Colorado's New Developments Heat Up The Summer Season

New hotels, attractions, craft distilleries, restaurants, special events and more highlight summer 2013 in Colorado

Apr 09, 2013, 14:14 ET from Colorado Tourism Office

DENVER, April 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Exciting new developments are taking shape in Colorado this summer.  From an all-inclusive luxury cabin resort and a new hiking trail that was formerly an off-limits area for nearly a quarter of a century, to two new craft distilleries and a highly anticipated new European-inspired artisanal market in Denver, Colorado is buzzing with news from around the state.  Highlights are below.

Food and Beverage

  • The Source, a highly curated European-style artisan food market and retail space in Denver's River North (RiNo) district, opens in July 2013. The Source, housed in an iconic 1880s ironworks building, will boast specialty shops such as Proper Pour, a liquor store offering private wine lockers; Mondo Food, a gourmet cheese/spice shop; Babettes, a French bakery by renowned Boulderite Steve Scott; Crooked Stave, a craft brewery and tap room; a tasting room from Hotchkiss-based craft distillery CapRock; a roastery and a coffee shop from Boxcar Coffee Roasters; Comida, a cantina specializing in Mexican street food; and Acorn, sister-restaurant to Boulder's acclaimed Oak at Fourteenth. Other offerings include a whole-animal butchery with a meat counter and a general store.
  • Woody Creek Distillers has opened a 10,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art distillery and tasting room in Basalt. Woody Creek Distillers is hand-picked, hand-crafted, and hand-bottled, making it the first and only craft distillery in the country with total control over every element of production "from seed to sip." The distillery also grows its own alpine potatoes and sources mountain spring water to produce its ultra-premium American spirits completely grown, distilled and bottled in the Aspen Valley. In addition to its two vodka offerings, the distillery will release four specialty spirits in 2013 including Baby Bourbon, Gin, Apple Brandy and Pear Eau de Vie.
  • Two Guns Distillery opens in Leadville this spring. The distillery is an homage to Leadville and its long heritage of whiskey making by whatever means necessary, harkening back to the days of prohibition. Two Guns' spirits include Wild West Whiskey, Single Six Rocky Mountain Moonshine, and B.A. Dallas Black Label Whiskey.
  • El Moro Spirits & Tavern is slated to open June 2013 in Durango's historic downtown. El Moro will be led by executive chef Sean Clark, an expert at pairing fine foods and craft beers, Clark seeks to create a farm-to-table restaurant, working with regional farmers and creating new dishes even daily, celebrating what is fresh and in season. The restaurant's beverage program will feature a variety of craft beers, an extensive wine list, and premium craft spirits.
  • The Chautauqua Dining Hall in Boulder re-opens this summer following an extensive overhaul. The 115-year-old building remains the same, with its famous wrap-around porch offering spectacular views of the Flatirons. A lovingly renovated interior features hardwood floors, two stone fireplaces and a lounge. The menu has been redesigned and offers options for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Ark Valley Libation Society. The craft wine, beer, and spirit makers in Colorado's Lake and Chafee Counties have created a marketing collective to educate, advocate and promote the responsible enjoyment of craft beer, wine and spirits in the Upper Arkansas River Valley, which boasts the highest per-capita density of craft-beverage makers in the country.  The group is creating a passport program offering discounts ranging from 10 to 15 percent at participating producers. 
  • Ute Pass Brewing Co. opens in Woodland Park in April. This 3,180-square-foot brewery is the third to open in Woodland Park, joining BierWerks and Paradox Beer Company. Ute Pass Brewing also features other area brews from Bristol Brewing Company, Prost Brewing Co. out of Denver, Boulder Beer and Paradox.  The brewery expects to serve four to six of its own beers and will offer a menu featuring tamacos, a cross between tamales and tacos.
  • Denver International Airport News. With new rail service to downtown opening in 2016, DIA is undergoing many changes to help it better reflect the Mile High City – including adding a new Elway's restaurant (owned by legendary Bronco quarterback John Elway), a new iconic Tattered Cover bookstore, and local farm-to-table favorite Root Down coming this spring. 

