Recognizing that modern road warriors
hop from city to city on their normal
business travel, meeting planners are
heading to the hills to inspire, motivate
and grab the attention of attendees.
Great things are done when men and mountains meet.” So said the 18th- century poet William Blake, and 21st-century planners seem to be paying attention as they turn to mountain resorts as attractive alternatives to the concrete canyons of city center. Mountain resort communities such as Telluride, Vail, Colorado Springs, Park City, Breckenridge and Charlevoix strip away the noise and jostle of a city center and replace it with space, tranquility, immediate connectivity to
nature and wilderness, focus, innovation and, dare we say, fun.
Steve Kinsley (MPI Rocky Mountain Chapter), president of Littleton, Colo.-based Kinsley Meetings, does multiple mountain meetings each year, including 100- to 500-person events and an
annual meeting for a ;inancial services client where attendance soars to 900. For this larger program, he goes to the Keystone resort. His reasoning?
“It’s a no-brainer,” Kinsley says. “It’s a beautiful setting. You’ve got everything from ;ly-;ishing
to golf to mountain biking, horseback riding and whitewater rafting. There’s so much to do in the
And in many mountain locations, everything—from meals to meetings, mountain access,
accommodations, activities and ground transportation from airports—can be charged to the mas-
For Kinsley, the mountains present “an opportunity to awe people with the natural beauty as
well as great service and good food and beverage. It’s inspiring and people want to be inspired.
They want to go to a place that is going to present them with an opportunity to learn and grow, but
in a beautiful setting. I can go to a ballroom anywhere. But where can I go to a ballroom that’s in the
middle of a mountain?”
While mountain resorts compete size-wise with many city-center properties (for example, The
Broadmoor in Colorado Springs has 779 guest rooms and 185,000 square feet of meeting space),
BY ALLAN LYNCH