Innovative women and female offerings forge a positive imprint on the Colorado tourism landscape.
COLORADO (Dec. 12, 2018) — Throughout Colorado, female makers and shakers create valuable travel experiences for visitors as well as some great goodies to take back home to friends and family. These women are staking a claim in industries as varied as fly fishing and skiing to craft spirits and soul-restoring retreats. They mean business and are a quintessential stop for Colorado adventurers. With this week’s announcement that Colorado is raising the bar for pro women’s cycling around the world designating the 2019 Colorado Classic as the only UCI standalone women’s stage race in the Western hemisphere, Colorado is taking the “Year of the Woman” into 2019.
The Colorado Classic is shifting gears with an exclusive, women’s only race, August 22-25, 2019
The Colorado Classic announced this week that it will become the only UCI women’s standalone stage race in the Western Hemisphere—fulfilling its mission to create a socially impactful world-class race. Back in 2017, the Colorado Classic was the first major USA cycling race to go without podium hostesses, and just last year it expanded its races to four stages and intentionally designed the male and female routes similarly—showing its commitment and dedication to women since its inauguration. With the elimination of the men’s race, the Colorado Classic now serves women exclusively and has big plans for its 2019 race, including quadrupling its prize purses and team stipends, introducing free live streaming and longer, more challenging routes, thus empowering female athletes on a global stage.
Events and retreats solely catered to women held throughout the year:
Chicks Climbing and Skiing, Year Round, Ridgway - ‘Chicks’ offers courses for women taught exclusively by female instructors and covers a range of topics including avalanche rescue, backcountry skills, ice and rock climbing, skiing and more. Established with the goal of empowering women through mountain sports, the program will mark its 20th anniversary with a celebration at the 2019 Ouray Ice Festival in January.
Discover Your Inner Cowgirl, June and September, Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch, Loveland - This five-day ladies-only retreat offers a restorative getaway with a unique balance of activities. From the start, women are encouraged to bond with their horses in the morning and are later treated to a massage after a long day out on the ranch.
Find Your Inner Cowgirl Through Body, Mind, Equine, May 9-12, 2019, C Lazy U Ranch, Granby - This all-inclusive women’s retreat focuses on how to use yoga and yogic practices to improve horsemanship from ground to saddle. The three-day escape begins each day with a gentle morning yoga class, followed by workshops on meditation, breath-work and exploring the parallels of yoga and horsemanship.
Ladies Day Out!, April through September, Sacred Rides, Boulder - Guided by local professionals, these cycling trips offer women the chance to experience Boulder’s array of mountain bike trails. Fully customizable for first-time riders or experienced pros, this no-pressure environment is the perfect way to connect with other like-minded women as well as a way to learn new skills and brush up on bike knowledge.
Leave the Boys Behind, Year Round, Aspen Alpine Guides, Aspen - After a few conversations that shed light on not-so-great female outdoor experiences, Aspen Alpine Guides set out to create a space where women could experiment freely outdoors--without pressure or intimidation of certain activities. This woman-led guide service feels more like a community and it explores backcountry adventure trips regularly through skiing, backpacking, road biking and more.
Ski with a Living Legend: Wendy Fisher, January through March, Crested Butte - Extreme skiing pioneer, Wendy Fisher, has led women – and challenged men to follow – into some of the steepest terrains around the world, hosting special clinics designed to help skiers find their next level of “fearless.”
These Boots are Made for Wading, June 21-23, 2019, The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs - This three-day women's only fly fishing retreat serves as an introduction to the sport, and for those who are already acquainted, a space to perfect their form. The hotel partners with Orvis, a leading name in fly fishing, and provides clinics that teach women the basics of the sport. Wine tastings, cooking demonstrations and nightly fireside s’mores allow women to bond over the day’s activities.
Timber to Table Guide Service, Seasonal, Hotchkiss - This hunting guide service offers guided experiences specific to women who want to hunt for the first time. Timber to Table educates participants on basic elements of hunting like tracking and how to move through wooded-areas as well as how to prepare and process the meat for your next meal. A variety of guided packages are available and participants are welcome to bring along a family member or two.
Women Afield, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Seasonal, Statewide - Women Afield provides seminars and clinics for women to learn the basics of hunting, angling and shooting sports in a comfortable, female-friendly environment. Guided hunting opportunities are offered across the state and applications are accepted from May 1 through July 15 each year.
