Cheyenne at a Glance
Location: 90 minutes north of Denver in southeast Wyoming
Access: Cheyenne Regional Airport, Denver International Airport; interstates 25 and 80
Hotel rooms: 2,700
Events Center at Archer on the Laramie County Fairgrounds
Exhibit Space: 100,000 square feet
Little America Hotel and Resort
Guest rooms: 188
Meeting Space: 38,000 square feet
Red Lion Hotel and Conference Center
Guest rooms: 245
Meeting Space: 19,000 square feet
Historic Plains Hotel
Guest rooms: 131
Meeting Space: 8,000 square feet
Who’s Meeting in Cheyenne
North American Wildlife Enforcement Officers Association
Wyoming Business Alliance Governor’s Business Forum
Rocky Mountain Section of the Barbershop Harmony Society
Capturing the heartbeat of the Wild West, Cheyenne boasts an authentic Western vibe that comingles with up-to-date amenities.
As the capital of the Cowboy State, not only does this laid-back city offer plenty of outdoor adventure, but in the past 20 years, high-tech industry has taken up residence. Cheyenne’s legendary Western hospitality prevails, from downtown’s flourishing culinary scene to rodeos and ranching life. It’s almost a given that your attendees will find their personal equilibrium between business and active diversions and leave refreshed.
Cheyenne’s revitalized downtown is in the midst of a growth spurt. Within walking distance of each other lie four craft breweries and a distillery. In the past six months, four restaurants have also opened. Nearby, the Capitol recently completed a $300 million renovation; self-guided tours highlight newly exposed artwork and ornate woodwork that was covered up years ago.
Cheyenne’s railroad history runs deep. Its first residents were men who moved West to build the transcontinental railroad. Today, Big Boy, the world’s largest steam locomotive and one of eight nationwide, is displayed in Holliday Park. Add Wyoming’s fabled stories, recounted at three downtown museums, and attendees might not feel the need to venture further.
A hearty welcome awaits individuals and families at the Bunkhouse Bar and Grill, 15 minutes outside the city. Friday and Saturday evenings, its house band invites patrons to listen or dance to classic country tunes. Alongside eight beers on tap, the Bunkhouse specializes in hand-cut steaks, slow-cooked prime rib and barbecued ribs.
“It’s not uncommon to drive into the parking lot and see a horse or two tied up because some of the patrons have ridden in,” said Jim Walter, director of sales and marketing for Visit Cheyenne.
Next July, the state’s most renowned shindig, Cheyenne Frontier Days, celebrates its 124th year. The PRCA Rodeo occupies center stage on the 10-day schedule. The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds demonstrates its acrobatics, a renowned Western art show takes place, the Grand Parade starts at the Capitol and a chuck-wagon cook-off adds to the festivities.
Popular for an opening reception or dinner, the Cheyenne Depot Museum preserves a historic Union Pacific Railroad depot built between 1886 and 1887. As one of the last great depots along the transcontinental railroad, the venue makes an interesting night-at-the-museum-style event. The elegant lobby can accommodate banquets, as can the smaller Coupler building.
Inside and out, numerous spaces at the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens can host a variety of events and meetings. The Orangerie feels tropical with its potted trees and glass ceiling. For after-hours gatherings, the three-story conservatory soothes guests with its lush vegetation, water feature and aviary. A lovely garden at the Historic Governors’ Mansion accommodates smaller gatherings or a cocktail hour.
One of the largest working bison ranches in the nation, the Terry Bison Ranch sits on 27,500 acres and supports approximately 2,500 bison. A custom-built train takes visitors out into the bison herd, where passengers can hand-feed the behemoths. Seasonal guided trail rides and ATV tours are additional options.
Major Meeting Spaces
With the opening of the Event Center at Archer in July, Cheyenne more than doubled its available conference space. The 100,000-square-foot center houses a 50,000-square-foot exhibit hall, prefunction space and meeting rooms. The hall accommodates heavy equipment, which can be driven in, plus infrastructure for animals and agricultural shows.
“We excel at meetings of around 200 to 400 people,” said Walter. “And since we’re located at the crossroads of I-80 and I-25, it’s easy for attendees to get here for regional meetings.”
On the Laramie County Community College campus, the 4,000-square-foot ANB Bank Leadership Center seats up to 325 people classroom-style, features a stage upon request and offers on-site catering. In addition, its high-tech Center for Conferences and Institutes provides five customizable rooms for up to 300 people.
Wyoming’s largest convention hotel, Little America Hotel and Resort, offers 38,000 square feet of space, accommodating up to 700 attendees. Amenities range from the elegant 13,260-square-foot Grand Ballroom to 18 breakout rooms and exhibit areas. Outdoor receptions on the lawn showcase views of the high plains and a nine-hole golf course. And the 245-room Red Lion Hotel and Conference Center contains19,000 square feet of meeting space and a free shuttle to downtown attractions.
“When your group meets in a city the size of Cheyenne, it’s a big deal,” said Walter. “You get a level of service and attention to detail that you might not find in a larger city because meetings make a big impact on us.”
After the Meeting
Visit Cheyenne will help plan basic downtown dine-arounds and progressive dinners. The Rib and Chop House offers private group dining in a classic steakhouse setting. The Metropolitan Downtown opened this year serving new American cuisine, with private dining for groups of 10 to 260. Hops on the Trolley, also arranged by Visit Cheyenne, loops trolleys continuously from a designated hotel to allow attendees the freedom to try different breweries at their leisure.
Curt Gowdy State Park, west of town, features more than 35 miles of epic-rated mountain biking and hiking trails. Bikes can be reserved in advance from Rock on Wheels and transported to the park. Further west, gravity-defying granite outcroppings form Vedauwoo Recreation Area, known for noteworthy rock climbing, hiking, and mountain biking.
“We work with several climbing guides from Laramie, and we prefer that planners reach out to us so that we can put them in touch with people who are currently guiding,” said Walter.
Custom rodeos make excellent group experiences. According to Walter, the rodeo can be planned for several different venues, complete with catering. Or the DeLancey family can host a group at their ranch, where Happy Hour With the Horses allows two hours for interaction and photos, plus learning about ranch life.
In the past 20 years, the tech industry has built a presence in the region. Four major data centers now call Cheyenne home base. Attendees can tour the National Center for Atmospheric Research to see and learn about its supercomputer, one of the fastest in existence today.