Colorado will “Shine a Little Brighter” this winter season with new offerings to enhance the visitor experience. Guests will be welcomed with exciting travel offerings both on and off the slopes from major terrain expansions, new lifts and on-mountain enhancements at the state’s 28 ski areas and resorts to an elevated dining experience with the much-anticipated welcome of the MICHELIN Guide Colorado. Immersive arts and cultural experiences like Thomas Dambo’s new troll sculpture in Victor and the 25th anniversary of the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek to the celebration of snow with exciting new off-mountain adventures including hut trips, winter at night and snow-filled events will surprise and delight. Travelers can unwind after a day of adventuring with new craft beverage experiences, relax with a variety of wellness offerings at the state’s hot springs resorts, spas and retreats followed by snow-filled dreams in an array of new accommodations.
Visitors to the state are encouraged to “Do Colorado Right” and embrace the state’s interpretation of responsible tourism. Following is a sampling of what’s new this winter in Colorado. For more information and travel ideas, visit www.COLORADO.com.
Colorado’s Major 23/24 Ski Resort News:
The winter 23/24 season welcomes exciting news from Colorado’s 28 ski areas and resorts. This winter, Aspen Snowmass will unveil a new high-speed quad chairlift and major terrain expansion on Aspen Mountain, increasing skiable acreage by more than 20% on the resort’s flagship mountain. With 1,220 vertical feet and more than 150 acres of new chutes, glades and trails, this expansion will be Aspen Mountain’s first significant addition since 1985. This winter, Steamboat will complete the largest redevelopment in resort history, a 3 year, $220+ million dollar project. The final phase transforms the on-mountain experience with an additional 655 acres of expert terrain (bringing Steamboat from 5th to 2nd largest ski resort in Colorado) and the installation of the upper section of the Wild Blue Gondola, the fastest and longest 10-person gondola in North America. For the first time ever this winter, skiers and riders at Keystone will have lift-served access to more than 550 acres of high alpine terrain in Bergman and Erickson Bowls through the addition of a new high-speed 6-passenger chairlift, the Bergman Express. Copper Mountain welcomes a new lodge, the Aerie located at the top of the American Eagle lift. The Aerie will consist of a 25,000-square-foot, two-story building and the gondola will unload on the second-floor deck offering Copper’s first full-service on-mountain restaurant. Breckenridge continues the transformation of the Peak 8 base area with the upgrade of 5-Chair to a new, high-speed quad that will debut for the 23/24 winter season as the FIVE SuperChair. Winter Park Resort unveils key improvements this winter season including a new high-speed, 6-person chair lift in the Vasquez Ridge area, a brand new 60-Minute Pro Tip lesson concept, a new Early Up add-on to access the mountain 30 minutes early, the new Sundog Tap Room and four new on-mountain pop-up dining options and more. Amtrak has announced the Winter Park Express, Denver to Winter Park, will resume this January with three day weekend runs and additional charters available. Wolf Creek Ski Area is installing a new beginner chairlift, The Tumbler. And while Colorado is known for its big name resorts, Colorado Ski Country offers a GEMS Card that provides discounts and savings at 11 of Colorado’s smaller and mom and pop ski areas across the state.
New Winter Lodging Offerings:
Sweet dreams are sure to be had after a day of winter adventuring with several unique and boutique lodging offerings. With an expected opening in fall 2023, Trailborn Rocky Mountains and sister-property - Trailborn Rocky Mountain Outpost - will be the newest boutique hotel to open in Estes Park, the basecamp to adventures in Rocky Mountain National Park. Populus, the first carbon positive hotel in the country, plans to open in Denver’s Civic Center Park in spring 2024. The Hotel Melrose is Grand Junction’s first modern boutique hotel opening in late 2023 in a 1908 building offering 16 elegant suites and a speakeasy bar, The Melrose Spirit Co. MOLLIE Aspen is a new, 68-room boutique hotel that will open in late 2023 in the heart of Aspen. The Western Hotel & Spa is an iconic Old West property located in the historic district of Ouray that has been restored and opened in summer 2023 with select modern, luxe touches, and their Nordic Grotto Spa will open in winter 23/24. The Carlin opened in summer 2023 in Breckenridge featuring four luxury hotel suites on the top floor, an open kitchen restaurant on the main floor and a subterranean tavern. Canyons of the Ancients Guest Ranch unveiled their new Sky Village project in summer 2023 including Star Tower and Sky Kiva guest houses inspired by nearby Hovenweep National Monument. The Chamonix Casino Hotel will open in winter 23/24 and will bring a new level of European elegance and comfort to Cripple Creek. The historic Victorian-inspired Delaware Hotel in downtown Leadville will unveil major renovations in fall 2023 offering two new restaurants including Mineral 1886, a grand lobby lounge with a stage for live music and a new elevator. The Bauhaus-inspired Aspen Meadows Resort will debut an extensive room renovation and a redesigned arrival experience, including restaurant and bar, just in time for the 23/24 ski season. The Gant Aspen will commemorate its 50th anniversary this winter with a special package, celebrations and more. The Westin Denver Downtown completed a property-wide, multimillion-dollar renovation in August 2023. Known as the largest combined resort and convention center in Colorado, Gaylord Rockies in Aurora is re-concepting three of its existing restaurants, launching a new dining experience, remodeling the Grand Lodge and increasing function space with a new event pavilion with staggered openings throughout 2024.
