New lodging, attractions, restaurants, events and more highlight the upcoming fall and winter seasons
New activities, events, culinary offerings and more are the buzz this winter in Colorado. Throughout the state, visitors and locals are invited to experience what’s new. From major anniversaries including Rocky Mountain National Park’s 100th, to museum exhibits such as the world-wide exclusive of Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century, and the restoration of historic landmarks with the opening of the much-anticipated Union Station in Denver, Colorado is the place to be this fall and winter for all things innovative and fun.
Following is a sampling of what’s new in Colorado. For more information on Colorado or for a free copy of the 2014 Official State Vacation Guide, visit http://www.COLORADO.com.
New Attractions and Activities:
Denver’s Union Station. Officially opened on July 26, 2014, Denver’s Union Station is set to become the “Grand Central Terminal” of Colorado. The Station includes 13 new restaurant and retail outlets and the luxurious new 112-room Crawford Hotel. Retailers and restaurants include Stoic & Genuine, a seafood restaurant from James Beard Award-Winning Chef, Jennifer Jasinski; The Kitchen Next Door Community Pub, an extension of the Boulder restaurant; European-style Mercantile Dining & Provision from 2010 Food & Wine Best New Chef Alex Seidel of Fruition; Snooze, A.M. Eatery serving breakfast and lunch; Tattered Cover Book Store, the Milkbox Ice Creamery, Acme Burger & Brat Corporation, Pigtrain Coffee, The Cooper Lounge, The Terminal Bar, Bloom, 5 Green Boxes and Fresh Exchange.
The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park Reopening. After a 16-month closure to rebuild due to a wildfire that demolished 90 percent of the park, The Royal Gorge Bridge and Park re-opened its gate to the public Labor Day weekend 2014, to showcase the completion of a brand new 14,500-foot Visitor Center and to allow visitors to walk or drive across one of the world’s highest suspension bridges. The park is on track to have a Grand Opening celebration spring 2015 when more buildings and attractions are available.
Woodward Copper Barn Becomes Teen Hub. New this winter, The Woodward Copper Barn transforms into the hub for all teen lessons. Ages 13 to 18 of any skill level will begin their day with Copper Ski and Ride School at The Woodward Copper Barn adding foam pits and trampolines to their experience.
The St. Regis Aspen Resort’s Skijoring Lessons. Starting January 2015, St. Regis Aspen Resort invites guests to em“bark” on the sport of skijoring with private lessons in Aspen. The St. Regis Aspen has partnered with a certified professional dog trainer to assist in training guests, and their dogs, in the art of skijoring. Those traveling without a dog have the opportunity to skijor with an adoptable pooch on loan from the Aspen Animal Shelter. A portion of proceeds goes towards the operating costs of the shelter.
Winter Fat Bike Tours with Breck Bike Guides. Huge, low-pressure tires make these specialty bikes perfect for riding all winter long. Join the staff at Breck Bike Guides for a snowy cruise from their downtown shop. Try out the winter legs on a mellow loop or go big with an all-day adventure. Weather just not cooperating? Breck Bike Guides’ brand-new spin studio is perfect for high altitude cycle training no matter what conditions Mother Nature brings.
Steamboat Adds Additional Night Skiing Options. Coming off its inaugural season of night skiing and snowboarding, Steamboat will add two additional nights for skiers and riders to enjoy the slopes under the lights. Night operations will now be available Thursday through Monday evenings.
Arapahoe Basin Kids Center. The three-story, $2.3 million building will house snow sports check-in and dining areas, kids rentals, and a new first aid room. In keeping with the commitment to sustainability that helped A-Basin win a Golden Eagle award this year, the building will be partially powered by solar energy, and will also feature educational installations about the ecology of the surrounding mountain area.
Carbondale Bike Park. Set to open in September 2014, the $95,000 park is located at the North Face Park in South Carbondale. The park will include a mountain bike skills “flow line” that switchbacks down the hillside above the site, a large pump track for beginner and intermediate riders and beginner and intermediate/advanced dirt jumps.
Crested Butte’s Ski Bike Rentals. This year, guests can try out ski bikes themselves by renting one of ten new bikes in Crested Butte Mountain Resort’s rental fleet. For those new to the sport, a two-hour instruction and guided tour around the mountain is required to ensure safe use of the equipment and knowledge of where snow biking approved routes are located.
Children’s Center at Buttermilk. Aspen/Snowmass is excited to unveil The Hideout, a new $10 million children’s center at the base of Buttermilk Mountain. The Hideout will give children and families a world-class facility with improved access for drop off, direct access to the mountain, and an adventurous and interactive design.
Telluride’s Ski and Yoga Camp. This new program combines daily yoga exercise with ski instruction in the midst of Telluride’s spectacular scenic beauty. Yoga classes take place in the morning, followed by skiing or riding at Telluride Ski Resort.
