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Today, Norm Goldman, Editor of Sketchandtravel.com is pleased to have as our guest, Amy Long, Director of Marketing & Public Relations of Experience Colorado Springs at Pikes Peak, the Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau.


Good day Amy and thank you for participating in our interview.




Amy, could you tell us what exactly your responsibilities are as director of marketing and public relations?




I have the distinct pleasure of communicating the many benefits of Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region to those planning weddings and other romantic trips. I support our sales staff with print advertising, web marketing, direct mail pieces and press releases.




Where is Colorado Springs?




Colorado Springs is located in south-central Colorado on Interstate 25. We have a great airport right here in town serviced by eight major airlines. It's very easy and affordable to get her by car or plane.




If you were to choose eight unique wedding destinations in Colorado Springs, which ones would you choose and could you briefly describe each one.




*** Garden of the Gods Park  A unique and majestic setting for a simple outdoor ceremony among the brilliant red rock formations and Pikes Peak as a backdrop for stunning wedding photos.


*** Rock Ledge Ranch  For small weddings in a natural western setting, the American Mother's Chapel (seats 15) is a great option. The cutest chapel you've ever seen!


*** Broadmoor Hotel  This five-star hotel has a lake, outdoor patio and a variety of ballrooms and restaurants. Pamper yourself beforehand in the ultra luxurious spa.


***Cheyenne Canon Inn - The Inn offers beautiful views with indoor/outdoor wedding packages and even an elopement package!


***Rockledge Country Estate - A Manitou Springs Bed & Breakfast, this venue provides a private and peaceful destination for the discriminating wedding planner.


*** Crescent Lily B&B Located near downtown Colorado Springs, this 1989 Victorian Home is a great hotel alternative with ample room for your guests.


*** Flying W Ranch  If you want to go totally western and have up to 1,200 guests, this is the place for you!


***Colorado Renaissance Festival  For a complete medieval experience, tie the knot in a ceremony right out of a fairy tale.




As a follow up, if were to choose eight unique romantic getaway venues in the Colorado Springs area which ones would you choose and why?




Broadmoor Hotel, Antler's Hilton, Cheyenne Mountain Resort, Wyndham, Sheraton and Doubletree are all full-service properties where you can spend a romantic weekend and have everything you need right there on site.


Romantic B&Bs, all located in beautiful neighborhoods, serving delicious food include: Room at the Inn, Victoria's Keep Bed & Breakfast, Rocky Mountain Lodge and A Room With a View.




What is there to do in Colorado Springs from the point of view of sports activities, cultural events, dining, etc?




This summer, Colorado Springs will host the Rocky Mountain State Games, (August 4-6) that will host 6,000 athletes competing in 29 sport categories.


***We have a Fine Arts Center that hosts both a permanent collection as well as world-class traveling exhibits.


***Our Western heritage is well represented with the Pioneers Museum, the Pikes Peak Ghost Town Museum and the Ride for the Brand and the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeos.


***Native American culture is highlighted at the Manitou Cliff Dwellings and Seven Falls, both of which feature authentic Native American dancers and music.


***The Colorado Festival of World Theater is a summer event showcasing a variety of performances at multiple venues.


***The Pikes Peak Center hosts plays, symphonies, entertainers and a variety of musical talent.


***We have two great rodeos each year  The Ride for the Brand (July) and the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo (August).


***Over the Labor Day weekend, you can see over 100 balloons ascend into the blue sky at the Colorado Balloon Festival.


***A variety of street festivals are held throughout the year, including Territory Days (May) and Spring Spree (June).


***And you have to see the annual Manitou Springs Fruit Cake Toss each January some have been recorded as traveling over 500 feet due to the high-tech launching devices. Our restaurants are fantastic and include something for every palette and budget.


Colorado Springs was recently named the Best City in which to Chill by Sperlings BestPlaces and Bailey's Irish Crème. We were given this distinction based on a long list of factors such as weather, commute times, safety and our huge selection of quality restaurants, nightclubs and bars.




How easy or difficult is it to travel around Colorado Springs if one does not have a car?




If you're staying downtown, many attractions and museums would be within walking distance to your hotel. We also have a good bus system and a free downtown shuttle system to get where you need to go. To fully experience all that the city has to offer, a car is recommended, though it would take only about 20 minutes, maximum, to get to any location in Colorado Springs.




When is the best time to visit Colorado Springs?




The summer is our busiest season simply because family vacations, weddings and reunions typically occur in June, July and August. However, the spring and fall are great times to visit due to the weather (cool nights and warm days) and value pricing found at many hotels. Our quaking Aspens are a sight to behold in early October with their translucent yellow leaves shimmering in the sunlight against a rich blue sky.




Cost wise, how does Colorado Springs compare to other American resort areas from the point of view of lodging, activities, etc




The quality of lodging and activities is amazing, considering our city population is less than 400,000. We have world-class full-service resort facilities, charming bed & breakfasts, dude ranches and retreat centers. The activities and attractions are second to none, and you'll probably have to come back again to experience all of it. We were recently named by Money Magazine as the number one big city in which to live. We feel that the factors that make us the best place to live also make us the best place to visit.





Is there anything else you wish to add that we have not covered?




Colorado Springs offers the experience of a lifetime and what better way to begin your married life or celebrate it with a romantic getaway than in Colorado Springs. The natural beauty, warm sunshine, clean, crisp air, first-rate lodging and world-class dining all add up to making Colorado Springs the perfect place to say I do or I'd do it again.!

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