DENVER – New activities, events, culinary offerings and more are the buzz this summer in Colorado. Throughout the state, visitors and locals are invited to experience what’s new. From exciting new attractions such as The Broadmoor’s new luxury fishing camp and the development of Iron Mountain Hot Springs in Glenwood Springs, to major events including the USA Pro Challenge, and the opening of numerous chef-driven restaurants and unique accommodations offerings, such as the much anticipated Art Hotel in Denver, Colorado is laying the stage for a blockbuster summer travel season.
Following is a sampling of what’s new this summer in Colorado. For more information on Colorado or for a free copy of the 2015 Official State Vacation Guide, visit http://www.COLORADO.com.
New Attractions and Activities:
Browns Canyon Becomes Colorado’s Newest National Monument. On February 19, 2015, President Barack Obama designated Browns Canyon a National Monument. Located in the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation area, Browns Canyon offers camping, mountain biking, hiking and views of Colorado’s abundant wildlife.
The Historic Broadmoor to Launch Fly-Fishing Camp. Colorado Springs’ most celebrated resort, The Broadmoor, is developing a private fly-fishing camp complete with a beautifully restored lodge and seven historic cabins dating back to the 1880’s. The Camp, which opens May 28, 2015, is located on Colorado’s Tarryall River. With more than five miles of private waters, guests can expect an exclusive fly fishing experience complete with dining, accommodations and some of the best angling in Colorado.
The Evolution Bike Park Continues to Evolve in Crested Butte. This summer, Evolution Bike Park will open a new beginner trail, called Hot Dogger that will give newbies to the sport a chance to ride the lift and experience mountain biking in a non-intimidating fashion. With a wide track, easy rollers and soft berm turns, Hot Dogger is the perfect trail to get comfortable on a mountain bike.
Gore Canyon Whitewater Park at Pumphouse. New for summer 2015, this “park and play” whitewater feature will be located at the popular BLM Pumphouse recreational site on the Colorado River near the western edge of Grand County. The park will include large manmade structures placed in the river creating a variety of wave features to be used by kayakers, stand-up paddle boarders and other whitewater enthusiasts.
Iron Mountain Hot Springs to Open. The Iron Mountain Hot Springs are slated to open in summer 2015 at the site of the historic Iron Springs Spa on the bank of the Colorado River in Glenwood Springs. Redevelopment plans include a family pool, smaller, naturally shaped relaxation pools, concessions and retail operations, a viewing tower, a waterfall feature and more.
Clip-In with Christian Vande Velde Cycling Experience at The Little Nell. Aspen’s famed Little Nell Hotel is offering its second annual “Clip-In with Christian Cycling Experience,” which will coincide with the USA Pro Challenge as it passes through Aspen August 19-20, 2015. During this 3-night, 4-day experience, guests will ride Aspen’s most famed roads with professional cyclists Christian Vande Velde, George Hincapie and Craig Lewis. Camp includes VIP access to Stages 3 and 4 of the USA Pro Challenge and many exciting events.
The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park Reopening. The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park is rolling out a brand new look for 2015. The park recently opened a new visitors center, and now, in addition to the 86-year-old Royal Gorge Bridge, guests can expect more thrills with the new jig-back Poma Tram and Zip Rider Zipline, installed over winter 2014-2015. Both attractions will travel 2,400 feet over the Royal Gorge and 1,200 feet above the Arkansas River.
Build Your Own Adventure at the St Julien. Celebrating its 10-year anniversary in 2015, St Julien Hotel & Spa is launching the “Build Your Own Adventure Package.” In partnership with Boulder Rides & Guides, St Julien’s newest package offers an a la carte menu of active pursuits, all located in Boulder’s backyard and ranging from mild to wild. Whether guests want to try their hands at rock climbing or white water rafting, or learn outdoor photography skills on a guided hike, St Julien will help guests make their Boulder vacation one to remember.
