The temperatures might be dropping, but the reception in Calgary feels anything but chilly. Besides a convention center that puts attendees at the doorstep of downtown, the city comes alive during the colder months, offering groups a unique meeting experience and planners a break on their budget.
- Play where Olympians competed. As former host to the 1988 Winter Olympics, Calgary’s world-class athletic facilities are primed for large groups. For example, the WinSport Winter Sport Institute at Canada Olympic Park offers team-building programs, including its own version of the Amazing Race (the TV show filmed episodes here). The park also has on-site space for meetings, presentations, and private dining.
- Banff National Park is just an hour away. A frozen lake mirroring the craggy peaks of the Rocky Mountains; undulating snow drifts pierced by frost-tipped firs — it just doesn’t get any more picture perfect than Banff National Park in winter. The best part — the colder months mean less crowds, so groups are more likely to have these views to themselves.
- Give the daredevils something to brag about. Besides the expected winter sports like skiing and snowboarding, Calgary is where adventurous types can kick it up a notch. Skiers can go for a nighttime run on WinSport’s floodlit slopes, or those with a need for speed can slide down a luge at speeds close to 40 mph.
- Sneak off to hot chocolate and chill. Sleigh rides, a cocktail enjoyed by fireplace — there are many ways to wind down an evening.
- Take advantage of Calgary’s wintertime festivities. Holding your event in the chillier months means that you can piggyback off one of the many downtown events to fill empty evenings or slow days, like the Calgary Midwinter Bluesfest or Calgary Winterfest, an 11-day celebration of the city’s Olympic history.
- Make the indoors-y types happy. Calgary’s network of climate-controlled pedestrian walkways means attendees can explore the downtown core without even stepping outside!
- Get into the western spirit. Cowboys Dance Hall, Wildhorse Saloon — Calgary has many unique western venues for a proper wild west-themed shindig.
- Or just get some R&R. In addition to more than 13,000 hotel rooms, groups can get cozy in guest ranches or B&Bs. In downtown, the Hyatt Regency Calgary, Calgary Marriott Hotel Downtown Hotel, and Fairmont Palliser all connect to Calgary TELUS Convention Centre via climate-controlled tunnels.
- The city is a feast for all of the senses. Calgary’s farm-to-fork cuisine is perfect any time of the year, but there’s something about enjoying a cut of Alberta beef (or buffalo or elk!) while watching the snow fall that leaves you feeling warm, full, and very happy.
- Watch one of nature’s most surreal spectacles. Wintertime in Canada is ideal for catching a glimpse of the aurora borealis, and a number of prime viewing spots are just a quick drive away from the downtown.
Learn more about why you should host your next event in Calgary at www.meetingscalgary.com.
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