Renovation of Grand Junction’s Historic Avalon Theatre. The Avalon Theatre has been the cornerstone of 7th and Main Street in downtown Grand Junction for 90 years and is receiving some much-needed improvements and upgrades. The renovation of the theatre is scheduled to be complete in September 2014. Over $9 million is being invested in the project, which will allow for additional seating (total capacity of 1,150), acoustic and digital audio/visual improvements, and an overall facelift providing a state of the art performance venue.
Colorado Roots Guide. Heritage tourism and agritourism showcase the intersection between travel, agriculture and history. From fiber crafts and farm visits to breweries and birding, Colorado’s back roads provide authentic interaction with farmers, ranchers, hunters, gatherers, artists, naturalists and food enthusiasts. Roll up your sleeves and enrich your travels with something uniquely Colorado with help from this new digital guide.
Great Sand Dunes National Park Quarter Release. The fourth United States Mint quarter release in 2014 is the Great Sand Dunes National Park Quarter. It honors the park in Colorado and marks the 24th issue in the America the Beautiful Quarters series that commemorates national sites in the U.S. and its territories.
New Lodging Offerings:
The Art Hotel. A new 165-room boutique hotel in Denver is expected to open in late 2014, showcasing a lobby with modern art and guest rooms with vibrant art and wall coverings. The Art Hotel will be across from the new History Colorado Center and next to the Denver Art Museum.
The Broadmoor’s Cloud Camp. The property is a wilderness retreat on Colorado’s Cheyenne Mountain that opened in August 2014. Cloud Camp is on the historic 1924 site of Broadmoor founder Spencer Penrose’s original Cheyenne Lodge and overlooks Pikes Peak to the north and the Colorado Rockies to the west. The cuisine of Cloud Camp is inspired by the life and times of Penrose during the Golden Age of the 1920s. During their stay, guests hike in the Pike National Forest, enjoy birding, photo safaris, and rock art, as well as assist the chef each evening with the preparation of the Social Hour hors d’oeuvres.
Crawford Hotel in Denver’s Union Station. The luxurious new 112-room Crawford Hotel, sister hotel to the existing 80-room Oxford Hotel, opened its doors in Denver Union Station in July 2014. The independent Crawford Hotel has a unique vibe with three different styles of rooms, including “Pullman” rooms modeled after the luxury private railroad sleeping cars, the “Classic” rooms with tall ceilings and large windows, as well as “Loft” rooms with exposed wood timbers and contemporary designs.
Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa’s High Lonesome Lodge & Barn. Continuing its focus on sustainability and eco-friendly pampering while accommodating the needs and interests of guests, corporate groups and bridal parties, Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa recently opened the new High Lonesome Lodge, Barn, Pavilion and Wine Grotto. Located 15 minutes west of Winter Park off US Highway 40, the new 50,000-square-foot lodge and adjoining facilities enable the ranch to accommodate and host up to 350 guests at any one time.
The Hyatt Place Boulder. Scheduled to open in early 2015, the property is located in the city-center of Boulder at the Depot Square at Boulder Junction. The Hyatt Place Boulder will feature 150 residentially inspired, upscale guestrooms, an indoor pool and spa, a fully equipped business center and a 24-hour StayFit Gym. The Hyatt Place Boulder will also offer approximately 3,600 square feet of meeting and boardroom space.
The Lodge and Spa at Breckenridge Remodel. Work began this past spring on full room remodels and the addition of The Traverse Restaurant at The Lodge and Spa at Breckenridge. Perched on a cliff with panoramic views of Breckenridge Ski Resort, the property comprises 45 rooms, two freestanding houses, a wedding and meeting room revamped with cozy wood details, two hot tubs and a spa and fitness facility. With renovations expected to be complete in September 2014, The Lodge & Spa will be ready for ski season.
The Lodge at Vail Renovations. The property is undergoing significant renovations this fall to debut for the 2014-2015 winter season. The transformation will bring the iconic hotel to the forefront of Vail’s evolution, providing guests with modern comfort and chic décor. The Lodge’s 56 hotel rooms will be completely renovated, including interior finishes, furnishings, soft goods, lighting and the installation of air conditioning. The hotel’s corridors, main stairways and lobby will also receive upgrades.
Marble Distilling Company Craft Distillery and Inn. Adding to the vitality of downtown Carbondale, Marble Distilling Company is building a family-owned and operated craft distillery, tasting room, and luxury boutique Inn on the east end of Main Street. Construction on an innovative, energy efficient building is slated for completion December 2014. Guests will enjoy contemporary luxury at the new Distillery Inn. All rooms offer a fireplace and private balcony with breath-taking views of Mt. Sopris, while the garden level room offers a private courtyard with outdoor fireplace.
