2018 Gathering Details
NEW LOCATION for 2018!
Thanks for your interest in joining us for the second annual Steel Mountain Handpan Gathering! After much contemplation we have decided to try a new location for this year's event, and we are very, very excited about our new space, the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado.
It may seem a little strange at first, picking the YMCA, but we've visited the site and were absolutely blown away. It's got 360 degree mountain views right on the border of Rocky Mountain National Park, wildlife all around with nature and fresh air in all directions. Nearly our whole group will fit into two huge "reunion" cabins with large common areas, fireplaces, scenic windows, attached kitchens, wrap-around porches, and a fire pit between the two cabins. Additionally we will have a few private lodge rooms available, located about a 10 minute walk from the main cabins.
Estes Park is a very cool, quaint, and cozy mountain town with downtown only a short drive away, you will definitely want to visit and spend some time there. We think the structure and layout of the YMCA should enhance our time together, as it has a very communal feel, everyone living pretty close together, and with walking to and from the lodges, cabins, and concert halls, the whole place feels like a little mountain village.
And if nothing else, it has been confirmed since the late 70's that it is indeed FUN to stay at the YMCA!
This new location is on Colorado's front range, much closer to Denver, Boulder, Ft. Collins, Colorado Springs, and Denver International Airport. We think this should make it a lot easier for most people to get to the gathering this year. The address is:
YMCA of the Rockies 2515 Tunnel Rd, Estes Park, CO 80511
From tunnel road there is a turnoff for the YMCA that has a big wooden sign where you will cross a little bridge by a lake and go up a hill. From there the whole place is pretty big and spread out. Our group will be spending a lot of time at our two main cabins, where about 80-90% of our group will be lodging, and where the kitchen is located and all meals will be served. These two cabins are called the Pattie Hyde Barclay (the bigger of the two) and Generations Reunion Cabins. You can see the Barclay on google maps. Generations is directly across the street to the southeast and both cabins are at the end of Mesa Road. The private lodge rooms are located towards the center of the grounds a few minutes' walk from the cabins and very near to our two concert halls/workshop space. Lodge guests will check in with us at the cabins to get room keys.
WEDNESDAY EVENING ARRIVAL
Although the gathering officially starts on Thursday, August 23rd, you are welcome to check in after 6:00PM on WEDNESDAY EVENING, August 22nd. No food will be provided on that first night. So you're welcome to spend some time exploring downtown Estes Park or RMNP when you arrive on Wednesday, and get some food before you check in at the YMCA (after 6:00PM!).
We would like to make that Thursday a FULL day of handpan adventures! Most weekend gatherings will lose most of Thursday for travel and check in/checkout, with Wednesday night arrivals we can have three full days of music and fun. Also, everyone that's buying a full weekend pass ticket gets a YMCA day-pass every day they are here. So you can come to the Y a little before check in to see the grounds, go for a hike, play some disc golf, etc. while waiting for the 6pm check in.
SATURDAY NIGHT CONCERT
While our overall capacity has increased and we definitely have room to grow this year, we'd still like an intimate gathering where everyone gets to know everyone else, like a big family reunion. Because of this we would like to keep this gathering to around 100 - 125 people.
But... for our Saturday night concert we are going to try something new. We have access to a large auditorium with stadium seating, built for sound and performance! Ruesch Auditorium seats about 800 people and has a high quality sound system, large stage, comfortable seating, and a great view from any seat. So for the Saturday night concert, we will be selling public concert tickets for local handpan fans that can't come for the whole weekend, or for anyone who loves great music!
Weekend gathering attendees will be given the best seats (front and center), included in their full gathering pass. ALL OTHER Steel Mountain events, workshops, and concerts are EXCLUSIVE to full weekend gathering attendees . So the Saturday Night Concert is the ONLY public concert. For those looking for more details on and to buy public tickets to the Saturday night show, check them out in our shop.
This year we will be bringing in a professional Chef to cater the whole weekend gathering. Two large meals a day and snacks in between; Thursday breakfast through Sunday breakfast. Food is included in all weekend ticket passes. You can let us know if you have any food allergies or dietary restrictions/preferences when you order your tickets. Meals will be served in the Barclay cabin.
All weekend tickets include all gathering activities: workshops, concerts, panels, raffles/giveaways, fire ring jams, hikes, yoga, sound baths, etc. You just need to decide how private you want your room to be, and what kind of bed you want.
In the two main cabins, Barclay and Generations, we have: queen beds, bunk beds, and stow-away beds on the floor . These beds are all in shared rooms, three to nine beds per room. We have a discounted rate for couples or friends wanting to share a queen bed. This is the "Double Occupancy Queen in Cabin" ticket option, and you must buy two of these together, or tell us who will be purchasing the second (on the order form). The stow-away beds are basically twin size mattresses on the floor (one per room). There are a couple of private rooms for two people in the cabins. If you have three or more people in your group we can accommodate essentially a private room of your preferred roommates. Be sure to tell us who you want to room with on your registration form, or email us prior to making your order to see what's possible.
All photos on this slideshow are credited to YMCA of the Rockies.
Located a few minutes walk away from the cabins are the lodge buildings (more like a hotel building, with individual, private rooms). These rooms are more expensive and further from the main group, but offer privacy. We don't have many of these rooms available, and they may work well for families. The lodge buildings also have the advantage of being very close to where the concerts and workshops will be held. Lodge ticket holders have the same food included as everyone else, and will have meals at the Barclay Cabin with the rest of the group.
Bringing the kids? No problem, kids supervised by an adult are welcome at Steel Mountain. Although we don't offer a specific kids ticket, children 3 and under, sharing a bed with a paid participant, are free!
All tickets also include an activities pass from the YMCA and there's all sorts of things to do on the grounds (like disc golf, bring your discs!). You can check out the YMCA of the Rockies at https://ymcarockies.org
NO ONSITE CAMPING...
The one thing we don't have this year is an onsite camping option as it's not available or allowed on the YMCA campus. So we're really encouraging everyone to come and bunk up in the cabins together. They will be nice, cozy and you will want to relax and not have to worry about driving or checking on your campsite anyway. Please contact us if you live in Estes and want to commute home, we will do our best to make an off-site ticket available to you but would still encourage you to stay with us at the Y anyways! For any additional question please email us. (UPDATE! - We now have a "no lodging included" ticket option available. With it you may find your own accommodations/camping arrangements offsite and commute in to the Y each day. You'll still get all the wonderful meals and all gathering activities included!)
The timing of the gathering this year should give us more sun and warmer temperatures than last year. In late August it could be quite hot out. Average temperatures in Estes are 76° High / 48° Low, for August. Elevation is 7,522' though so it can still get chilly at night. But with no campers this year, everyone should be set with minimal hiking garb, maybe a decent pair of boots and a warm jacket or two. Dressing in layers is always encouraged in Colorado, makes it easy to keep up with the multiple drastic weather changes. Afternoon thunderstorms or rain/hail are always a possibility too.
We have a group contract set up with the YMCA and if you would like to attend this gathering, you are part of our group! Please do not book your own rooms outside the group if you plan on participating with us.
Stay tuned to our news page and Facebook group for detailed information on the daily schedules and all the latest announcements on artists, makers/tuners, concerts, workshops, raffles, and events details. If you're ready to get your tickets, they are available now through this site only.
See you in August!
-Steel Mountain Team
All photos on the slideshow above are credited to the YMCA of the Rockies.
All photos on this slideshow are taken within Rocky Mountain National Park and credited to the National Parks Service.