Women’s Winter Ski, Snowshoe and Yoga Wonderfest, Jan. 26, 2019, Snow Mountain Ranch, Granby - Women’s Quest, owned and operated by world champion triathlete Colleen Cannon, will be hosting a two-day retreat slopeside in wintery Snow Mountain Ranch. Meant for every type of skier, from beginner to advanced, this retreat is packed with activities that focus on cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The retreat caps off each day with restorative yoga, tea and wine tastings.
Meet some of the leading ladies of experiences in Colorado:
Anne Dowling, Ridge Street Wine/Breckenridge Cheese and Chocolates, Breckenridge - This shop and tasting room was founded in 2000 by former U.S. Ski Team member turned sommelier, Anne Dowling. Nestled in a cobblestone alley off of Main Street in Breckenridge, the shop offers a unique selection of wines hand-chosen by Dowling, as well as artisan cheeses and small-batch chocolates to complement the tasting experience.
Annelise Loevlie, Icelantic Skis, Golden - Annelise Loevlie was born in Colorado and raised exploring the near and far nooks and crannies of the world. Currently, Annelise is CEO of Golden-based Icelantic Skis. All of Icelantic's products are handmade with pride in the U.S. Icelantic values artistic expression, exploration, and fun, and encourages customers to Return to Nature with every product, experience, and message that they craft.
Dana Rodriguez, Work & Class and Super Mega Bien, Denver - Featuring a unique blend of American and Latin flavors, the James Beard Award semifinalist Dana Rodriguez got her start in the restaurant industry as a dishwasher but quickly moved up the ranks, eventually co-founding and owning Work & Class that pays homage to Rodriguez’s family heirlooms and Mexican roots. In May 2018, Rodriguez opened Latin American Dim Sum restaurant, Super Mega Bien in the new Ramble Hotel.
Dori DeJong, Platte River Fort, Greeley - Platte River Fort is a woman-owned and operated agritourism destination owned by Elaine Carleton and Dori DeJong. DeJong’s career was dedicated to working with women as a social worker and attorney; she retired from law to dedicate her time to envisioning and managing Platte River Fort. The fort can accommodate up to 37 guests in its variety of bedrooms. Adventurous visitors can also stay the night in their comfortable yurts set along the river or in an upscale covered wagon.
Elke Bergeron, By Elke, Boulder - Elke Bergeron, a stay-at-home mom, constantly found herself in the midst of another craft project when a friend suggested she should open up her own business. Years later, she owns a leather goods studio off of Pearl Street, where she makes every item from scratch using vintage and leather materials, resulting in one-of-a-kind boho chic handbags and accessories.
Jen Brill, Silverton Mountain, Silverton - Jen Brill and her husband, Aaron, opened the first ski area in the U.S. to cater exclusively to expert skiers and boarders. For Jen, running a “mom and pop” ski area has entailed hands-on, elbow-deep involvement in every aspect of the business from guiding clients on the hill, to accounting, human resources, public relations, bar tending, customer service, and of course the requisite janitorial duties. Despite the juggling that comes with any start-up venture, Jen can be found on her snowboard most days ripping around with her 9-year-old. Silverton also hosts several women’s ski clinics and special weekends.
Dr. Kim Langmaid, Walking Mountains Science Center, Vail - Founder and VP of Sustainability at Walking Mountains Science Center, Kim has been involved with sustainable tourism, climate action planning, conservation, education, and non-profit leadership for over two decades. Walking Mountains inspires environmental stewardship and sustainability through natural science education via innovative school programs, youth science camps, adult seminars, interpretive programs, and comprehensive sustainability initiatives centered around energy efficiency, recycling and waste reduction, climate action, and sustainable business training.
Loren Matthews, Elevation 5003 Distillery, Fort Collins - Loren Matthews is the owner/distiller at Elevation 5003. She was formerly a brewer for Anheuser Busch. After dabbling in home distilling Loren fell in love with the science and engineering of it so started her own distillery. Elevation 5003 is a small batch distillery. Their focus is on innovative, hand-crafted distilled spirits so they mash, lauter, ferment, distill, filter, and bottle all of their spirits at the distillery while focusing on environmentally empowered processes.
Shae Whitney, DRAM Apothecary, Salida - Shae Whitney is the co-founder of two dynamic Colorado businesses - DRAM Apothecary and The Poor Farm. Her business offerings include bitters, syrups, ready-to-drink beverages and a line of adaptogenic CBD products crafted using herbs grown on her farm in the Arkansas valley. The Poor Farm offers overnight lodging for up to 12 people in the newly renovated historic farmhouse, with private access to the Arkansas river and just a short drive from the charming town of Salida.