The Mayor

Featured Festival: Hot Cars & Cool Nights, June 4, 2016

Loveland, Colorado is a great place for a car show. After all, downtown is a bit of a throwback, which works perfectly as a setting for retro cars (pre-1976), terrific tunes, cold beer and pin-up girls.

Downtown Loveland during Hot Cars Cool Nights. HeidiTown.com

We made it to the first annual Hot Cars Cool Nights last year and had lots of fun checking out the cars. Eventually we parked ourselves on the patio at Mo’Betta Gumbo, ate po’boys and watched the crowds go by.

That’s what’s great about Hot Cars Cool Nights, you can simply take your time and enjoy the experience of being in downtown Loveland.

Hot Car Cool Nights, Featured Festival HeidiTown.com

The main event at this festival is the car show. I’m not sure how many cars were shown last year, but this year they’ve capped the amount of cars allowed at 300.

In 2015, I saw lots of different types of vehicles including traditional hot rods and some interesting custom rides.I’m a sucker for the old cars like the 1955 Chevy Bel Air, which make me think of road trips and drive-ins.

In addition to the car show there’s a Pin-Up Contest, because a car show just isn’t complete without a few pretty girls strutting their stuff. Contestants are encouraged to dress up in vintage clothes and wear retro hairstyles.

Hot Cars Cool Nights pinup girls

Photo provided by Visit Loveland.

And of course there’s live, rockabilly music, food and a beer garden featuring local craft beers.

Hot Cars Cool Nights Atomic Drifters band shot

Photo courtesy of Visit Loveland.

New this year is the Rockin’ Downtown Beer Tour. It’s just $5 to participate in this walking tour of local breweries from 6 to 9 p.m. on the evening of the festival.

This event is family-friendly and there will be activities for the kids. In fact, they will even be allowed to vote for their favorite car in the Children’s People’s Choice Award. Grown ups get to vote for the People’s Choice Award.

Falcon at Hot Cars Cool nights in Loveland, Colorado. HeidiTown.com

Whether you come for the cars, the girls or the beer, it’s sure to be a good time at Hot Cars Cool Nights in Loveland, Colorado.

This event is produced by The Forge, a longstanding and nationally recognized Loveland custom restoration shop.

Hot Cars Cool Nights

June 4, 2016

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Downtown Loveland

West 4th Street & N. Railroad Avenue

FREE ADMISSION

To learn more, register your car or sign up for the pin-up contest visit:

www.HotCarsCoolNights.com

Join this festival on Facebook

pinup poses inside a retro car at Hot Cars Cool Nights. HeidiTown.com

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Featured Festival spots on HeidiTown.com are paid advertisements. Interested in having your festival or event considered for a feature? EmailTheMayor@HeidiTown.com.

 

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Girlfriend getaway in the Colorado Rocky Mountains

I get asked year round for advice on where to go on a girlfriend getaway in Colorado and I usually respond with, “It depends.” It depends on the type of women in your party; is your group filled with outdoor enthusiasts or would they rather shop till they drop? Or perhaps they want to do a bit of both?

Grand County Colorado. Girls Getway in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. HeidiTown.com

On a back road in Grand County, Colorado.

Here are some of my suggestions for a Colorado girls getaway this summer that will make everyone happy and provide beautiful backdrops for adorable selfies.

Shopping girls trip

Steamboat Springs is one of my favorite mountain shopping towns. With a variety of shops and galleries and F.M. Light & Sons, one of the West’s most famous western wear boutiques, shopping in Steamboat is a real Colorado kind of affair.

Girlfriend Getaway in the Colorado Rocky Mountains - Steamboat Springs

Flower box on the Yampa River Bridge in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

If all that shopping makes you thirsty and hungry, check out Laundry Kitchen & Cocktails for the perfect happy hour. Continue reading

Featured Festival: Front Range Rally, May 28, 2016

Coloradans have lots of choices when it comes to beer festivals. On any given summer weekend there are three or more beer festivals taking place across the state. So how do you make a choice about which beer festival deserves your hard earned money? That’s where I come in. I attend a lot of beer festivals and while some are struggling to remain relevant, other are thriving.