The St. Regis Aspen Resort Offers Rocky Mountain Sailing Experience. This summer, The St. Regis Aspen Resort and the Aspen Sailing School have partnered to offer a new sailing experience at 9,000 feet above sea level. High in the Rocky Mountains on Ruedi Reservoir, guests will be taught the basics of sailing aboard a 12-foot Sunfish sailboat. Guests will also be given the keys to one of the resort’s new turbo-charged Lexus NX courtesy vehicles for the scenic drive to Ruedi, and a gourmet picnic lunch is also included in the package.
Vail Golf Club Is the First Course in Colorado to Offer Golf Bikes. The Vail Golf Club has taken “green transportation” to a new level after introducing the Golf Bike as an alternative to walking or using a cart. The Vail Golf Club is the first course in Colorado to offer the bikes to its customers. The bikes are designed to carry clubs, provide low impact transportation and increase fitness.
Zip Line to Open on Rabbit Ears Pass. Rabbit Ears Pass is an iconic destination for hiking, biking and sight-seeing on the Continental Divide just outside Steamboat Springs, and now it is home to the area’s newest family attraction: a state-of-the-art eight-segment zipline. Opening June 2015, the lines zig-zag down a mountainside on the west side of the pass, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape. A “utility vehicle” ride is included in the adventure, which lasts 2 to 3 hours.
New Lodging Offerings:
The Art Hotel. A new 165-room boutique hotel in Denver is expected to open in April 2015, showcasing a lobby with modern art and guest rooms with vibrant art and wall coverings. The Art Hotel will be across from the History Colorado Center and next to the Denver Art Museum.
A Spa Experience Coming Soon From Cheyenne Mountain Resort. In mid-2015, Cheyenne Mountain Resort near Colorado Springs will unveil a brand new 5,000 sq. ft. resort spa. The new facility will feature six treatment rooms, manicure and pedicure stations, a private reception lobby and indoor and outdoor meditation and relaxation suites. The spa will offer guests an authentic Colorado spa experience complete with indigenous treatments and retail products.
The Little Beaver Inn. Opening in April 2015 is the Little Beaver Inn in Green Mountain Falls, a small town located just 15 minutes west of Colorado Springs. The charmingly retro Little Beaver Inn was originally built as a motor lodge in the 1950’s and will be adaptively remade into a five-room inn. Interiors feature a high-end mid-century modern aesthetic as well as modern amenities. An outdoor fire circle, al fresco dining area and full kitchen at the Inn’s parent property, The Outlook Lodge, are also available to guests.
Vail’s Sebastian Unveils Room Renovations. The Sebastian in Vail recently unveiled newly renovated guest rooms. The energy and elegance of the updated room design draws inspiration from the hotel’s popular contemporary art-filled public spaces that emphasize the property’s distinct mountain-chic spirit. The new room configuration offers guests a range of luxury accommodations for all types of travelers.
The Warwick Denver Hotel Reveals Major Renovations.The only hotel in Denver’s popular Uptown neighborhood, The Warwick Hotel recently completed a $25 million renovation featuring new state-of-the-art fitness equipment, all new soft goods, mattresses and bedding, along with new flat-screen smart televisions in all 216 guest rooms.
New Events, Festivals and Exhibits:
Rocky Mountain National Park’s 100th Anniversary Celebration. 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’s 100th Anniversary Celebration will encourage people to rediscover and reconnect with the wilderness, wildlife, and wonder that have inspired and continue to inspire visitors to Rocky Mountain National Park.
Taste and Savor Event at The Broadmoor, March 5-8, 2015. The inaugural Taste and Savor food, wine and spirits event, will feature top chefs from across the U.S. as well as Master Sommeliers, James Beard Award recipients and more at the iconic Broadmoor resort in Colorado Springs. This exclusive epicurean weekend will be packed with gourmet dining, seminars, panel discussions and instruction from today’s culinary and viticultural leaders.
“Build! Frontiers” at The Greeley History Museum, June 6 – December 31, 2015. The “Build! Frontiers” exhibit combines interactive learning with regional history to create a memorable museum experience. The exhibit features giant toy brick art pieces, interactive construction stations, historic photos and information about regional growth and construction from 1870 to the present.
