olorado is buzzing with new offerings and enhancements this year. Lodging, museum, attraction, ski and food news are just some of the state’s exciting new developments, from the debut of a new luxury “glamping” resort to expanded skiable terrain. A roundup of what’s new for Colorado visitors for 2013 and beyond is below.
NEW AND UPDATED LODGING
- Cresto Ranch, an intimate “glamping” resort, will make its debut in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains in summer 2013. Located in the pristine West Fork Valley, Cresto Ranch will have eight luxury canvas safari-style tents: four facing the San Juan Mountains and four facing the Delores River. The well-appointed interiors will include heated wood floors, hot stoves, stylish bathrooms, and more. The restored farmhouse, which houses the restaurant, bar, screening room and other common areas, will be the center of Cresto Ranch. All-inclusive rates starting at $1,400 per night including lodging, meals, activities, and entertainment. In addition, guests will have access to the Dunton Hot Springs resort, just five minutes from Cresto Ranch. Cresto Ranch will be open from May through October.
- Outlook Lodge, which opened November 1, 2012, is a handsome, six-room retreat, located in the tiny mountain town of Green Mountain Falls near Colorado Springs, Colorado. Originally constructed in 1889, the Outlook Lodge has been re-imagined as a private, individualized escape, providing all the necessary comforts while maintaining rustic simplicity. Prices range from $89 to $239 per night, and accommodations can sleep up to six.
- Hotel Jerome reopened its doors in December 2012 following a multi-million-dollar renovation. All 94 rooms have been completely redesigned to showcase the hotel’s grandeur with nods to the building’s history, such as cashmere curtains, burnished leather bed frames and cubist carpet. A new Auberge Spa and a movement room for yoga are also part of the enhancements.
- The new Broome Hut on Berthoud Pass opened January 1, 2013, as the first of at least five backcountry huts that will connect to Grand Lake. The 1,800-square-foot, 16-bunk Broome Hut will play host to day-use and overnight hikers, cross-country skiers and students. The Grand Huts Association has worked to become the most technologically-advanced hut in the state, with a solar power system, pellet stoves created from beetle kill trees, compost toilet system and rainwater collection for water consumption. At an elevation of 11,322 feet, the hut will receive an average of 500 inches of snowfall per year and will offer avalanche education programs.
- Estes Park’s lakeside Aspen Lodge will debut a new luxury spa in 2013 to complement recent renovations to 12 restored and remodeled mountain resort cabins.
- Six Colorado dude ranches have been named “Equitrekking Top 20 Ranches,” including Drowsy Water Ranch, Home Ranch, C Lazy U Ranch, Wilderness Trails Ranch, Tarryall River Ranch, and Black Mountain Ranch.
- The Chipeta Solar Springs Resort celebrated its 20th anniversary by introducing its brand new solar heated outdoor pools and soaking tubs. The Chipeta’s 30,000-gallon swimming pool and its new 20-person soaking pool are the first pools in Southwest Colorado to have 100 percent solar heating capability. The chlorine pools have been converted to light salt water, which eliminates odor and harshness.
ATTRACTIONS, ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS
- The $13.5 million Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s Encounter Africa exhibit has been in the works for three years and will be complete in the summer of 2013. Highlights include a beautiful new plaza area featuring a traditional African tent and four full-size African elephant sculptures, as well as an amphitheater that will allow guests to see elephant training, enrichment and husbandry. A new exhibit for the critically endangered black rhinoceros will feature mud wallows, a shallow pool, and a bush airplane cantilevered from the top of the exhibit, in addition to a new exhibit for the African lion pride.
- History Colorado’s new “Denver A to Z: Adrenaline to Zombies and (almost) Everything In Between,” exhibit helps visitors discover the heart, the art, the whimsy and the energy of Denver’s people, places and spirit. The lighthearted and interactive exhibit opened on Nov. 17, 2012 in the Honnen Family Gallery at the History Colorado Center.
