When Civil War general William Jackson Palmer came to Denver to find a new railroad route, he fell in love with a nearby valley in the shadow of Pikes Peak. He soon founded the small town of Colorado Springs with the intention of creating a high-quality resort community.
It turns out his vision for a luxurious refuge in the rugged Rockies was on the right track. The 316-room Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs celebrates Palmer’s vision with its geographical beauty and several impressive venue spaces that command planners’ attentions. The 4-diamond resort just wrapped a $20 million renovation, honoring the property’s 25th anniversary, which overhauled all of the guestrooms and 40,000 sf of meeting space.
“The new renovation lets you have a sense of arrival, a sense of placement,” says John Branciforte, Director of Sales/Marketing. “We bring Colorado from the outside in to our spaces, so whether you’re on the balcony or in the room you feel like you’re in the big open Colorado blue sky.”
ROCKY MOUNTAIN MEETINGS
The resort sits on a 35-acre lake overlooking several thousand acres of gorgeous forest terrain. So you can imagine the myriad activities available for groups who are looking for an active experience. Just on the resort, attendees can take advantage of the Pete Dye-designed golf course, the full-service health club, the Aquatics Center and the surrounding nature paths.
Start the morning off with a yoga class at the health club. The Colorado Springs air is clean and refreshing, perfect for yoga breathing exercises. Follow up with a light jog through the trails as you marvel at the natural artwork the gargantuan rocks form in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
If you prefer sports, the resort’s health center has facilities for basketball, racquetball and squash. For swimmers, the Aquatics Center features an outdoor heated Olympic-size pool, an indoor 25-meter lap pool. Plus, the U.S. Olympic Training Center is nearby, so when revered athletes are in town the resort does its best to organize related events.
When Olympic Gold Medal cyclist Rebecca Romero was in town from Britain for training, the resort brought her in to teach a spinning class. The Cheyenne Mountain Resort takes its active lifestyle seriously, employing a bodybuilding champion as the facility’s personal fitness trainer and having a Titleist-certified golf instructor.
Out on the lake, the resort once planned a teambuilding activity based on “The Amazing Race” TV show. Teams of 10 worked to complete a scavenger hunt full of physical challenges including kayaking around the lake to find the next clue. For less physical but equally fun boating, split the group into teams on the resort’s bumper boats and wage a water cannon war.
THE MONEY MUSEUM
The Money Museum, operated by the American Numismatic Association (AMA), is like a treasure chest of history, facilitating customized experiences for groups up to 50 led by their expert staff of historians and curators. According to Jay Beeton, Director of Marketing/Education, almost any kind of theme can be tied into money, its history and what it means.
“There’s no end to the amount of history and culture you can learn from money,” says Beeton. “The design of currency throughout time can reflect a lot on a culture.” The AMA has an expert staff that is passionate about history, currency and culture. Beeton himself is a historian on the side.
The Money Museum has done corporate events for banks with the theme of counterfeit protection and the history of money. On the other end of the spectrum, the museum held an event for schoolteachers showing them how they can use money to teach history, science, math and social studies. When the museum held an event for the museum industry, it was focused on how to handle numismatic donations because, according to Beeton, “Most museums have no idea how to handle rare money.”
This venue is teeming with historians and professionals who hold incredible amounts of knowledge about the world’s history, told through currency. For something that strays away from the active experiences in Colorado Springs, this is where groups can come for more intellectual stimulation.