs across three color-coded lines and includes stops at locations including Rocky Mountain Traders, Barlow Plaza and a number of hotels and resorts.
Each of the shuttles originates at the Estes Park Visitors Center. The shuttle runs daily, July to September, from 10 AM to 7:30 PM.
Travel arrangements for groups or individuals are easy and economical. Shared van service is available between Denver International Airport and Estes Park for $45 each way, or $85 when purchasing a round-trip ticket.
Travelers in need of a rental car will find counters for Advantage, Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, E-Z Rent-A-Car, Hertz, National, Payless and Thrifty in the Jeppesen Terminal on level 5 at Denver International Airport.
Taxi cab service is available from Denver International Airport outside of baggage claim. Approximate fare from Denver International Airport to Estes Park is $98.
Photo Credit : Estes Park Convention and Visitors Bureau
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