Given that it’s owned by Discovery Channel founder John Hendricks, it comes as no surprise that Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa in Gateway, Colorado, is all about education—with sides of luxury, exploration and relaxation, of course. Incentive winners can choose from activities like UTV excursions from the top of John Brown Canyon to Rattlesnake Overlook, horseback trail rides, luxury driving experiences and helicopter tours of the five canyons surrounding the property, to name a few.
The staff at Gateway Canyons is well educated on the area’s geography, history and anthropology, thanks in part to Curator of Curiosity, Zebulon Miracle (yes, that’s his real name and title). Miracle, formerly curator of anthropology and collections manager at the Museum of Western Colorado, was hired by the property in March 2015 to implement hands-on programming centered on the history of the American West. The resort has relationships with the local Gateway community as well, so it’s easy to arrange a local astronomer to lead an evening of stargazing or an area musician to perform during dinner.
Planners can create a memorable evening function at the on-site Gateway Canyons Automobile Museum, where Hendricks’ private collection of vehicles is on display, including everything from a Model T to a Mustang Stallion. The lobby of the museum can be transformed into a cocktail hour or a full dinner made with locally grown ingredients. Be sure to serve the townie favorite, a Prickly Pear Margarita—the hot pink drink is sure to be a hit.
After days filled with activities and experiential learning, guests can retire to plush accommodations. Each of the property’s 14 Palisade Casitas are outfitted with fire pits and private outdoor showers.