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A Staycation at Hilton Denver Inverness in the Denver Tech Center

Why would one staycation at the Denver Tech Center? Hilton Denver Inverness, that’s why. This resort hotel has everything you need for the perfect getaway and you’ll never need to leave the building unless of course, you want to golf their pristine, 18-hole park-like course.

A staycation at the Hilton Denver Inverness in the Denver Tech Center. Golf Course shot

Photo courtesy of Hilton Denver Inverness

This is part two of my three-part series on great staycation resort hotels around Colorado’s Front Range, and Hilton Denver Inverness, formerly The Inverness, is indeed a truly great staycation spot south of Denver.

Hilton Denver Inverness is undergoing a multi-phase remodel and the new contemporary look and feel of the place suit my tastes perfectly. It also suits the architecture of the hotel which was built by a Scandinavian hotel company in 1989. Continue reading

Colorado through new eyes – TBEX in Keystone

Keystone Reosrt River Run bike shot

River Run at Keystone Resort. Photo courtesy of Keystone Resort – clicking the picture will take you directly to their Facebook page)

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend TBEX, a travel blogger, writer and photographer conference that just happened to be held in Keystone, Colorado this year. TBEX attracts attendees from around the globe, and this was a chance for Colorado to show off – and it did just that.

On the first evening, we drank champagne aboard gondolas that transported us to a five-star experience on top of Keystone Resort. A Taste of Vail Resorts treated us to a variety of delectable food choices in a world-class setting. The dessert tent had such an array of culinary delights that the guests weren’t sure whether to eat these amazing creations or just take photographs.

The second night, Expedia.com  threw a cowboy style shindig at Keystone Stables, complete with a country band, line dancing, a mechanical bull, local beer and barbecue. As the sun set, the mountains glowed, and crowd went “oooh” and “ahhhh.”

Throughout the weekend we were transported around Keystone on their free shuttle service. You simply call them from your condo, the restaurant, a shop, and they come and pick you up and drop you off anywhere in Keystone.   I never waited longer than five minutes for a shuttle.

champagne on the gondola at TBEX

Enjoying champagne aboard the gondola to the top of Keystone Resort. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

It was a remarkable experience, and not just because of the connections that I made, but also because it was a chance to see my state through new eyes. There were the expected grievances about altitude and dryness, but the attendees who hailed from New York, Los Angeles, Maine, Florida, Denmark, Germany and beyond, were in awe of the beauty of Colorado.

I heard lots of comments about the sunshine, and I think many of the conference goers expected the weather to be colder and more arctic-like. After all, when I moved here thirteen years ago, I’m pretty sure my parents thought I would be living in an igloo. Folks outside of Colorado have no idea that we get over 300 days of sunshine every year.

While the visitors did blame everything from sore feet to fatigue on the altitude (much to my amusement), overall Colorado shone during TBEX, and I was proud to call myself a Coloradan at the event.

As Coloradans, we generally wake up to sunshine every morning, and most of us experience the majesty of the Rocky Mountains every day without giving it much thought. Seeing Colorado through new eyes was something I will cherish and remember for a long time, and the feeling of pride I had during and after TBEX is something I will carry with me forever.

HeidiTown.com on the radio – What to do in Colorado this weekend, April 13-15, 2012 & beyond

The weekends seem to be flying by at a frightfully fast rate!  I can’t believe that it is already mid-April.  The following is the transcript from my weekly radio show on KRFC 88.9 FM. You can either read the transcript below or listen to the audio of the show HERE.

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MyHandleBar 2012

The HeidiTown.com MyHandleBar gang after our Fort Collins ride. Photo by Alex, our bike "driver" extraordinaire.

Hi, my name is Heidi and I’m the Mayor of HeidiTown.com, a blog about events, festivals and travel around Colorado.

As we head into the busy summer festival season I want to hand out some advice. If you are planning an event, don’t forget to calendar it online in newspapers up and down the Front Range.

I am surprised by how many organizations will make fliers, put the event in their newsletter and even create a Facebook event invite, but fail to calendar their festival in a local newspaper. This is a small and easy step for you to take and I promise, it will help with your event. I rely heavily on calendars and so does the festival going public. I LOVE social media, but if that should be an additional way to get your message out – don’t forget about the tried and true methods.

Okay, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, on to regular scheduled programming!

If you were in Old Town Fort Collins a couple weekends ago, you might have got a glimpse of my rowdy HeidiTown gang on board the MyHandleBar. This is a unique way to do a brewery crawl. MyHandleBar bike is new to Fort Collins as of last summer and this was my third ride.  If you want to see your adult friends giggle like school children this s pring and summer, get them on the MyHandleBar. There’s also a bike running in Boulder. Find out more at MyHandleBar.com.

Here are a few events that I’ve previously mentioned that are now upon us. This is the weekend of April 13th through the 15th, 2012.

The Arvada Kite Festival is this Saturday. I think this looks like the perfect event for a family outing. Visit ArvadaFestivals.com for all the details.

Shotski Steamboat Cardboard Classic

Our human-sized SHOTSKI at the 2008 Cardboard Classic in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Photo by Ryan Schlaefer.

One of my favorite mountain mud season events is also this weekend. The 32nd Annual Cardboard Classic is part of Springalicious in Steamboat Springs. If you have been considering heading up to the Boat, this is the weekend to do it. The 5th Annual Splashdown Pond Skimming Competition is on Sunday, so make a road trip out of it! There are also live bands playing all weekend. More info at Steamboat.com.