New Apres Adventure Eats and Craft Libations - MICHELIN Comes to Colorado:
MICHELIN Guide is expanding to the Centennial State as Colorado becomes the guide's eighth destination in North America. The first edition of the MICHELIN Guide Colorado recently awarded five One-MICHELIN-Star restaurants including Beckon (Denver), Bosq (Aspen), Brutø (Denver), Frasca Food and Wine (Boulder) and Wolf’s Tailor (Denver). In addition, Colorado received thirty MICHELIN Recommended restaurants, four Green Star restaurants and nine Bib Gourmand designations. Chefs and craft beverage makers across the state are turning out exciting NEW flavors and concepts, perfect for imbibing. StarChefs Rising Star 2022 Winners Ni and Anna Nguyen opened the highly-anticipated sắp sửa in Denver in June 2023 as a culinary memoir to first generation Vietnamese Americans. Opening fall 2023 and helmed by Chef Kenneth Wan, an alum of famed restaurants like Momofuku, MAKfam reimagines traditional family-inspired Chinese recipes through a modern perspective in Denver. Fuel & Iron Food Hall, an incubator food hall in the historic Holmes Hardware Building, recently opened in Pueblo, featuring six local, independent restaurants and a robust central bar. The recently opened Dune Valley Distillery in the San Luis Valley utilizes the valley’s vast potato crop as the basis for local spirits while running entirely on renewable biogas technology. Celebrated Grand Junction restaurant, Bin 707 is relocating and expanding. The team is also launching a new Grand Junction dining destination– Jojo's Dinette & Superette. Breckenridge’s The Carlin unveiled two upscale dining concepts in the building including The Restaurant whose menu revolves around the wood burning oven and centerpiece raw bar and the Tavern Underground that offers small plates and a cocktail bar. Fort Collins’ first pizza speakeasy, Speak Cheesy Lounge recently opened. Emerald Eye is a new elevated cocktail bar inspired by the Caribbean circa 1955 that opened on Denver’s Larimer Square. The Rick Thomas Distillery is a new family-owned and operated distillery rooted in Scottish tradition in Black Hawk’s new Artisan’s Point development that consists of 22 acres of space for distillers, craft brewers, and entrepreneurs to create and innovate.
Hot Springs Are Hot This Winter:
The Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop recently expanded adding more destination partners to this loop that showcases the state’s premier hot springs destinations via self-guided itineraries to explore 23 unique hot springs soaking experiences. Colorado also has exciting hot springs news for this winter season. NEW as of July 2023, UPRIVER is a 21+ section of Iron Mountain Hot Springs in Glenwood Springs, adding 10 new pools for a total of 32 pools for guests to enjoy. Guests can relax in two large Confluence Pools, take a dip in the Cold Plunge pool and enjoy drinks at the new Sandbar Cafe. The Durango Hot Springs Resort & Spa expansion continues with the addition of five private cedar Ofuro tubs and NEW hot spring pools, making a grand total of 40 water features, including 32 hot springs mineral pools, two cold plunge pools, a water tower, and 25-meter swimming pool in the newly renovated resort. The East End Expansion Project at Glenwood Hot Springs Resort is expected to be complete in 2024 and will add a NEW swimming area with five additional pools featuring varying water temperatures and a shade pergola and hearth. In addition, the area around the mother spring, named the Yampah Spring by Ute Native Americans, will be landscaped and the mineral water drinking spring reopened. Twin Peaks Lodge and Hot Springs in Ouray is celebrating the newly renovated Mineshaft Restaurant, nine different hot springs to choose from and a NEW underground vapor cave.