Attractions and Activities

  • The Manitou Springs Incline, a popular hiking trail set in an old railway bed, officially opened in February. The Incline, one of the most unique and challenging trails in the country, was formerly off limits to the public. Still, it is estimated that the trail had been climbed illegally as many as 350,000 times each year by hikers, runners, Olympic athletes, cyclists, military personnel and others. Gaining about 2,000 feet elevation over just one mile, the Incline, which was formerly a railway to transport material for an old water line, is famous for dishing out a tough workout.
  • Bent's Old Fort Living History Encampment. Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site is offering a chance to go back in time. From June 5-9, 2013, the National Park Service at Bent's Old Fort will offer an instructional Living History Encampment, featuring a weekend of immersion in the 1840s living and working at this reconstructed trading post on Colorado's Eastern Plains. Participants prepare with classroom sessions before moving into the Fort for a weekend of living history, taking on the roles of traders, trappers, laborers, craftsmen and soldiers. Cost for this five-day, three-night event is $300 and includes instruction, equipment, and food and accommodations at the Fort.
  • Staunton State Park. Colorado's newest State Park opens to the public on May 18, 2013. The park is located 40 miles southwest of Denver in Pine and ranges in elevation from 8,100 to 10,240 feet and features an exceptional cross-section of native Colorado ecosystems, from pine woodlands and lush grassy meadows to rolling hills, jagged mountain formations and aspen forests.
  • Vail Mountain Adventure Ridge Update. Vail Mountain, the largest ski resort in the U.S., continues its 50th Anniversary celebration this summer with new summer activities at Adventure Ridge. Highlights include a four-line, 1,200-foot long zip line, two aerial challenge courses, a large climbing wall and "summer tubing" on the same hill used for snow tubing. The new additions are expected to debut in mid-summer.
  • The Rocky Mountain Nature Association offers new options for 2013. New spring and summer classes include a Grand Lake Safari, "Thirteen Creatures You've Never Seen," "White Water Rafting and Eco-Adventure," "Secret Places in Rocky Mountain National Park," and a service learning opportunity with "Planting in the Park." Classes start at $10 per person.
  • Colorado Scenic Byways in Southwest Colorado are teaming up to offer kid-healthy family vacations showcasing kid-healthy menus and outdoor recreation itineraries. Health-conscious families looking for ways to explore nature-based travel in Colorado can now explore five scenic and historic byways – Highway of Legends, Gold Belt Tour, West Elk Loop, Santa Fe Trail, and Los Caminos Antiguos. Highlights include family-friendly lodging, kid-healthy restaurants, age-appropriate outdoor activities for every season and more.
  • The High Lonesome Zip Line debuts on May 26 at Devil's Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa in Tabernash. Mixing adventure, historical overviews and adrenaline pumping fun, the attraction features five zip lines, ranging from 370 to 1,600 feet in length, reaching speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. The full tour includes awe-inspiring views and short hiking journeys that include stories and overviews of the ranch's Western and Nordic history. A full tour is $90 per person (minimum of three riders) and one zip line tour is $35 per person (minimum of five riders).
  • Snow Mountain Ranch at the YMCA of the Rockies in Winter Park will debut five new yurts in June 2013, bringing the total number of yurts to 12The new yurts offer one queen bed and two sets of bunk beds, accommodating up to six people, microwave, mini fridge, prep table, picnic table, outdoor grill, and fire ring. All yurts offer electricity and complimentary Wi-Fi and are available year-round. Rates start at $89 per night.
  • The Royal Gorge Route Railroad now offers private cab rides in its new locomotive. Two passengers can be accommodated, seated right beside the train engineer, where they'll experience an amazing vantage point to view the Royal Gorge on its route to Parkdale.  Prices for private cab rides are $150 for one person or $250 for two people in the same party.
  • Active at Altitude in Estes Park offers new outdoor training classes in 2013, led by experienced coaches and guest athletes. New classes include Women's Running Camps, Trail Running Camps, a Triathlon Training Camp, Endurance Training Camp, led by extreme athlete Dane Rauschenberg, and Squash High Performance Training Camps. Active at Altitude rates vary depending on the length of the class, level of instruction and number of rooms needed.
  • Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs is expanding its cave tours in May 2013. The Historic Fairy Caves Tour includes sections of the cave that have never been open to the public, with a stop at Exclamation Point overlooking the Roaring Fork Valley. The Kings Row Tour takes guests down into Iron Mountain on lighted walkways into the most highly decorated cave room in Colorado. Each tour lasts approximately 50 minutes. The cost is $25 for adults, $20 for children, and includes a scenic tram ride and both tours. 
  • Gunnison Skatepark, a new 12,000-square-foot skatepark, has made its debut at Jorgensen Park. Built by world-class skatepark builder Team Pain, it includes a unique street course with natural stone obstacles, plenty of hips and two flawlessly finished bowls. In addition to skateboarders, those on rollerblades, scooters, and BMX bikes are welcome. 
  • Woodward at Copper announces a massive renovation project, which includes innovative focus on progression and an expansion of indoor and on-mountain offerings for all action sports. The Woodward at Copper Barn, a 19,400 square foot facility, will receive a major revamp and a new progressive foam pit designed for development of beginner park skills has been added. Renovations also include two new viewing areas giving spectators an up-close peek at the action.
  • Dinosaur Diamond Scenic Tour is a new all-inclusive, four day/five night excursion that takes visitors through 480 miles of scenic beauty in Western Colorado and Eastern Utah.  Features on the tour include guided hikes viewing ancient Petroglyphs at the Dinosaur National Monument, horseback riding, rafting and more. Tour includes five nights lodging, meals, and excursion fees. Tour is offered June 23-27; July 28-August 1; August 25-29; and September 22-26. June, July, and August tours are $1,500 per person (double occupancy) and the September tour is  $1,750 per person (double occupancy). 

