2020 is a big year for Colorado Springs, with several new and returning attractions set to open
Where can groups find outdoor recreation, ancient culture, Western and mining history and Olympic glory? Colorado Springs. Located less than 70 miles south of Denver, Colorado Springs is home to some of the most famous attractions in the country, including Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain, Garden of the Gods Park, the U.S. Air Force Academy and the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park. Clearly, there’s a lot that group tours can add to their itineraries, but even more is joining the ranks in the next couple years. In 2020, new and returning attractions will start to open, giving groups even more to experience when they visit Colorado Springs.
Things to Do in Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs is known as Olympic City USA. And for good reason. It’s home to the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee and the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. And soon it will welcome a new Olympic sports-oriented attraction, the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum, which will open in spring 2020. The 60,000-square-foot museum honors the competitors, events, and history of the Olympic and Paralympic Games through artifacts, media and technology. Groups can view the scoreboard from the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” from the Lake Placid Olympic Fieldhouse or check out torches and medals from past Games. Groups visiting Colorado Springs should not miss this latest attraction.
For over 60 years, Flying W Ranch was a popular spot in Colorado Springs for visitors to enjoy horseback riding and Chuckwagon dinners. In June 2012, the Waldo Canyon Fire destroyed the historic ranch. A nonprofit foundation was born from the tragedy to restore the old ranch. This Memorial Day Weekend, the Flying W Ranch Chuckwagon Dinner & Western Show will return with a new set of guest experiences. Groups will be transported back to the Old West as they dine on savory Chuckwagon barbecue and listen to the tunes of the Flying W Wranglers music group in a new performance venue.
An icon of the Colorado Springs backdrop, Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain has been attracting people for decades. It offers elite hiking trails, fishing lakes, and a historic highway that leads to the top. In fall 2020, the new Pikes Peak Summit Complex will offer guests an upgraded way to discover the mountain. The 38,000-square-foot building will include a newly designed and constructed Visitor Center providing 360-degree views of the area, as well as interactive displays highlighting the history and geology of Pikes Peak. There will also be outdoor exhibits lining the elevated pathway, which also serves as a way to protect the summit’s fragile tundra.
Visitors to Colorado Springs know that one of the most memorable ways to reach the top of Pikes Peak is via The Broadmoor Pikes Peak Cog Railway. In fall 2017, after 126 years of operation, the railway closed to focus on maintenance. Now, the world’s highest Cog Railway will re-open in May 2021. The refreshed railway will feature a brand-new track and new train cars that will safely transport visitors up the mountain, offering unparalleled views and an unforgettable Pikes Peak experience.
Where to Eat in Colorado Springs
Groups can fuel their day of adventure at a range of Colorado Springs restaurants, from high-end establishments to casual cafés. Cut into plates of the finest steaks and fresh seafood at MacKenzie’s Chop House or enjoy savory plates of Rocky Mountain Trout or Grilled Wapiti Elk Chop at The Cliff House at Pikes Peak. For something a little more laid back, groups can head to Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano, Red Gravy or Paravicini’s for house-made pastas, soups, and salads; or munch on platters of Bison Poppers and Venison Eggrolls, then sip local craft beer at Colorado Mountain Brewery. For something completely different, try The Airplane Restaurant, where groups can eat inside a fully intact Boeing KC-97 tanker.
Where to Stay in Colorado Springs
After a long day, there’s nothing better than kicking up your feet and relaxing in a cozy room. Colorado Springs has a range of places where groups can rest their heads and prepare for the next day’s adventures. No matter what kind of accommodations groups are looking for—from bed & breakfasts (do B&B’s make sense for this market?) and hotels to campgrounds and vacation rentals—there is something for every lodging need and budget in Colorado Springs.
Getting to Colorado Springs
Thanks to its prime location directly off I-25 and proximity to Denver, Colorado Springs is easily accessible from most parts of the country. The Colorado Springs Airport is 20 minutes from downtown and is serviced by five airlines with non-stop flights to several major hubs and connecting flights to hundreds of other destinations. Denver International Airport is a one-and-a-half-hour drive from Colorado Springs, allowing groups to fly directly to Denver and rent a car or catch a shuttle south for their visit.
Colorado Springs has always been a draw for all kinds of groups, from outdoor enthusiasts to history buffs to sports fans. And with new attractions coming in 2020, there is even more to admire about this Colorado gem.