Front Range Rally is thriving

Front Range Rally rainbow shot

Photos by Emily Sierra Photography. Used with permission.

Front Range Rally is not just another beer festival. The FRR team works tirelessly to make sure attendees have a great experience each and every year. I’ve sat in on FRR committee meetings and this team really does care. Plus, the festival raises money for a worthy cause and that helps keep this festival at the top of its game.

Upslope at Front Range Rally

Front Range Rally is a craft beer and food truck festival that takes place annually on the last Saturday in May in Loveland, Colorado.  More than sixty breweries will be represented at the festival this year and ten food trucks have already signed up. In addition to breweries, several cideries and distilleries will be at the fest.

Front Range Rally features a large variety of craft brews. Melvin Brewing from Jackson, Wyoming will be there, as will Perrin Brewing Company from Michigan. While Colorado’s craft breweries are awesome, I love having the opportunity to taste a few out-of-state beer at a festival.

Splurge on VIP

I don’t always promote purchasing VIP tickets to a beer event unless VIPs get treated well and FRR does a bang up job. VIP tickets include the usual – one hour early entry to the fest – but this VIP package also includes access to exclusive beers, a buffet of ribs and coleslaw, seating in the shade and best of all, a private restroom. No waiting in lines for VIPs.  

Front Range Rally VIP pic

Drink for a good cause

Front Range Rally benefits the Food Bank for Larimer County. One hundred percent of the net proceeds from the festival go directly to this nonprofit that distributed 8.9 million pounds of food to low-income residents throughout Larimer County in 2015.

I hope that you will join me in Loveland this May!

Front Range Rally

May 28, 2016

2600 N. Lincoln Avenue, Loveland, CO

General Admission 2:30 to 7 p.m. ($40)

VIP entry at 1:30 ($60)

Purchase tickets at FrontRangeRally.com

Join this festival on Facebook!

Front Range Rally cornhole pic

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Featured Festival spots on HeidiTown.com are paid advertisements. Interested in having your festival or event considered for a feature? Email TheMayor@HeidiTown.com.

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The Good Life In Cherry Creek At JW Marriott

In the heart of Cherry Creek, you’ll find a hotel where they celebrate the finer things in life on a daily basis. Whether you’re looking for a weekend spa escape or a girls shopping weekend extraordinaire, JW Marriott Denver has got you covered.

The Good Life In Cherry Creek at JW Marriott. blue room. HeidiTown.com

Photo courtesy of JW Marriott Denver.

This past weekend, Ryan and I needed a place to stay in Denver after Bru Frou, an amazing culinary and craft beer pairing event held annually at Wings over The Rockies Air & Space Museum. JW Marriott Denver, just 4.5 miles from the venue, graciously offered to host us.

This Denver hotel is the very definition of posh, but you don’t have to take my word for it. In 2014, it made Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice list as one of the “Best Hotels in the West.” Continue reading

Find Your Park: An Insider’s Look At Colorado’s National Parks

This is a great year  to visit one of our state’s National Parks. After all, the National Parks Service is celebrating their 100th birthday on August 25, so why not celebrate by visiting one of Colorado’s four National Parks this summer?

Find Your Park Colorado's National Parks. Great Sand Dunes National Park. dunes shot. HeidiTown.com

Great Sand Dunes National Park

I’ve been to Great Sand Dunes National Park several times and early in the summer is the best time to go because Medano Creek will still be running rapidly through the dunes. Later in the year it becomes just a trickle.

Find Your Park Colorado's National Parks. Great Sand Dunes National Park. HeidiTown.com

This place is surreal. On our first camping trip there, as we arrived in the dark, a meteoroid fell to earth, lighting up the world around us for a few seconds. Therefore my first glimpse of this park was by the light of a meteor.

We also had a bear visit our campsite on one occasion and I saw my first Great Horned Owl at Great Sand Dunes National Park, so we have lots of great memories of this park. Continue reading

Tips For Creating A Successful Festival

I’ve been to a lot of festivals in my lifetime. Growing up, I attended an annual Scottish Festival outside of Seattle and the local Loggerrodeo (yes, that’s a real thing).

