We get it. Hosting a corporate retreat in Colorado during peak ski season would be a dream. Who wouldn’t want to play in one of the world’s most picturesque winter wonderlands in between team building sessions and management culture presentations? But peak season (typically December through March) is crowded, expensive and full of distractions.
For many venues, the most in-demand time for weddings is peak summer, typically June to September. As most ski resorts are open from mid-November to mid-April, this leaves May and October as the best times to seek out discounts and deals on spaces for a corporate event.
Orchestrating an event in a stunning Colorado mountain resort town like Aspen, The Vail Valley, or Breckenridge during the off-season can be advantageous for your company in many ways. Here are some of our top reasons why the shoulder season is a wonderful time to host an event in the mountains.
1. Reduced Prices on Venues, Vendors, Hotels and More
Many venues are already reduced during late spring and through the fall season. However, just because these times are less popular doesn’t mean that there’s no demand or that you’ll get an extra discount just for booking during this period. It never hurts to inquire about off-season discounts, but just make sure you do it politely and do your research before negotiating a fair price.
Of course, look beyond the venue itself for additional bargains. Your photographer or videographer will likely have fewer bookings and might offer a special rate if you ask. Don’t hesitate to negotiate with those who might otherwise be out of your budget. Also, many hotels advertise reservation specials during the shoulder season. It’s even possible to find airfare deals to Colorado, as there’s likely to be many more people booking flights to Denver International Airport in mid-February than, say, late October.
2. An Abundance of Fall and Spring Outdoor Activities
By hosting a corporate event during one of the shoulder seasons, you’ll have the opportunity to expose your clients to new adventures like spring-time hikes in Summit County, paddleboarding along one of the many Colorado rivers, or rock climbing at Rifle Mountain Park in Rifle. Fall is an ideal time to mountain bike and see the vibrant autumn colors that turn the valley into a sea of red, orange and yellow. And for a bit of relaxation, head to a local winery for a day of sipping and sampling in the cool mountain breeze.
If you can’t shake your skier’s itch, plan your dates around Arapahoe Basin’s late spring schedule. A-Basin, located in Summit County, tops out at over 13,000 feet above sea level and is typically open through June and offers some incredible late-season skiing. Springtime is exactly how it sounds: warm and slushy! Locals and visitors alike love trekking out to A-Basin on a warmer day and cruising the slopes in a T-shirt or tank top.
3. Have Your Pick of Food and Beverage Options
During off-season, local restaurants in most mountain resort towns offer significant discounts. The bill at fine-dining establishments can be up to 50 percent off, and some places, like Breckenridge, offer a Spring Dining Passport.
The shoulder season is also an opportunity to incorporate creative food and drink selections into the event itself. Take inspiration from the area’s many Oktoberfest celebrations held in the fall by hosting a German-themed affair, complete with an array of craft beers to taste, or create a locally-sourced spring menu featuring in-season fruits and vegetables, like rhubarb and asparagus.
4. More Personalized Attention From Event Planners and Hotel Staff Members
During the busiest weeks of the year, the staff at popular venues are pushed to their limits and worn thin, often running multiple simultaneous events. This can make it difficult to get those little extras you forgot to mention in your initial booking, not to mention schedule change at the last minute. During the off-season the hotel concierge will have those few extra moments to tell you about the best deals in town, if you play your cards right, and those helpful staff members can easily upgrade your trip from expected to truly memorable.
You should always expect personalized service from your event coordinators and hotel staff, but during shoulder season it’s easier for them to bump you up to the executive suite, or lend you audio-visual equipment you weren’t expecting to need during an awards dinner for the top brass at your company.
5. Fewer Crowds When You Opt for the Very Beginning or End of the Ski Season
Still plan to hold your event during the ski season? Consider booking it for either early or late season and you’ll likely enjoy some of the same perks discussed.
Additionally, ski passes are typically more affordable during these times and many mountain resorts host pre and post-season kickoff bashes, like Vail’s annual Snow Daze in December and Spring Back to Vail in April. The warmer weather also enables you to pack less, which saves on airline baggage fees. Also don’t forget: lift lines are shorter and there are fewer people trying to get a table during apres ski.
Here at Pink Monkey Solutions, we strive to create a spectacular affair that fulfills your company needs, no matter what the season. We see fall and springtime here in the Rocky Mountains as an opportunity to design and produce an event sure to exceed your attendees expectations. To talk more with us about how holding an event during non-peak times in Colorado can be beneficial for you and your company, give us a call or shoot as an email.