- The American Numismatic Association debuts the “Kids Zone,” an interactive exhibit designed to teach children about money. Through fun activities, children can pick up basic and advanced concepts – from how to make change to understanding monetary systems. The exhibits teach children about history, geography, trade, art, world cultures and more.
- United Airlines will offer daily nonstop service between Denver International Airport and Tokyo Narita International Airport. Starting March 31, 2013, United will operate the service to Japan with state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
- For the first time, Breckenridge Resort will offer First Tracks Packages to the general public. Valid with a three-night stay at Breckenridge Dec. 16-20, 2013 at The Village at Breckenridge, The Village Hotel, Mountain Thunder Lodge, Crystal Peak Lodge, One Ski Hill Place, or DoubleTree by Hilton Breckenridge. The first 250 people to book will have access to the mountain a full hour before it is open to the public.
- RockyMountainHikingTrails.com is a new comprehensive site with detailed information for more than 70 hiking trails in Rocky Mountain National Park. Trails are categorized by location, trail features and difficulty rating.
- Infinite Monkey Theorem, an urban winery, recently debuted a stylish new winery located in the up-and-coming River North district. The new Infinite Monkey Theorem headquarters features extensive production space (including canning line and barrel room), soon-to-launch taproom, special event space and rooftop terrace.
- Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa and the culinary team from 8100 Mountainside Bar & Grill are launching weekly, complimentary, teen focused cooking classes inspiring teens to trade texting for chopping. Classes will include themes such as basic knife skills, gourmet pizza making, sushi rolling, cold weather “mocktails” and lessons on how to make barista style coffees at home.
- Kids can get in on the foodie fun with the poolside Sugar Shack at Four Seasons Resort Vail, a teen après program, and in-room cotton candy makers and popcorn poppers. Offered daily from 3-5 p.m. by the heated outdoor pool, The Sugar Shack is a new service for guests at the resort.
- Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa is taking its commitment to environmental sustainability to the next level with the debut of the first ever ranch resort and restaurant in the nation to raise its own 100 percent purebred Wagyu cattle.
- The Source, an indoor European market, will be unveiled in the summer of 2013 in a 26,000-square-foot building in Denver’s River North neighborhood. Local cheese, bread, coffee, beer and more, including Caprock’s newest bar and tasting room, will be housed in a 1880s ironworks building.
- The Little Nell’s Montagna Restaurant reopened as Element 47 – silver on the periodic table – on Thanksgiving Day 2012 with a new contemporary design, concept and menu. The name references Aspen’s rich history as a former silver mining town.
- Elk Camp Restaurant, located on Snowmass Ski Area, will replace Café Suzanne and be located adjacent to the top of the Elk Camp Gondola. The $15 million dollar project will feature a restaurant with seating for up to 300 guests and include summer and evening event space. This LEED-certified project will implement advanced heating systems with other green materials to beat local energy codes by an estimated 30 percent.
- St. Regis Aspen Resort has partnered with FOOD & WINE Magazine to debut Chefs Club, an innovative new restaurant concept that opened in June 2012 in conjunction with the annual Aspen FOOD & WINE Classic. Chefs Club will select a bi-annually rotating group of FOOD & WINE’s Best New Chefs to curate a unique menu of seasonally inspired, American Regional cuisine for The St. Regis Aspen Resort. Chefs George Mendes, James Lewis, Alex Seidel and Sue Zemanick created the restaurant’s inaugural menu.
Colorado is a four-season destination offering unparalleled adventure and recreational pursuits, a thriving arts scene, a rich cultural heritage, flavorful cuisine, and 25 renowned ski areas and resorts. The state’s breathtaking scenic landscape boasts natural hot springs, the headwaters of seven major rivers, many peaceful lakes and reservoirs, 10 national parks and monuments, and 58 mountain peaks that top 14,000 feet. For more information, visit www.COLORADO.com or call 1-800-COLORADO.
"On the Road" is a compilation of destination ideas, resort reviews, videos and more gathered from a variety of sources that includes our readers.
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