Arts and culture is an immersive experience in Colorado, and there are several new winter offerings to ignite the senses. Denmark sculptor Thomas Dambo now has two of his world-renowned giant wooden troll sculptures in Colorado: “Isak Heartstone” located on the Trollstigen Trail in Breckenridge, and NEW in late 2023, “Rita the Rock Planter” on the Little Grouse Mountain Trail near Victor. The Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek celebrates its 25th anniversary this winter season as one of the top performing arts centers in the American West offering acclaimed performances throughout the winter season. The Snowmass paleontological site is the richest Ice Age ecosystem ever found at high altitude, and NEW for the winter season, Snowmass is bringing the Snowmass Ice Age Discovery story to residents and visitors in new ways including three new murals, viewfinders on the Rim Trail and a storybook walk on the Sleigh Ride Trail. NEW this fall to Denver’s 16th Street Mall is the Museum of Illusions offering an intriguing visual, sensory and educational experience with illusions ranging from tried-and-true classics to the never-before seen. The NEW Art Spot Silverthorne Makerspace is a creative hub that offers art-focused classes, programs, events and retail in Silverthorne. Visit five mountain town opera houses built between 1878 and 1913 along the NEW Historic Opera Houses Circuit, and enjoy their tours, live music, theater, festivals and more. History Colorado's NEW “Winter Warriors: The 10th Mountain Division in World War II” exhibit opens November 11, 2023 and follows the US Army's first winter warfare Division from training at Camp Hale, Colorado’s newest National Monument, in the Colorado Rockies through its crucial breakthrough against the German Army in the mountains of Italy.
Colorado For All:
Colorado strives to be a truly welcoming destination and offers experiences and access opportunities for everyone. NEW, the inaugural First Peoples Festival will take place in Estes Park January 13-14, 2024 celebrating Indigenous culture, art, music, language, oral traditions and more. Learn about the Indigenous connection to the Estes Valley and Rocky Mountain National Park, and take part in cultural demonstrations and workshops. Girls rule winter in Colorado with ski areas across the state offering tailored programming to provide women skiers and riders the opportunity to take part in a welcoming, supportive and fun learning environment on the snow. Moxie Mountain Guides is a NEW girl powered guiding service in Ouray that strives to elevate those from marginalized communities so they can experience adventures such as ice climbing, skiing, ski mountaineering, rock climbing, and alpine climbing with pay what you should programming. Aspen and Telluride roll out some of the liveliest gay ski weeks in the country. Several ski areas across the state also offer adaptive sports programming including the Crested Butte Adaptive Sports Center and The National Sports Center for the Disabled based out of Winter Park Resort. Colorado is the place where kids become lifelong skiers and snowboarders with unparalleled learning programs and terrain and offerings like Keystone Resort’s Kids Ski Free program and Purgatory’s FREE Power Kids season pass for kids 12 and under. History Colorado has a number of ongoing series to deepen appreciation for the diverse history of Colorado, including its critically acclaimed podcast, a speaker series on how women change history, and programs highlighting the achievements of Black Coloradans.
Winter Hut and Yurt Experiences:
Colorado is home to one of the most extensive backcountry hut systems in North America, with more than 30 huts across 350 miles of U.S. Forest Service trails called the 10th Mountain Division Huts. Ski or snowshoe from hut to hut in the European tradition or set up camp in a single location for a more relaxing getaway. NEW this winter, Colorado-based guiding service, Mountain Trip's new hut-to-hut ski touring adventure pays homage to the renowned Haute Route of the European Alps, linking the iconic mountain towns of Ouray and Silverton, and two exceptional huts: the Opus Hut and Thelma Hut. NEW this winter, Campfire Ranch Wash Gulch in Crested Butte is a backcountry hut that sleeps 15 complete with bedding, running water, flushing toilets, a full kitchen and a wood-fired sauna. Campfire Ranch is also the new operator of Thelma Hut on Red Mountain Pass offering new winter enhancements to the full service hut experience. Other full service huts include the luxe Red Mountain Alpine Lodge on Red Mountain Pass and the Opus Hut near Silverton. In addition to the 10th Mountain Division Huts system, there is also the San Juan Hut System in southwestern Colorado, Summit Huts offers five easily accessible huts near Breckenridge and Copper Mountain and the Hinsdale Haute Route is Colorado’s highest altitude hut system offering two year-round yurts near Lake City. Other unique hut/yurt experiences include the Broome Hut (part of the Grand Huts Association) on Berthoud Pass, Pass Creek Yurt near Pagosa Springs and the High Camp Hut on Lizard Head Pass near Telluride. The Colorado Hut Yurt Alliance is a statewide organization for owners of huts and yurts to promote their offerings.