Over the years in Colorado, I’ve watched festivals thrive and I’ve watched festivals die and I know what works and what doesn’t. I even helped create a festival and that experience gave me valuable insight into what it takes to produce an event.

Tips For Creating A Successful Festival. Colorado Renaissance Festival. HeidiTown.com

The Colorado Renaissance Festival has been staying true to their theme for 40 years.

Today, I’d like to share with you some free advice. If you are taking part in the organization of a fest this summer, take heed.

Successful festivals do three things really well, but above all, they pick a theme and stick to it. The biggest mistake a festival can make is not sticking to their theme.

Festival Location

The right location can go a long way in setting the overall mood for your festival. If your event takes place in mid-summer, holding it in a parking lot with minimal shade is a bad idea. Parks are almost always preferable; they provide shade overhead and grass underfoot. Continue reading

Five Things To Do In Pagosa Springs This Summer

Last week I was a speaker at a tourism conference in Pagosa Springs, and it was a good reminder of the total awesomeness of this Southwest Colorado town.

Pagosa Springs should be on your must-visit list this summer and here are five things you need to do once you get there.

1. Float the river in Pagosa Springs

The best way to take advantage of a river that runs directly through a town is to float it. The San Juan River is the source of all good stuff in Pagosa Springs and is a big summertime attraction.

five things to do in pagosa springs this summer. tube the san juan river. HeidiTown.com

The best time to float the river is in July and August when the water levels are lower. Bring your own tube or check out this Pagosa Springs’ website for how to go about floating the San Juan River. Continue reading

Beers In The Boat: Steamboat Springs’ Exploding Beer Scene

While on magazine assignment in Steamboat Springs earlier this spring, we got a taste of Steamboat’s growing beer scene and we liked it – a lot.

Beers in the Boat Steamboat Springs' exploding beer scene. a taster flight at Butcherknife Brewing Co. HeidiTown.com

It had been several years since we’d spent time in Steamboat and lots have changes have taken place in that short period of time. The town is now home to two breweries with a third on the way (Mountain Tap Brewery). And Yampa Valley Brewing Co. is now open in Hayden, just a short drive away.

There’s also a brand new beer bar that’s outstanding, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Continue reading

Five Ways To Take A Vacation In Your Own Town

My Facebook wall has been full of tropical vacation photos for several weeks. I even have a friend on a private yacht in the Caribbean. If this is the case for you too, it’s rather depressing, right? I mean, who doesn’t want to be on a yacht in the Caribbean?

If you’ve got cabin fever, I’ve got a solution and no, it’s not robbing a bank. It’s called a mini-vacation, and while I’m not promising that this outing will be as exciting as snorkeling in Grand Cayman or zip lining in Costa Rica, it will brighten your day.

1. Take a Walking Tour

Not every town has a guided walking tour, but you’d be surprised at how many towns have a printed version of a walking tour. They are usually available at your local visitor center, museum or at the chamber of commerce.

how to take a vacation in your own town. Crested Butte, Colorado. HeidiTown.com

See your town from a different perspective. (Crested Butte, Colorado)

I once took a walking tour of Fort Collins, a town with which I am very familiar. It was a night walking tour, but it wasn’t about ghosts, but rather the town’s history. Despite having walked Fort Collins’ streets many times (even at night), during the tour I felt like I was in a brand new town. Continue reading

Unique Lodging Options Near Colorado Springs

On our last trip to Colorado Springs, we experienced two very unique lodging properties – an historic hotel and an historic vacation home – and we enjoyed both.  

Lodging in Manitou Springs, Colorado – The Cliff House at Pikes Peak

On our first night we were booked at The Cliff House at Pikes Peak, one of the region’s most distinguished and historic hotels.

Two very different lodging options in the Colorado Springs area. The Cliff House in Manitou Springs. HeidiTown.com

The Cliff House at Pikes Peak. Courtesy photo.

We’d stayed at The Cliff House many years ago, and since that stay, my husband has always named The Cliff House as one of his favorite Colorado hotels.

We arrived in town near lunch time so our first stop was at Manitou Brewing Company. This brewery not only serves up noteworthy craft beer, but also gourmet food. I daresay this is the most foodie brewery I have ever visited. Continue reading

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