As editor of Colorado Meetings + Events, I’m fortunate to attend a variety of grand openings. Most recently, it has been for two significant projects: a $600 million development at the base of Snowmass ski area in Snowmass, Colorado and $100 million dollar transformation of The Oasis at Death Valley located in California’s Death Valley National Park. Groups are already benefitting from these noteworthy investments and well-done projects.
The newest section of Snowmass Base Village, a partnership of Colorado-based East West Partners and Aspen Skiing Company, officially debuted with a community grand opening celebration on Dec. 15. The focus was on the new Limelight Hotel Snowmass and a public plaza featuring an ice rink surrounded by warming fire pits, a five-story climbing wall, and ski-in, ski-out luxury residences. Also new at the base village is the Four Mountain Sports retail store, The Collective Snowmass and restaurants including The Limelight Lounge, The Crepe Shack by Mawa’s Kitchen, and CODough Bar by Sweet Coloradough.
A slopeside Bud Light Hi-Fi Concert featuring Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe and local opening band, Garland, kicked off the celebration followed by a grand opening ceremony that featured local luminaries, a professional climb-off on the climbing wall, performances by Olympic ice skater Paul Wylie and local skate clubs, local DJ Naka G, food samples, free photo booth, and a fireworks show.
Colorado-based Xanterra Travel Collection gathered a group of journalists, tour operators and VIPs in November 2018 to unveil improvements at The Oasis at Death Valley, which includes Inn at Death Valley, Ranch at Death Valley and Furnace Creek Golf Course at Death Valley.
Originally built in 1927, the mission-style inn features 66 updated rooms, a renovated fine-dining restaurant and cocktail lounge, the new Tranquility Spa, verandas, gardens and a spring-fed pool bordered by a new café and cabanas. Twenty-two, private one-bedroom casitas have been added along with Mission Gardens, a prime location for outdoor events. Just down the road, the inn’s family-friendly sister property, Ranch at Death Valley, underwent a transformation of its own with the addition of a mission-style town square, complete with a courtyard featuring a welcoming reception area. Another new addition is a central hub for entertainment and socialization featuring a retail store, ice cream counter and Western saloon.
Located next to the Ranch, the 18-hole Furnace Creek Golf Course at Death Valley (the world’s lowest golf course at -214 feet) also underwent a massive renovation that primarily focused on water conservation and the transition of 15 acres of maintained turf to desert with low-water-use native plantings. Non-chlorinated water from the two properties’ two spring-fed pools is used to water landscaping and the golf course.