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Providing a Unique Colorado Experience for Attendees

Q&A with Victoria Lewis, National Sales Manager, Visit Aurora

With easy access to the Rockies and a short drive from the Denver International Airport, Aurora, CO, is a great option for meetings. Boasting over 10,000 guestrooms, 200+ ethnic restaurants, and endless outdoor opportunities, planners will have no problem creating a unique attendee experience. Victoria Lewis, the National Sales Manager with Visit Aurora walks us through the latest developments in her destination and how working with Visit Aurora will ensure meeting planners will save time and find the perfect fit for their next meeting or event.

What makes Aurora a great meeting destination? 

Victoria: Aurora is a great destination to bring your next meeting to because no matter the time of year, there is always a unique Colorado experience for groups to enjoy!

A warm spring day is my favorite time to head over to the Southlands shopping center where you can host lunch events in their plaza with live entertainment. There are lots of fun shops to explore like “The Local” which sells different items ranging from teas and honey to clothes and blankets all made by Colorado vendors.

Summer is a great time to do group events at the Aurora Reservoir where anyone can rent the kayaks and standup paddleboards. Holding an event at Stanley Marketplace in the fall is a beautiful opportunity to showcase an amazing venue that is truly a staple of the Aurora community. Stanley Marketplace has floor-to-ceiling hangar doors that open up to an outdoor patio off the event space. Our indoor venues, such as Wings Over the Rockies, are a perfect option for groups to spend the day learning about the history of aviation or even attending a gala on a sunny winter’s day.

What is the one thing planners are always surprised to learn about the Aurora area?

Victoria: Our city has some pretty incredible business owners who have really embraced the Colorado lifestyle and have built their entire business model around it. For example, Jubilee Roasting Co., Aurora’s local coffee roaster and café, offers tasting classes and even tours around their facility. What planners don’t realize is that Aurora has so many unique experiences for groups of all different sizes.

What might we find you enjoying in the destination on your day off? 

Victoria: I’m originally from California and thought hiking in San Diego was amazing, that was until I discovered Colorado’s beautiful trails! I love that the mountains are so close and I can take a quick drive to explore some amazing hikes in the Rocky Mountains. When I’m not hiking or kayaking at the reservoir, you can probably find me at Dry Dock Brewing Company in Aurora. There’s always new seasonal beers to try and they offer brewery tours on Saturdays. The owners of Dry Dock are so fun and personable, and they really enjoy getting to know their customers.

What advice would you give to a planner who hasn’t worked with a CVB before?

Victoria: Working with a CVB opens a wide variety of options that are off the beaten path but are hot spots for our local community. We take a local’s approach to help create the right experiences for both you and your attendees. Working with our team at Visit Aurora will form memorable experiences that will have your attendees excited to come back year after year. We have the resources to connect you personally with some of our largest properties like Marriott, Hilton, and Gaylord as well as our unique offsite venues. We’re passionate about Aurora and are truly the experts when it comes to our city. Not to mention our services are free!

What do you see trending in the meeting’s market? How is your CVB proactively addressing this trend or staying current?

Victoria: I see more and more people looking to have a unique Colorado experience that they can’t find anywhere else. They’re looking for the “behind the scenes” tour and going to local hubs. Visit Aurora is continuing to build relationships with our community partners that make our destination unique. Places like Jubilee Roasting Company, Fox Theater, and any of our amazing ethnic eateries are where clients and groups can experience the authentic culture of Aurora.

How does a planner benefit from consulting with you prior to sending out their RFP?

Victoria: By chatting with us before submitting an RFP, we’ll be able to narrow down which of our 60 properties is the best fit for you. As a local, I stay connected with neighborhood developments, new restaurants, trendy bars, and other places that I know visitors will love. We’ll also provide additional resources and information to help you get the most out of your RFP.

What’s the latest news, developments, or events in your destination you’d like to share with planners?

Victoria: If you haven’t heard by now, Aurora will be home to the brand-new Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center, opening at the end of 2018! We’re working directly with the Gaylord Rockies sales team to expand bookings and build connections. In addition to the 1,500 room resort and convention center, the Gaylord Rockies Village will be home to future entertainment venues as well as dining and retail offerings. Although construction of the Gaylord Rockies Village will take time, it means visitors will be able to enjoy something new for years to come!

What differentiates your destination from your competitive set?

Victoria: Aurora is the Gateway to the Rockies making it an ideal location for business and leisure travelers alike. We’re situated next to Denver International Airport where many of our properties are just a short drive or train ride away. Aside from our hotels and accessible transportation, Aurora is booming with cultural arts and has over 200 ethnic eateries, perfect for trying something new. Our proximity to everything makes it easy to take on adrenaline-pumping day trips like rock climbing, hiking, or hitting the slopes. Aurora, once an overlooked suburb of Denver, is now a thriving community that’s blossomed into something completely new. Aurora offers the perfect Colorado experience for any traveler.

Plan your next meeting in Aurora, CO. Learn more here.