Back here in Fort Collins I have posted a review of “The Sound of Music” now on stage at Midtown Art Center. I won’t give anything away except to say that the kids steal the show and I had one of my best meals I’ve had at this venue! Read the entire review on HeidiTown.com.

And now for something completely adorable! The Plumb Farm Learning Center in Greeley celebrates spring with its annual Baby Animal Days happening now through April 21. During Baby Animal Days families are invited to the farm to see llamas, alpacas, goats, lambs, cows, horses, pigs, rabbits, chicks and ducks. Baby animals will be everywhere so if you child is anything like me when I was a kid they will be overwhelmed with delight. The event is open daily through April 21st. Visit GreeleyGov.com/museums/BabyAnimalDays.

Lastly, in our planning ahead section…

Elton John Pinball Machine Manitou Springs Colorado

An interesting Elton John pinball machine at the Penny Arcade in Manitou Springs, Colorado. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

This next event is for all you pinball wizards and groupies. At the end of the month, it’s the Rocky Mountain Pinball Showdown. That’s Friday, April 27th through Sunday April 29th.

I blogged about this event last year on HeidiTown. There are over 100 pinball machines on display – no quarters need to play. There are also exhibitors from around the country including pinball sellers, buyers, specialists and a lot more. If you are a fan of pinball, you don’t want to miss the Rocky Mountain Pinball Showdown at the Embassy Suites at the Denver Tech Center. Get more information at PinBallShowdown.com.

And by the way, every week I post a transcript of this show on HeidiTown, so if you need missed something, or need a web address, you can look it up there.

That’s all the time I have for this week. Remember, you can follow me on Twitter @HeidiTown, circle the town on Google Plus, or join the town’s block party on Facebook at Facebook.com/HeidiTown.comonFB.

Thanks for listening and until next time, I will see you online!

HeidiTown.com on the radio – What’s happening across Colorado on March 30 to April 1, 2012

The following is the transcript from my weekly segment on KRFC 88.9 FM.  If you’d prefer to listen to the audio —>  LISTEN HERE.

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New Belgium Scavenger Hunt poster

The hunt is on at Ski Loveland this weekend!

Hi, my name is Heidi and I’m the Mayor of HeidiTown.com, a blog about events, festivals and travel across Colorado.

Here’s the line up for March 30th through April 1st, 2012.

First, I want to point out an error in last week’s segment.  I said the Flobots were playing the Breckenridge concert series at Peak 8, but that was last year’s schedule!  The line up this year includes Julian Marley, Soul Rebels, Leftover Salmon, Donavon Frankenreiter, Toots & Maytals & Rusted Root.  Sounds like a good time in Breckenridge this spring! Of course, it’s always a good time in Breck.  Keep tabs on the town and resort at Breckenridge.com.

There are lots of film festivals across Colorado, and I rarely mention them because there are so many and most are fairly typical, however, sometimes one catches my eye. On Friday, March 30th, the Colorado Mountain Club will host the Winter Wildlands Alliance’s Backcountry Film Festival at the Wildlife Experience in Parker.

The festival promotes the work of grassroots filmmakers who tell compelling and entertaining stories of back country, non-motorized recreation and environmental preservation. This is the seventh annual world tour of the festival and the 90-minute program features some of the most extreme winter athletes in the world. More on the film festival at BackCountryFilmFestival.org, and more on the venue at WildLifeExperience.org.

The Sound of Music

This weekend, I will be attending “The Sound of Music” at Midtown Arts Center in Fort Collins. The show started last weekend, and I’m excited to see Midtown’s production of one of my favorite stories. Watch for a review of the play on HeidiTown.com next week.

Other dinner theater productions now playing include “Oklahoma” at Candlelight Dinner Playhouse in Loveland, running through June 2nd. “The Drowsy Chaperone” at Boulders Dinner Theater, playing through May 13. “One Enchanted Evening” is currently underway at The Heritage Square Music Hall in Golden and “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” starts on April 7 at the Union Colony Dinner Theater in Greeley.

White hatHere’s one of those events that you may not here about anywhere else, because I simply find it delightful, although perhaps it won’t appeal to many of the males who might be listening. It’s the Haberdasher’s Delight Hat Workshop at the Molly Brown House Museum in Denver on Saturday, March 31st.

Participants create their very own Titanic-sized millinery masterpiece with the help of historic fashion experts. The museum provides the hat, materials and refreshments, while you supply the creativity. The material will be for spring or summer hats, but on September 15, you can return to the museum to create a winter hat. Learn more at MollyBrown.org.

On the Western Slope there’s a Spring Fest this Saturday in Palisade. This downtown festival has an Easter Bonnet contest, gardening tips, music, vendors, food and dancing. It will be a great way for the area to embrace the start of their growing season. Visit the PalisadeTribune.com for details.

This weekend at the Loveland Ski Area it’s the annual New Belgium Brewing Scavenger Hunt brought to you by the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado. Be sure to put on your thinking cap before you go, because the clues won’t be easy. To give you a few hints, some of the fun includes hunting for Bigfoot and chasing down an angler. Afterwards, celebrate all your hard work with a cold brew. More at SkiLoveland.com.

That’s all the time I have for  this week. Until next time, join the town’s block party on Facebook.com/HeidiTown.comonFB. The Facebook page is such a great addition to HeidiTown, because I can tell you about a bunch of events and festivals that never make the blog or the radio show.

Be sure you are following me on Twitter @HeidiTown and join the town on Google Plus. Lastly, you are always welcome to email me directly at TheMayor@HeidiTown.com.

Thanks for listening!

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