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Outdoor Teambuilding Ideas for Groups in Colorado
Jeep tours in Snowmass. Courtesy: Snowmass Tourism
Getting groups outdoors? It’s no secret that Colorado is made for this. In just about any of its locales, planners will find plenty of infrastructure to put on top-notch, smooth-running indoor meetings—but adventure awaits on the other side of the doors.
Outside, there’s no shortage of teambuilding opportunities, from sunset trail rides on horseback to downtown scavenger hunts to wow-worthy Jeep tours. Below, we highlight popular outdoor activities in Aurora, Denver and Snowmass, and explore what else is new in Colorful Colorado for planners.
For groups looking to get outdoors in Aurora, located immediately east of Denver, there might be no better venues than the Aurora Reservoir and Cherry Creek State Park.
The former features sparkling white sand beaches, while the latter has miles of trails for hiking, biking and wildlife viewing. The Aurora Reservoir is also ideal for hosting events outside, as it offers pavilions that can be rented for any type of gathering.
Cherry Creek State Park also hosts 12 Mile Stables, a horseback riding outfitter than can organize anything from sunset and dinner rides to two-hour rides just around the property.
“We’ve worked with them in the past and we’ve created these really cool, extravagant Western-themed destination get-to-know-yous, and they’ve been wonderful,” said Mallory Feeney, marketing manager for Visit Aurora. “All of the horses are incredibly tame, and they go over dozens of miles of trails inside Cherry Creek State Park. Although it is in the city, it really does feel tucked away with those mountain views.”
In the winter, both the reservoir and the park can accommodate cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. For something more downhill, nearby ski resorts (from an hour to two hours away) include Winter Park Resort, Loveland Ski Area and Red Mountain.
Along with its robust offerings of indoor meeting spaces, including a state-of-the-art convention center, Denver has plenty to offer outdoors, too. And although attendees can add on to their stays by booking trips from Denver up into the mountains, outdoor activities in Colorado’s capital city can impress at a lower elevation, too.
Vikki Kelly, director of destination services and events for Visit Denver, said a popular outdoor teambuilding activity for groups visiting Denver is an Amazing Race-type scavenger hunt, where attendees can explore the downtown area and perform certain tasks like puzzles or trivia and take photos of their accomplishments.
“You can turn the downtown area into a board game and use your smartphones,” Kelly said. “Those are always fun and easy to execute—it’s doable for a lot of groups.”
Planners can also work with outfitters to plan popular Denver sporting activities such as whitewater rafting, rocking climbing, biking and fly fishing.
“It’s a huge positive for us and definitely a selling point,” Kelly said of Denver’s outdoor appeal.
What else is new in the Mile-High City? An expansion to the airport will bring 39 new gates and more flights, while an expansion to the Colorado Convention Center will bring an 80,000-square-foot ballroom with extensive prefunction space and an outdoor rooftop terrace with views of the city skyline and nearby Rocky Mountains.
In Snowmass, it’s all too easy to work the outdoors into a program—95% of its lodging on the mountain is ski-in/ski-out (or hike-in/hike-out).
In the winter, Snowmass wows with its ski terrain and 14,000-foot peaks; while in the summer, biking and hiking trails are unbeatable. In 2020, Snowmass and the rest of the Roaring Fork Valley were recognized by the International Mountain Bicycling Association as one of the top destinations for mountain biking in the world.
“Planners love to bring their groups to Snowmass Village because of our variety of terrain,” said Margot Ellis, national sales manager for Snowmass Tourism. “Organizers are able to save on transportation as Snowmass features more than 3,000 acres, with terrain for every ability level, from beginner to expert.”
For non-skiers/boarders, attendees can snow mobile with the T-Lazy-7 Ranch for incredible views of the famous Maroon Bells peaks or take a dog-sledding tour at Krabloonik, then cozy up by the fire afterward at its lodge.
In the summer months, groups can take advantage of Aspen Ski Company’s Lost Forest, which offers a ropes course, zip-lining tours, Frisbee golf and rock climbing. Or planners can work with Blazing Adventures to set up such group activities as rafting, hiking, biking, scavenger hunts and Jeep tours.
“Their group sales department can spice up any adventure with unique add-ons to give each trip an extra wow factor, such as pairing any trip with a unique offsite meal or beer tasting with one of our local brew masters or distillery reps,” Ellis said.
This spring, Snowmass, located just six miles from Aspen Pitkin County Airport, will break ground on Electric Pass Lodge, comprising 53 two- and three-bedroom, ski-in/ski-out residences that are 100% powered by renewable energy.
Visit Aurora | 720.484.8902
Visit Denver | 303.892.1505
Snowmass Tourism | 970.923.2000