Hotel and Accommodations

  • The Ranch at Emerald Valley.  The Ranch at Emerald Valley is a new intimate retreat offering refined rustic luxury inspired by the charm of a wilderness enclave. Encircling more than 100,000 acres of Pike National Forest, the all-inclusive haven features 10 cabins, each lovingly designed in mountain cabin style, featuring elegantly appointed rooms with wood burning fireplaces. The ranch opens August 1, 2013 and will be open seasonally, May through October. Rates start at $435 per person, double occupancy not including taxes/gratuities.
  • The Vail Cascade is launching a signature outdoor summer guest program, which offers guests an assortment of complimentary experiences including Dive-In Movie Nights every Friday and Saturday at the hotel's heated infinity-edge swimming pool (floaties included) and Stargazing and S'mores around the outdoor fire pit every Friday and Saturday night.
  • The Stanley Hotel and The Lodge at the Stanley have undergone major renovations. The Cascades restaurant now features an antique Whiskey Bar constructed around 1909. The bar offers approximately 250 different wine labels, along with the largest whiskey collection in the state. Additionally, The Lodge at the Stanley (formerly the Manor House) has undergone a complete renovation and now operates as a bed and breakfast. The Lodge at the Stanley has 40 rooms, and stays include a classic homemade Continental breakfast and afternoon tea.
  • The Delaware Hotel in Leadville offers new guided narrated tours starting this summer, including The Pauper's Field at Evergreen Cemetery, a driving tour of the area's historic mining district, a walking tour of the saloons of Leadville, a Victorian architecture tour, and a walking tour of Leadville's infamous brawls and murders. There will also be a narrated two-hour stagecoach ride through town and a tour of the 1886 Victorian Hotel. Fees vary. 
  • Boulder Hampton Inn & Suites opens this summer, marking the first new hotel opening in Boulder in eight years. Located near some of town's best free attractions including the Celestial Seasonings factory tour and the Boulder Creek Winery, the Boulder Hampton Inn & Suites features 100 rooms (30 suites), conference room, boardroom, pool, and workout facility. In keeping with Boulder's environmental efforts, the hotel, at just three stories high, is no taller than the city's cottonwood trees.

New Events and Festivals

  • Jefferson's Bible: The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth is at the History Colorado Center from March 22May 27, 2013. The exhibit, which comes to Denver through a partnership with the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, offers a remarkable look into Jefferson's religious philosophy and an up close and personal look at an extraordinary piece of American history.
  • National Cattledog Association 2013 Final is taking place June 12-16, 2013 in Steamboat Springs. Dog handlers from across the country will gather to compete in the first annual National Cattledog Association Finals, and spectators will watch the dogs in action as they herd 800-pound animals through a series of obstacles. Everyone can enjoy crafts booths, BBQ and refreshments.
  • The Solheim Cup is taking place August 13-18, 2013. This biennial, trans-Atlantic team match-play competition features the best U.S.-born players from the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour and the best European members from the Ladies European Tour (LET). The U.S. Team leads the competition, 8-3 and look to defend their win and extend their winning streak to four.
  • Telluride WOW, billed as the Ultimate Health and Wellness Festival, debuts September 19-22, 2013 in Telluride. The festival is a weekend of fresh, exciting, and healthy fitness activities, bringing together world-class presenters on the latest health, fitness, wellness, nutrition, and medical trends.
  • Vail Living Well Summit (Sept. 19-21, 2013) is an inaugural event that brings together top level doctors, researchers, athletes, along with health-conscious individuals and influencers using evidence-based interactive and experiential programming for maximum takeaway for both attendees and presenters. Topics include fitness, nutrition, cognitive and emotional well-being, heart health, preventive medicine, longevity and stress, sleep health, and more.

Colorado is a four-season destination offering unparalleled adventure and recreational pursuits, a thriving arts scene, a rich cultural heritage, flavorful cuisine, and 25 renowned ski areas and resorts. The state's breathtaking scenic landscape boasts natural hot springs, the headwaters of seven major rivers, many peaceful lakes and reservoirs, 13 national parks and monuments, and 58 mountain peaks that top 14,000 feet. For more information or a copy of the 2013 Colorado Official State Vacation Guide, visit or call 1-800-COLORADO. Media are invited to visit the Colorado Media Room at for story ideas, press releases, a high-resolution image library, the official Colorado press kit and more.  


Roland Alonzi / 646-442-6765,

Carly Holbrook / 720-289-9366,

SOURCE Colorado Tourism Office