New & notable: Colorado is laying the stage for a blockbuster summer travel season |

New & notable: Colorado is laying the stage for a blockbuster summer travel season

The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park recently opened a new visitors center, and now, in addition to the 86-year-old Royal Gorge Bridge, guests can expect more thrills with the new jig-back Poma Tram, seen here, and Zip Rider Zipline.
Eve Nagode | Special to the Weekly |

New activities, events, culinary offerings and more are the buzz this summer in Colorado. Throughout the state, visitors and locals are invited to experience what’s new. From exciting new attractions such as The Broadmoor’s new luxury fishing camp and the development of Iron Mountain Hot Springs in Glenwood Springs, to the opening of numerous chef-driven restaurants and unique accommodations offerings, such as the much anticipated Art Hotel in Denver, Colorado is laying the stage for a blockbuster summer travel season.

The following is a sampling of what’s new this summer in Colorado. For more information on Colorado or for a free copy of the 2015 Official State Vacation Guide, visit


Browns Canyon becomes Colorado’s newest national monument. On Feb. 19, 2015, President Barack Obama designated Browns Canyon a national monument. Located in the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation area, Browns Canyon offers camping, mountain biking, hiking and views of Colorado’s abundant wildlife.

The Broadmoor to launch fly-fishing camp. Colorado Springs’ most celebrated resort, The Broadmoor, is developing a private fly-fishing camp complete with a beautifully restored lodge and seven historic cabins dating back to the 1880s. The Camp, which opens May 28, is located on Colorado’s Tarryall River. With more than five miles of private waters, guests can expect an exclusive fly-fishing experience complete with dining, accommodations and some of the best angling in Colorado.

The Evolution Bike Park continues to evolve in Crested Butte. This summer, Evolution Bike Park will open a new beginner trail, called Hot Dogger that will give newbies to the sport a chance to ride the lift and experience mountain biking in a non-intimidating fashion. With a wide track, easy rollers and soft berm turns, Hot Dogger is the perfect trail to get comfortable on a mountain bike.

Gore Canyon Whitewater Park at Pumphouse. New for summer 2015, this “park and play” whitewater feature will be located at the popular BLM Pumphouse recreational site on the Colorado River near the western edge of Grand County. The park will include large man-made structures placed in the river creating a variety of wave features to be used by kayakers, stand-up paddle boarders and other whitewater enthusiasts.

Iron Mountain Hot Springs to open. The Iron Mountain Hot Springs are slated to open this summer at the site of the historic Iron Springs Spa on the bank of the Colorado River in Glenwood Springs. Redevelopment plans include a family pool, smaller, naturally shaped relaxation pools, concessions and retail operations, a viewing tower, a waterfall feature and more.

The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park reopening. The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park is rolling out a brand new look for 2015. The park recently opened a new visitors center, and now, in addition to the 86-year-old Royal Gorge Bridge, guests can expect more thrills with the new jig-back Poma Tram and Zip Rider Zipline, installed during this winter season. Both attractions will travel 2,400 feet over the Royal Gorge and 1,200 feet above the Arkansas River.

The St. Regis Aspen Resort offers Rocky Mountain sailing experience. This summer, The St. Regis Aspen Resort and the Aspen Sailing School have partnered to offer a new sailing experience at 9,000 feet above sea level. High in the Rocky Mountains on Ruedi Reservoir, guests will be taught the basics of sailing aboard a 12-foot Sunfish sailboat. Guests will also be given the keys to one of the resort’s new turbo-charged Lexus NX courtesy vehicles for the scenic drive to Ruedi, and a gourmet picnic lunch is also included in the package.

Vail Golf Club is the first course in Colorado to offer golf bikes. The Vail Golf Club has taken “green transportation” to a new level after introducing the golf bike as an alternative to walking or using a cart. The Vail Golf Club is the first course in Colorado to offer the bikes to its customers. The bikes are designed to carry clubs, provide low impact transportation and increase fitness.

Zipline to open on Rabbit Ears Pass. Rabbit Ears Pass is an iconic destination for hiking, biking and sight-seeing on the Continental Divide just outside Steamboat Springs, and now it is home to the area’s newest family attraction: a state-of-the-art eight-segment zipline. Opening in June, the lines zig-zag down a mountainside on the west side of the pass, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape. A “utility vehicle” ride is included in the adventure, which lasts 2 to 3 hours.

NEW lodging offerings

The Art Hotel. A new 165-room boutique hotel in Denver is expected to open this month, showcasing a lobby with modern art and guest rooms with vibrant art and wall coverings. The Art Hotel will be across from the History Colorado Center and next to the Denver Art Museum.

A Spa Experience coming Soon From Cheyenne Mountain Resort. In mid-2015, Cheyenne Mountain Resort near Colorado Springs will unveil a brand new 5,000-square-foot resort spa. The new facility will feature six treatment rooms, manicure and pedicure stations, a private reception lobby and indoor and outdoor meditation and relaxation suites. The spa will offer guests an authentic Colorado spa experience complete with indigenous treatments and retail products.

