colorado convention center

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I recently attended a meeting at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver (see my site report on the Hyatt Regency, where I stayed). As far as convention centers go, this one had a fair amount of character – with a big blue bear to boot!

Convention centers can be ugly monsters. They are built to be utilitarian and flexible, not necessarily pretty. But the Colorado Convention Center seemed modern (almost too modern with some of the abstract sculptures displayed) and functional.

It was also one of the easier convention centers to get around – the signage was clear, they had digital readerboards with a ‘you are here’ button on a map, and the greeters were actually friendly (in my experience, convention center staff greeters are usually not friendly).

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The food from the in-house caterer was decent for convention center food made on a mass scale. One standout meal was the plated lunch on the second day of the conference. The roasted chicken was one of the best banquet pieces of chicken I’ve ever had – it was perfectly done, moist and had a nice flavor. Well done!

The one part of the convention center I explored that was a little odd was the 200 wing. The decor was a bit more dated in these rooms. Perhaps it was an older wing?

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Otherwise, I thought the Colorado Convention Center was a pleasant, mostly modern facility that was practical and functional for large meetings.

And if you’re curious about the big blue bear, which is a sculpture called “I See What You Mean,” you can read about the backstory here .

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hyatt regency denver at colorado convention center

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I recently spent a few days at the Hyatt Regency Denver as part of the PCMA Education Conference (which was a blast, by the way). The hotel is located next to the Colorado Convention Center, which was where the conference sessions were. It’s also well-situated in the downtown area, only a block away from a pedestrian mall with plenty of shops and restaurants, plus others nearby (I recommend Snarf’s for a quick bite, which was recommended to me by one of the hotel’s valets). The light rail is a block away, which takes you around the city.

The Hyatt is a huge hotel and does a lot of meeting and group business, owing to its proximity to the convention center. There are 30-something floors, necessitating two different elevator banks (think of it as the ‘local’ and the ‘express’).

I’m a Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum member (which is their middle tier, don’t get too jealous) and it’s always nice to be thanked for my loyalty. I didn’t make my reservation myself but asked for it to be tied to my account at check in, and the already-friendly front desk agent was even friendlier. The rooms do not come standard with refrigerators, but I asked for one and they said it would be no charge (normally $20 a day) because of my loyalty – which is nice.

The sleeping rooms…

I found my room to be very comfortable. There wasn’t anything particularly special (no TV in the bathroom!) but it met my needs. One feature that I liked was the large desk space, plus a roll-out additional table, which was perfect for eating my takeout lunch from Snarf’s. I also appreciated that the TV was on a swivel.

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The bathroom was small but adequate. I do love how Hyatt provides toothpaste in addition to shampoo, conditioner and lotion.

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My only complaints about the room were the lack of outlets – there were none (that I could find) near the desk. I ended up unplugging a floor lamp so I could charge my laptop and my phone at the same time. I really should just start traveling with a travel surge protector.

The meeting space…

I didn’t get as much perspective on the meeting space as I usually do since most of the sessions were are the nearby convention center, but I did get a peak at some of the spaces. There was a huge conference of high school athletic associations on property while I was there – meaning every other person  you ran into looked like a coach, no joke – but I did get a few peaks at the space.  I did like that the pre-function space was plentiful and open, and there were tons of floor to ceiling windows, which let in a lot of natural light. It’s also easy to find, as almost all of the meeting space is located on the third and fourth floors, which are accessible by an escalator from the lobby. It’s great that it’s so easy to find and you don’t have to walk for what feels like miles, but if your group is concerned with privacy, this might be a concern.

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The amenities…

The Hyatt features a 24 hour fitness center (which I actually tried out – twice!) that has plenty of cardio machines, weights, and space for yoga mats and exercise balls. There is also an indoor pool, right off of the fitness center. There’s a spa, which I unfortunately did not get to investigate.

Overall…

The Hyatt Denver is a very nice property in a great location. It feels like it’s geared toward business travelers, although I did see some families there. I found the service to be top-notch, although, the hotel was aware I was there for the PCMA conference, which is a giant group of meeting planners that I”m sure they want to impress. I would be back if I have a reason to visit Denver again.

Have you been to the Hyatt Regency Denver? What did you think? Do you have any other recommendations hotels in the Denver area?

Check back later this week for my site report on the Colorado Convention Center!