Friday Night Movie and Music Series in the Breckenridge Arts District, June 19 – August 7, 2015. Breckenridge Creative Arts will host a free, weekly outdoor summer concert and movie series that takes place in the Breckenridge Arts District every Friday night from 6 p.m. to midnight from June 19 through August 7, 2015. Featuring the best in regional music talent and screenings of popular, cult and classic films on the lawn, the full campus will be open late with art-making workshops, studio demos and hands-on family activities.
USA Pro Challenge, August 12 – 23, 2015. Colorado’s largest sporting event is back for 2015. This year’s USA Pro Challenge will feature several dramatic changes including a new overall start in Steamboat Springs, new host communities Arapahoe Basin and Copper Mountain, and a challenging individual time trial course in the scenic town of Breckenridge. The event, which draws more than 1 million fans to Colorado each year, is a seven-day race featuring the best cyclists climbing across the Colorado Rockies.
Breckenridge International Festival of Arts Debuts August 14 – 23, 2015. Inspired by themes of environment and mountain culture, this 10-day festival brings together a variety of performances, installations, exhibitions, screenings, workshops, talks, and surprise collaborations with an eclectic mix of music, theatre, film, visual and street arts and family entertainment. Presented by Breckenridge Creative Arts, the fest will showcase the town’s recently-expanded Arts District.
14th Annual Rendezvous International for Canyoneering to be Held in Ouray, August 9 – 15, 2015. This year, the 6th annual Ouray Canyon Festival will be held in conjunction with the 14th annual Rendezvous International for Canyoneering (RIC 2015). The RIC is an international event sanctioned by the International Amateur Association of Canyoning (IAAC). The festival includes canyon trips, gear vendor displays, movies, workshops, presentations, demos, social meet and greet activities, raffles and other events.
MLS All-Star Game to Be Held in Denver. The Colorado Rapids will host the 2015 MLS All-Star Game at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City. A date for the match has not yet been announced, but the game typically takes place in late July or early August.
Jaipur Literature Festival Boulder Makes Its Debut, September 18-20, 2015. India’s Jaipur Literature Festival, the largest in the world with 250,000 attendees, will expand this year with a new U.S. festival to be held in Boulder. The free, three-day festival will be called JLF@Boulder and will include a series of talks, readings, music, writing workshops and debate.
New Food and Beverage Offerings:
Avanti Food & Beverage. Inspired by European markets and food truck roundups Avanti Food & Beverage in Denver’s Lower Highlands Neighborhood (LoHi) is a modern day food hall. Seven different restaurant concepts housed in modified shipping containers will provide guests with an eclectic mix of affordably priced, chef-inspired cuisine. Diners will be able to explore their culinary options after grabbing one of 20 draft beers, classic cocktails or affordably priced wines.
Avery Brewing Company Moves to Expanded Facility. Boulder-based Avery Brewing Company, a leader in Colorado’s craft beer scene, will move into a newly expanded $27 million facility this spring. Avery will offer free tours and tastings daily, Monday-Friday at 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.
Blackbelly Market. The recently opened Blackbelly Market in Boulder is the first restaurant by Top Chef Season Five winner Hosea Rosenberg. The menu is founded upon locally-sourced, sustainable, organic food, much of which comes from Rosenberg’s Blackbelly Farm. The bar features seasonal cocktails, local beers and a world-class wine list.
Canteen Tap House. After meeting in Breckenridge some 25 years ago, the trio behind The Canteen reconnected to offer a modern take on pub fare, The Canteen Tap House. The menu features comfort food including pan-fried chipotle shrimp, stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon, as well as house-smoked and fried half chicken or roasted red pepper bisque.
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. Tucked away underneath the restaurant is LDV Hospitality’s unique nightlife concept “Rec Room,” the perfect post dinner spot offering bottle service and signature cocktails in a wood-paneled space reminiscent of a hip 1970’s basement.
