Yipeee! Next year’s Travel Blog Exchange conference is in Colorado’s glorious Rocky Mountains, specifically at Keystone Resort — just a couple of hours from my mountain home. I am crazy thrilled that the travel blogging community and PR industry colleagues will gather together June 15-17, 2012, in my “backyard,” which also happens to be one of my absolute favorite places in the world.
Many Colorado transplants (like me, from the East Coast) move to the Colorado mountains in the winter for its incomparable downhill skiing opportunities, but we stay because of the absolutely incredible summers. Here’s why the Colorado Rockies — and more specifically Vail Resorts — rock in the summer months:
The weather is the best: Humidity? What’s that? At 8,000 feet in elevation (give or take, depending on what mountain town you’re in) the climate is arid and the skies are wonderfully clear. Summer temperatures are generally moderate, with cool evenings (pack a sweater).
Outdoor opportunities are endless: In the mountains it’s ridiculously easy to enjoy your favorite outdoor sport — or try a new one: mountain biking, kayaking, river rafting, fly-fishing, hiking, mountain boarding, road biking… trails and rivers are literally steps from mountain resort hotels and vacation rentals — all amid incredible snow-covered peaks, wildflower-strewn meadows and thick aspen groves.
The ski resorts transform into playgrounds: Not only can you bike and hike on trails on the ski hills, most resorts offer awesome attractions slopeside. At Keystone, you can actually go snow tubing through June; at Breckenridge (20 minutes from Keystone Resort), fly down the mountain on the alpine slide or new alpine coaster at the Peak 8 Fun Park. Other resorts have ziplines, Frisbee golf courses and Euro bungy trampolines — these aren’t just for kids!
Accommodations can be quite affordable: Condominiums are popular accommodation options at mountain resorts. I’m thinking TBEX’rs will want to gather up a bunch of like-minded friends and rent multi-bedroom condos for their stay during the conference. Same goes if you want to tack on a few days of travel before or after the event — you’ll find reasonably price condos in Vail and Breckenridge, too.
Special events & festivals scheduled throughout the season: How cool would it be if TBEX 2012 were held the same weekend as Keystone’s Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival next year? But if we can’t have bacon, TBEX’rs might be able to take in a performance of the Vail Dance Festival, shopping at the Vail Summer Market or whooping it up at the Beaver Creek Rodeo. Throughout the summer — also in Aspen, Snowmass, Steamboat Springs, Telluride and Crested Butte — weekends are filled with music, beer, art and wine festivals. (Coloradoans know how to party in the summer months.)
Of course, Colorado’s mountain resorts have plenty to offer year-round, like incredible spas; the spa at the Keystone Lodge, Park Hyatt Beaver Creek and The Arrabelle come to mind. Many mountain restaurants feature seasonal farm-to-table menus, with organic ingredients and locally raised meats, and microbrews in the mountains are excellent.
I do hope TBEX conference attendees take some time before or after the conference to explore not only the mountains, but also the state capital. I suggest flying into Denver, and take a day or two to check out its incredible museums and city parks (not to mention its great brewpubs and eateries), then hop on a Colorado Mountain Express shuttle or rent a car for the scenic drive into the mountains where outdoor adventure awaits.
See you in Colorado!