In 1912, a group of 25 mountain enthusiasts founded Colorado Mountain Club (CMC). The group included several prominent naturalists, such as Enos Mills, who helped found Rocky Mountain National Park; Roger Toll, who was superintendent of Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain, and Mount Rainier National Parks; and Carl Blaurock, who climbed all of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks. The club's first members volunteered at schools and advocated for environmental issues, aiming to raise awareness about the Colorado mountains through art, science, literature, and recreation, and seeking to preserve the alpine region.
Today, CMC continues to challenge its members and the community with a variety of events ranging from adventure travel and service projects to concerts and educational lectures. School groups participate in mountain-climbing field trips, and members network at annual dinners and outdoor excursions. The club's adventure trips explore the greatest natural sites of the world, taking participants up the slopes of Kilimanjaro, down the rapids of the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, and through the historical cities of Russia.
The mountain-savvy staff at Apex Ex equip people of all skill levels with the knowledge, gear, and plans necessary to explore the wilderness all year round. Seasoned guides and instructors, many of whom are trained by organizations such as the National Outdoor Leadership School and the American Mountain Guides Association, lead classes that teach students important lessons ranging from backcountry snow basics to avalanche rescue. In summer months, the experts lead guided climbing and backpacking trips and teach riders to careen down rocky paths of every sort during mountain-biking lessons.
At the foot of the towering Front Range, Three Tomatoes Steakhouse & Club at Fossil Trace welcomes hungry wanderers to a comfortable dining room filled with the smell of sizzling chophouse fare. Chefs prepare a selection of seasonal dishes, spotlighting slices of Certified Angus beef alongside chicken, seafood, and vegetarian plates. The steaks come artfully grilled or pan seared in a variety of cuts, from tenderloins to new york strips, and derive bold flavor from sauces such as brandy cream and roasted-garlic chipotle.
The restaurant's meeting and banquet facilities stand ready to host events ranging from business meetings and luncheons to anniversaries and birthday parties. Attentive staffers take each event from standard to unforgettable, with specialists able to customize menus, fill rooms with flowers and decorations, and provide day-of event assistance.
Of all the events hosted at Three Tomatoes Steakhouse & Club at Fossil Trace, none come with as much pomp as weddings. Although matrimony typically requires a pair of witnesses, the steakhouse kindly provides hundreds, some of whom reach more than 1,000 feet in height. Although they can’t sign their names or raise a toast, the Rocky Mountains have stoically observed several vows exchanged in the verdant ceremonial gardens, and have even kept an eye on the well-staffed parties that followed. This combination of picturesque scenery and attentive service has earned Three Tomatoes a steady five-star rating from Wedding Wire, as well as a spot on The Knot's list of 2010's best wedding venues.
Children run in trails marked by prehistoric footprints, and fingers run across fossils during each visit to Dinosaur Ridge, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of ancient artifacts. Around every corner of the outdoor museum—which rests on land designated as a national natural landmark—bones and impressions protrude from their earthy abodes as evidence of the area's once larger-than-life inhabitants. Paleontologists of all ages can examine curious tracks on surrounding hiking paths, such as Triceratops Trail, or hop on a guided bus tour to examine fossil sites and valleys where brontosauruses used to question the meaning of life.
Lurking inside the visitor center is the Trek Through Time exhibit, where interactive children's games, replica fossils, and massive murals join forces to lead explorers into different prehistoric eras. In addition to its day-to-day operations, Dinosaur Ridge also plays host to various events during the year, including Boy Scout days, birthday parties, and lectures that explain how T. rex stayed humble despite his large stature.
Like farming, picnics, and attempting to climb a skyscraper with suction cups, golf outings are dependent on ideal weather conditions. Striker Golf's facility takes rain and cold out of the equation by offering golfers a chance to play in a climate-controlled compound. Within the 4,200-square-foot facility rest four expansive hitting bays for practicing long drives and a 700-square-foot putting green for fine-tuning one's short game. HD golf simulators replicate rounds on famous courses through vivid images and precise motion-tracking sensors to give players an authentic experience without having to dodge runaway golf carts.
Jessica Mason developed an interest for dance in high school as a member of her school's nationally ranked varsity pom team. That interest eventually evolved into a passion, which helped her launch a professional dancing career that includes strutting as a Colorado Rapids cheerleader and a Denver Nuggets dancer. Today, she is the director of Studio 21 Dance, where she uses her 24 years of dance experience to oversee a team of instructors with more than 75 years of combined teaching experience. The dance instructors, who've worked with prominent clients including Olympic athletes and So You Think You Can Dance participants, lead classes that cover dance styles ranging from ballet to hip-hop and belly dance. Students as young as 2 years old can partake in the classes, teaching their bodies how to bust a move or apologize to bees after mistaking their hive for a piñata.