Hotel Teatro Renovations and New Restaurant. In August 2014, Denver’s iconic Hotel Teatro unveiled a new experiential design, reimagining the entire ground floor of the historic luxury property. While carefully preserving the original marble and architectural detail of the 1911 Tramway building, the AAA Four Diamond hotel has responded to the changing demands of travelers and the community by adding a new, locally-inspired restaurant, The Nickel; The Barrel Bar, featuring a curated barrel-aged cocktail program; a new lobby and The Study, an open-space library lounge concept.
Vasquez Creek Inn. This new inn is within walking distance to Winter Park shops, Hideaway Park, restaurants, entertainment and is on the shuttle line to nearby Winter Park Resort. Besides a great location, guests of Vasquez Creek Inn enjoy complimentary European-style continental breakfast and easy access to the on-site restaurant, Volario’s.
Westin Hotel and Public Transit Center at Denver International Airport. In spring 2015, a new 500-room Westin Hotel will open its doors at Denver International Airport as part of the South Terminal Redevelopment project. The hotel will have its own station on the electric commuter rail line that will run from the airport to downtown Denver, opening in 2016. The 22.8 mile rail line will run trains as often as every 15 minutes, taking just 30 minutes to get from the airport and Westin Hotel to Union Station in downtown Denver. The hotel will also include 12 meeting and boardrooms, totaling approximately 10,000 square feet. There will be one grand ballroom and two junior ballrooms totaling more than 16,000 square feet. In addition to the new hotel and Public Transit Center, the Program will build an open-air plaza, complete with new concessions and leasable space, which connects the development to the existing Jeppesen Terminal.
New Events, Festivals and Exhibits:
Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia at Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. This retrospective exhibition on display October 31, 2014 through February 15, 2015 will bring together the first comprehensive presentation of Mark Mothersbaugh’s art and music to date, from the beginning of his career in the early 1970s through the present. Though well known around the globe as a founding member of the popular band DEVO, Mark Mothersbaugh has been a prolific artist since before the band’s inception, and continues to produce work that makes the case for his position as an important figure in contemporary culture.
Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century at the Denver Art Museum. This worldwide-exclusive exhibition at the Denver Art Museum November 16, 2014 – March 15, 2015 will include an astonishing assortment of jewelry, timepieces and precious objects from the Cartier collection. Many of the pieces in the exhibition were owned by aristocrats, celebrities and royalty, including Princess Grace, Elizabeth Taylor, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, J.P. Morgan and the Aga Khan, among other luminaries.
Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park’s Winter on the Mountain. Located on top of Iron Mountain overlooking Glenwood Springs, the park will introduce Winter on the Mountain in November 2014. The mountaintop will come to life with a sparkling display of more than 400,000 twinkling lights, a winter tubing hill and two warming huts where guests can enjoy hot cocoa and warm apple cider. During the holidays, a giant Christmas tree with a timed music and light show will entertain visitors in the plaza, with visits from Santa and a fire pit to roast s’mores.
Polar Express at the Colorado Railroad Museum. The Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden will begin service to the North Pole onboard The Polar Express Train Ride starting November 21, 2014. The magical story comes to life when the train departs for a journey to the North Pole. Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack in this theatrical production, families will relive the magic of the story as you’re whisked away on The Polar Express.
Mountain High Music Festival. The newly expanded Mountain High Music Festival will proudly present a diverse lineup of the world’s best performers along with the most buzzed about, up-and-coming talent for an eclectic mix of mile-high musical performances January 15-18, 2015 in Crested Butte. This year the focus will be on country music but will be expanded to include other genres of music in future years.
2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. The world’s greatest skiers are hitting the slopes in Colorado. Taking place February 2-15, 2015, this prestigious event in Vail and Beaver Creek represents the largest and most impressive collection of ski racing talent in the world, second only to the Olympics. All in all, the event showcases more than 700 athletes from more than 70 nations. The 2015 event is only the fourth Championships ever held in the United States, all of them in Colorado. From thrilling downhill runs to challenging giant slalom courses, you’ll witness incredible skiers in a picturesque Rocky Mountain setting, and the event is free for spectators.
Telluride Develops Winter Music Scene. In an effort to extend the destination’s legendary reputation as a music-lovers paradise into the winter season, Telluride Ski & Golf recently partnered with the Sheridan Arts Foundation and local promoters to create the Telluride Conference Center Winter Music Series. The Winter Series courts larger bands and bigger acts to play the 950-person venue throughout ski and snowboard season.
New Food and Beverage Offerings:
10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Company. This new Vail distillery crafts spirits from locally sourced ingredients in the name of the mountain lifestyle that was inspired by the original 10th Mountain Division soldiers who trained not far from Vail in the 1940s. The 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Company salutes past, present and future soldiers and veterans of the 10th Mountain Division by donating a portion of sales to the Wounded Warrior Project, Vail Veterans Program and the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association.