The Little Beaver Inn. Opening in this month is the Little Beaver Inn in Green Mountain Falls, a small town located just 15 minutes west of Colorado Springs. The charmingly retro Little Beaver Inn was originally built as a motor lodge in the 1950s and will be adaptively remade into a five-room inn. Interiors feature a high-end mid-century modern aesthetic as well as modern amenities. An outdoor fire circle, al fresco dining area and full kitchen at the Inn’s parent property, The Outlook Lodge, are also available to guests.

NEW events, festivals and exhibits

Rocky Mountain National Park’s 100th Anniversary Celebration. Through Sept. 4, Rocky Mountain National Park, along with local and national communities, will be celebrating the park’s 100th anniversary. Speakers, special activities and community events are being coordinated to commemorate the centennial. Rocky Mountain National Park’s 100th Anniversary Celebration will encourage people to rediscover and reconnect with the wilderness, wildlife and wonder that have inspired and continue to inspire visitors to Rocky Mountain National Park.

USA Pro Challenge, Aug. 12-23. Colorado’s largest sporting event is back for 2015. This year’s USA Pro Challenge will feature several dramatic changes including a new overall start in Steamboat Springs, new host communities Arapahoe Basin and Copper Mountain and a challenging individual time trial course in the scenic town of Breckenridge. The event, which draws more than 1 million fans to Colorado each year, is a seven-day race featuring the best cyclists climbing across the Colorado Rockies.

Breckenridge International Festival of Arts debuts Aug. 14-23. Inspired by themes of environment and mountain culture, this 10-day festival brings together a variety of performances, installations, exhibitions, screenings, workshops, talks and surprise collaborations with an eclectic mix of music, theater, film, visual and street arts and family entertainment. Presented by Breckenridge Creative Arts, the fest will showcase the town’s recently-expanded Arts District.

MLS All-Star Game to be held in Denver. The Colorado Rapids will host this year’s MLS All-Star Game at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City. A date for the match has not yet been announced, but the game typically takes place in late July or early August.

NEW food and beverage offerings

Avanti Food & Beverage. Inspired by European markets and food truck roundups Avanti Food & Beverage in Denver’s Lower Highlands Neighborhood (LoHi) is a modern day food hall. Seven different restaurant concepts housed in modified shipping containers will provide guests with an eclectic mix of affordably priced, chef-inspired cuisine. Diners will be able to explore their culinary options after grabbing one of 20 draft beers, classic cocktails or affordably priced wines.

Avery Brewing Company moves to expanded facility. Boulder-based Avery Brewing Company will move into a newly expanded $27 million facility this spring. Avery will offer free tours and tastings daily, Monday-Friday at 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.

New breweries in Fort Collins. One of the country’s craft beer Meccas, Fort Collins, recently welcomed three new breweries to its burgeoning craft beer scene:

– 1933 Brewing Co. opened in early March 2014 with five beers on tap, including amber, pale and brown ales, an oatmeal stout and an IPA. The brewery’s name serves as a reminder of the year Prohibition ended.

– Horse & Dragon Brewing Co. debuted shortly thereafter and features hand-crafted brews from head brewer Linsey Cornish, previously of Odell Brewing Co.

– Zwei Bruder, started by two beer-loving brothers, opened in fall 2014 as FoCo’s 15th brewery. Fort Collins’ newest craft brewery offers German standards (Pils, Helle, Dunkel and Weiss) and specialty small-batch brews.

Nocturne. Nocturne, which opened in February, is a modern take on the jazz and supper clubs of the mid-20th century. Situated in an artfully restored industrial warehouse in Denver’s burgeoning RiNo Arts district, Nocturne features live jazz nightly with an artist in residence program; regular performances by nationally touring jazz artists; carefully curated wine, beer and cocktail offerings; and a one-of-a-kind seasonal culinary program anchored by an iconic jazz recordings-inspired “Renditions” tasting menu.

Red Fox Cellars. Red Fox Cellars, the newest winery in Palisade, opened their tasting room to the public this past fall. The tasting room includes rustic features as well as a patio with views of both Mount Garfield and the Grand Mesa. Currently, Red Fox Cellars has two wine offerings with many more on the way. Fruit wine and cider will be added to their portfolio this fall.

Red Maple Catering. The acclaimed chef Jason Harrison will now be available to travelers seeking a premier dining experience in Vail. Chef Harrison’s newly-launched Red Maple Catering focuses on delivering a memorable food experience at private homes and rental properties throughout the Vail Valley. Red Maple Catering serves groups from four to 150 people, and showcases the cuisine, farms, ranches and food purveyors of the Rocky Mountains, as well as the bounty of products available in the Vail Valley.

Stanley Marketplace. The popularity of food halls continues in Denver, with the opening of Stanley Marketplace. The more than 22-acre, 100,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor space was once Stanley Aviation headquarters, where airplane ejector seats were engineered and manufactured. Now, it is an adaptive reuse community hub, home to a park, beer hall, multiple restaurants, boutique shops and more.

St. Vrain Brewing Company. Estes Park’s first craft brewery, St. Vrain Brewing Company, is set to open in early 2015. The brewery will include a 15-barrel system, indoor tasting room and an outside patio.

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