Ouray Colo. will not appeal to all meeting planners. It’s not glitzy.There are no humongous ballrooms for mega-plenary sessions, or honeycombs of bland break-out rooms.
Non-glitz has its rewards, in this case. In Ouray, Mother Nature is the star attraction, providing the WOW factor that affects nearly all visitors. It provides an ambiance in stark contrast to super convention hotel settings, and works excellently for certain types of meetings. Meeting planners frequently comment on how this setting combined with the relaxed nature of the town affects the productivity of the meetings.
The awesome scenery and the different pace are rejuvenating.
Ample facilities, services and commercial district are suited well to meetings, conferences, and other groups are in place because tourism, with a focus on recreation and nature, is the major industry. Ouray is a tiny, picturesque Victorian village nestled into a valley surrounded by rugged alpine peaks rising from the very edges of the town. Meeting planners seeking a change of pace from the usual, run- of-the-mill meetings at prices that don’t break the travel/meetings budget will find Ouray a breath of very fresh air.
...something different—an experience factor...
Meeting facilities can accommodate up to 200 with modern facilities and technology, with spaces available for smaller, more intimate meetings,. There are 300-500 lodging units, depending on the season, as well as condos. Unlike other low-key mountain towns, Ouray provides an unusual array of commerce, with the compact five-block Main Street housing over 50 shops and restaurants. An ample list of caterers and other suppliers, destination managers, and entertainers is available.
The setting provides considerable extracurricular opportunities in both winter and summer, which can be worked into meeting schedules or for pre or post meeting planning.
Mountain sports reign in Ouray CO--mostly free.
In winter there is ice climbing at the world famous Ouray Ice Park (lessons available for individuals or small groups). Back country snow shoe and groomed Nordic cross-country skiing are available nearby up in the mountains. Major league downhill skiing is available in Telluride, with shuttle service from Ouray available.
In summer, hiking is paramount in and around Ouray. Trails can be accessed within steps of most lodging facilities. Jeep roads created from old mining trails of yesteryear make easy, but adventurous, access to more hiking, mountain climbing, wildflowers, and waterfalls (including two major waterfalls right in town).
An immense year-round municipal natural hot springs pool provides lap swimming as well as a hot tub and two other pools of varying temperature. It lacks the sulfur odor so common in most hot springs, and, is considerably more affordable than the privately owned large hot springs in other mountain towns. Several lodging facilities also have hot springs.
There are spa treatments, jeeps to rent, or jeep tours to take, fishing and high altitude golfing nearby, art galleries and boutiques to browse, entertainment in restaurants, an active cultural calendar, and several major events each year. “Team building” professionals and facilities are available to include in your agenda, as well as guides for group back country hiking trips.