— Keystone, Colo.

  • The snow was splatting against the windshield of the van as we came out of the tunnel at the top of Loveland Pass on our way to the Keystone Resort and Convention Center. Then, just for a moment, the clouds lifted and a shaft of sunlight bounced off the peaks of the Continental Divide as if they were made of diamonds. Those Colorado moments must be one of the reasons groups keep coming back to Keystone — but meeting planners from Boston Scientific, who were holding a 350-person meeting while I was in town, tell me it's just one of many.

There's so much to like about the center, which has more than 100,000 square feet of meeting, exhibit, and function space, including three ballrooms and 50 flexible meeting rooms. The facility's original 16,000-square-foot Colorado Rockies Ballroom, the 4,000-square-foot Castle Peaks meeting rooms, and unbelievable roundtable ballroom with panoramic mountain views are joined by the new 20,000-square-foot Columbine Ballroom, which has in-floor T-1 communication lines.

One very cool thing about meeting at Keystone is that, because the center is run by Vail Resorts, which also runs pretty much everything else in town, you really can get one-stop shopping. Guests at any of the Vail-managed properties receive an Adventure Passport, which includes things like free aprés-ski yoga, hockey clinics, ice skating, complimentary child care, and ski/snowboard mini lessons.