IRF Crew Checks in @ The Broadmoor

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It’s just a 15-minute ride west from Colorado Spring’s airport to the beginning of the Rocky Mountains. Anchored on a slope at the heavily forested base, The Broadmoor feels like a European alpine village with multiple historic buildings dating back to 1918, rimming a small postcard lake. Guests dine on bison and brie at waterfront terraces next to big stone fireplaces while watching people leisurely stroll around the walking paths, where swans swim alongside and bald eagles fly overhead. The pace is unhurried; the pampering unrehearsed.

The Broadmoor’s claim to fame is the industry’s longest uninterrupted legacy of five diamond status—50 years in 2010. We flew in for the Incentive Research Foundation’s 17th annual Incentive Invitational confab, which this year was highlighted by CMP/CMM Dahlton Bennington’s presentation of: “Anatomy of a Successful Incentive Travel Program.” The 108-page IRF white paper is considered the long awaited final word on proving and empirically quantifying the ROI of a travel incentive. Go grab a copy at theirf.org.

While the overall vibe feels boutique, the 744-room property is the epitome of a full-service destination group resort, with 60 adaptable meeting/conference rooms. Across the street from the long tulip-tressed front lawn, the International Center played host to most of the events, including the first-ever CSR event at an IRF Invitational, revolving around a local charity for school children.

We were especially enamored with the new country-chic Cottages, which can be configured from 1-8 rooms for 28 total. These are well designed for corporate retreats due to their private setting, and the CMPs on our tour loved the huge fireplace and red leather chairs in the grand parlor, cathedral beam ceilings, heated bathroom flooring and big patios facing a bubbling brook.

The Broadmoor hosted 800 events annually pre-2009 with a 70% group mix. It’s easy to see why, whether attendees want a 1916 Lafitte Rothschild from the cellar, or an amazing horseback ride at a working ranch 45 minutes high up in the mountains.

“You can have someone in a very formal dress next to someone in a Patagonia fleece,” says Michelle MacMullen, director of national sales. “There’s a very relaxed attitude here with such an eclectic mix.”

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