Blackbelly Market. Season Five Top Chef winner Hosea Rosenberg will open his much-anticipated restaurant/market/butcher shop Blackbelly Market in Boulder this fall. With a focus on seasonal and fresh farm-to-table offerings, the menu will feature Blackbelly Farms’ own livestock and locally sourced small-farm produce. Blackbelly Market will offer lunch and dinner, both sit-down and grab-n-go, in addition to the in-house butcher shop, market provisions and crafted charcuterie program.
David Burke Kitchen. Utilizing Colorado-based ingredients, the restaurant will open in the heart of historic downtown. David Burke Kitchen, with its spectacular views and rooftop patio, will be the largest restaurant in Aspen. The David Burke Group is also opening nightlife hotspot and lounge, Huckleberry Hall, the subterranean counterpart to David Burke Kitchen. Huckleberry Hall will offer signature cocktails, handcrafted from house made juices, bitters, and syrups.
FoCo Cafe. Opening this fall in Fort Collins, the new restaurant’s mission is to build community by providing nutritious and delicious meals to the people of Fort Collins regardless of their ability to pay while using mostly local, organic, and sustainably grown ingredients. FoCo Cafe will be the first non-profit restaurant in Fort Collins. Cafe patrons will set the price for cafe cuisine in this pay-what-you-want setting. Instead of a cash register, a donation box will be on the counter.
Leopold Bros. This award-winning craft spirits purveyor will open a new expanded distillery in northeast Denver late this fall. The new space is triple the size of their old distillery, and features a traditional dunnage-style barrelhouse. They are the only distillery in Colorado to feature a floor malting facility and traditional malting kiln, and all of their grains are mashed and fermented onsite. Guests can experience Leopold Bros. firsthand from their new 1,900-square-foot tasting room.
Lunch Rock Restaurant. Winter Park Resort will add the new Lunch Rock Restaurant atop the Mary Jane Territory. The new restaurant will be completed by Christmas 2014, just in time for Winter Park Resort’s 75th anniversary celebration. Winter Park Resort’s largest on-mountain building construction in over 25 years, Lunch Rock Restaurant will be a state-of-the-art facility utilized year-round, with a 150-seat heated deck, 250-seat indoor restaurant, bar and hydration station all focusing on Colorado themes.
Peak 9 Restaurant Renovation. On the heels of launching Peak 6 last season, the ski industry’s most significant terrain expansion in the last decade, Breckenridge Ski Resort will unveil the interior remodel of the existing Peak 9 restaurant. The extensive renovation includes a new kitchen that will provide a warm, welcoming, high-quality guest experience at the resort’s most scenic dining location, sitting at 11,274 feet.
Thunderhead Lodge. Thunderhead Lodge at the top of the Gondola on Steamboat Ski Resort received a dramatic makeover this summer. A new color scheme with rock treatments highlights the exterior enhancements. Inside the building, guests will notice new carpeting, custom wood accents and a redesigned Thunderhead Red’s Bar. Similar to the layout of the popular Four Points bar, Thunderhead Red’s will double in size and expand to include the eastern side of the building taking advantage of the dramatic east facing window views of Mt. Werner and Storm Peak.
Notable 2014/2015 Anniversaries:
Rocky Mountain National Park 100th Anniversary Celebration. From September 3, 2014, through September 4, 2015, Rocky Mountain National Park, along with local and national communities, will be celebrating the park’s 100th anniversary. Speakers, special activities and community events are being coordinated to commemorate the Centennial. Rocky Mountain National Park hopes that their 100th anniversary will inspire visitors to experience and connect with the park that has inspired 100 years of protection, and that will continue to enchant and delight visitors and stewards for another 100 years.
Winter Park Resort’s 75th Anniversary. Winter Park will celebrate its 75th anniversary on January 28, 2015 with a weeklong series of events starting with a big party at Winter Park and culminating with a celebration of Mary Jane’s 40th birthday.
Wolf Creek Ski Area’s 75th Anniversary. Along with a 75th anniversary logo, Wolf Creek will host a Retro Day to commemorate the occasion.
100th Anniversary of Ski-Jumping at Howelsen Hill.
Colorado Scenic and Historic Byways 25th Anniversary. Colorado’s Scenic and Historic Byways program is celebrating 25 years of service to tourists and the state’s economy by designating routes that provide exceptional scenic, historical, cultural and recreational opportunities. The state’s 25 Scenic and Historic Byways all function independently and each one offers the traveler a unique “Centennial State” experience.
For more information or a copy of the 2014 Colorado Official State Vacation Guide, visit http://www.COLORADO.com or call 1-800-COLORADO.