Offbeat Snowventures and Events:
There has been an emergence of off-beat and dynamic winter events and adventures for visitors to enjoy Colorado's snowy terrain, both on and off the slopes including new mountain coasters, curling, fat biking, new Via Ferrata offerings across the state, winter Jeeping, heliskiing, dog sledding, winter fly-fishing, snow kiting and more. The NEW “Breckebeiner” 2024 USA Triathlon Winter Triathlon National Championships, a run-bike-cross-country ski race, will take place February 23-24, 2024 in Breckenridge. Also in Breck, Ullr Fest celebrates 60 seasons of snowy tradition December 7-9, 2023. The Cloud City Wheelers will host the NEW 2024 Fat Bike Worlds January 26-28, 2024 in Leadville. The Lake City Ice Park recently expanded and now has three ice climbing areas, Dynamite Shack (soft opening last winter), the Beer Garden, and the original Pumphouse Park, with more than 75 routes between the parks, mixed grades WI3 and up. Downtown Colorado Springs is home to the NEW Lemon Lodge Ski Bar featuring Colorado’s only ski and snowboard simulator outside of professional training facilities that includes one-on-one coaching as well as apres libations and lodge food.
In Colorado, wellness is not just a trend. Historians estimate that as many as one-third of Colorado’s early settlers moved to the state for reasons associated with health. Several historic Colorado destinations and landmarks such as The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs and the Colorado Chautauqua in Boulder were originally founded, and are still sought after, as places for wellness retreats and individual healing. Three Forks Ranch, located on the Colorado/Wyoming border, is the newest addition to the Colorado Dude and Guest Ranch Association and just launched a NEW state-of-the-art spa, fitness and wellness facility staffed by a team of Mayo Clinic trained and certified wellness coaches…a perfect complement to the ranch’s private cat skiing and guided winter activities. NEW Malibu’s The Ranch comes to Colorado September 3-October 27, 2023 where guests can experience The Ranch Malibu’s award-winning, transformational structured wellness program at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch. Near Crested Butte, The Taylor River Lodge offers immersive wellness retreats throughout the winter. The Lodge’s eight individual cabins set the scene for a deeply restorative wellness retreat that includes river plunges, daily adventure activities, climate-based spa treatments, mindful culinary experiences and more. Hyatt Centric Downtown Denver is offering a NEW Skier's Recovery Lounge, the perfect post-vacation reset, which includes an assortment of recovery equipment including Theraguns, compression boots, topical CBD from local makers, in-room acupuncture, eucalyptus aromatherapy and a stocked vitamin bar. True Nature Healing Arts in Carbondale is a sanctuary for inspiration, connection and self-discovery offering a therapeutic spa, organic cafe, conscious gift boutique, full schedule of classes, workshops, events, retreats, a bio-dynamic peace garden and more.
Colorado Adventures After Dark:
The fun doesn’t stop after the sun sets in Colorado. Across the state, guests can experience incredible stargazing opportunities as different constellations come into view as well as unique winter adventures by moonlight. Colorado is home to 15 International Dark-Sky Association designations, including 10 Dark-Sky Parks. Keystone, Granby Ranch and Steamboat all offer night skiing on various runs. Copper Mountain hosts free full-moon snowshoe excursions through the area’s forest to see the Earth’s natural satellite rise above the valley. During Ullr Nights at Snowmass, guests can board the gondola to Elk Camp for night time adventures like tubing, riding the alpine coaster, snowbiking and indulging in s'mores and hot chocolate by the bonfire. Beaver Creek Village’s ice-skating rink and surrounding fire pits offer a cozy place for hot cocoa, and ice bike rentals are also available. Snowshoe or cross-country ski to the Tennessee Pass Cookhouse outside of Leadville and enjoy an intimate, candlelit four-course dinner of classic Colorado cuisine. Similarly, Magic Meadows Yurt, a backcountry yurt outside of Crested Butte, provides a truly magical setting for moonlight snowshoe and cross-country ski dinners. Beano’s Cabin offers sleigh ride dinners up through Beaver Creek's iconic aspen groves to an exquisite gourmet dinner. Alpino Vino, one of the highest elevation restaurants in North America is a quaint European chalet on the Telluride Ski Resort that offers a prix fixe Northern Italian dinner accessible via a snow coach. Aspen’s legendary restaurant, the Pine Creek Cookhouse, is nestled at the base of the Elk Mountains and is accessible via cross-country skis, snowshoes or horse drawn sleigh. Arapahoe Basin's annual Moonlight Dinner Series highlights cuisines from mountain regions of the world and are held at the Black Mountain Lodge at mid-mountain accessible by riding the Black Mountain Express Lift.