New Breweries in Fort Collins. One of the country’s craft beer Meccas, Fort Collins, Colorado recently welcomed three new breweries to its burgeoning craft beer scene:
– 1933 Brewing Co. opened in early March 2014 with five beers on tap, including amber, pale and brown ales, an oatmeal stout, and an IPA. The brewery’s name serves as a reminder of the year Prohibition ended.
– Horse & Dragon Brewing Co. debuted shortly thereafter and features hand-crafted brews from head brewer Linsey Cornish, previously of Odell Brewing Co.
– Zwei Bruder, started by two beer-loving brothers, opened in fall 2014 as FoCo’s 15th brewery. Fort Collins’ newest craft brewery offers German standards (Pils, Helle, Dunkel and Weiß) and specialty small-batch brews.
Nocture. Opening February 2015, Nocturne is a modern take on the jazz and supper clubs of the mid-20th century. Situated in an artfully restored industrial warehouse in Denver’s burgeoning RiNo Arts district, Nocturne features live jazz nightly with an artist in residence program; regular performances by nationally touring jazz artists; carefully curated wine, beer and cocktail offerings; and a one-of-a-kind seasonal culinary program anchored by an iconic jazz recordings-inspired “Renditions” tasting menu.
Ophelia’s. Opening April 2015, Ophelia’s is the latest project from Justin Cucci (Root Down and Linger). Housed in an 1894-era Victorian brownstone that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this former brothel/peep show/adult video library will soon become Ophelia’s. The three-pronged concept — bar, restaurant and live-music venue —will offer an upscale gastropub-inspired menu with fresh takes on flatbread pizzas, burgers and wings. The interior has boudoir-style decor honoring the building’s past and Ophelia, the muse.
Red Fox Cellars. Red Fox Cellars, the newest winery in Palisade, opened their tasting room to the public in fall 2014. The tasting room includes rustic features as well as a patio with views of both Mount Garfield and the Grand Mesa. Currently, Red Fox Cellars has two wine offerings with many more on the way. Fruit wine and cider will be added to their portfolio in fall 2015.
Red Maple Catering. The acclaimed chef Jason Harrison will now be available to travelers seeking a premier dining experience in Vail. Chef Harrison’s newly-launched Red Maple Catering focuses on delivering a memorable food experience at private homes and rental properties throughout the Vail Valley. Red Maple Catering serves groups from four to 150 people, and showcases the cuisine, farms, ranches and food purveyors of the Rocky Mountains, as well as the bounty of products available in the Vail Valley.
Stanley Marketplace. The popularity of food halls continues in Denver, with the late 2015 opening of Stanley Marketplace. The more than 22-acre, 100,000 sq. ft. indoor/outdoor space was once Stanley Aviation headquarters, where airplane ejector seats were engineered and manufactured. Now it is an adaptive reuse community hub, home to a park, beer hall, multiple restaurants, boutique shops and more.
St. Vrain Brewing Company. Estes Park’s first microbrewery, St. Vrain Brewing Company, is set to open in early 2015. The brewery will include a 15-barrel system, indoor tasting room and an outside patio.
Westin Hotel and Public Transit Center at Denver International Airport. In fall 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. 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.
Vail Mountain’s Preview to Epic Discovery Construction will begin this summer for Epic Discovery, a comprehensive summer activities plan at Vail Mountain. Vail Resorts will work with the U.S. Forest Service and The Nature Conservancy to bring scientific content to eco-discovery experiences including: Micro-Interpretive Centers for Education; Game Creek and Front Side Zip Line Tours; more hiking and mountain biking trails; the Family Forest Adventure Park; Forest Flyer™ Alpine Coaster; and Wildwood Observation Deck. Epic Discovery will open to the public for summer 2016.
The National Parks Service Celebrates its Centennial. 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service and its history of protecting treasured places, telling American stories and engaging communities through recreation, conservation and historic preservation programs. Home to 11 National Parks and Monuments, a series of special events and programs will take place across Colorado throughout the year as visitors and locals alike count down to the Centennial in August 2016.