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A Gateway to the Next Level of Business

The Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs is one of the most stunning natural wonders in the whole of the United States. With its massive red rock formations jutting out into the sky, its clear why it has become a destination for people looking to calm their minds and reset their perspectives. The area is known for inspiring visitors to get into the right mindset to absorb new thinking, making it an ideal destination for the FEDA Annual Conference.

The 2024 conference will be presented Sept. 17-20 at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs. The location is only a 15-minute drive from the Garden of the Gods and the resort’s secluded grounds provide a relaxing, distraction-free environment for learning. Additionally, FEDA will be the only group at the resort during the conference dates, which will reinforce opportunities for networking as attendees can be confident that every person they meet at the hotel bar or on the pickleball court is a fellow member of the industry.

Those kinds of interactions are why the FEDA Annual Conference is seen as the place where leaders and executives in the foodservice equipment and supplies industry go to get business done. And thanks to the resort’s robust amenities, FEDA will be able to offer even more networking events at the 2024 conference.

The educational lineup also promises to be more impactful than ever. FEDA continues to build its conference programming with an eye on the issues and topics that matter most to dealers and manufacturers. Those who attend can be confident that they will leave energized by new knowledge and unexpected ideas that they can bring back to their organizations.

Hotel Information
Having opened in 1984, Cheyenne Mountain Resort is a gateway to the great outdoors. Aside from the Garden of the Gods, the resort is located about 30 miles from Pikes Peak, one of the tallest summits in the Rocky Mountains, and the area offers experiences such as white-water rafting, Jeep tours, ziplining and more. The mountain from which the resort lends its name has also played an important role in the country’s defense, having housed an underground military base that served as the combat operations center for the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and now serving as the U.S. Space Command’s Missile Warning Center. The immediate area is also home to several key military installations, including Peterson Space Force Base and the United States Air Force Academy.

Cheyenne Mountain Resort is one of the largest hotels in Colorado Springs. Although the resort has been welcoming adventure seekers and business groups for nearly 40 years, it has been able to maintain a modern feel and contemporary amenities. The meeting spaces were newly renovated within the past year, meaning that FEDA Annual Conference attendees will be rubbing elbows and learning in a comfortable and stimulating setting.

Even if attendees never leave the property, the Cheyenne Mountain Resort offers plenty of options for adventure and relaxation. The more active attendees may enjoy the 18-hole golf course, eight brand-new permanent pickleball courts, 16 indoor/outdoor tennis courts, beach volleyball, and the outdoor Olympic-sized pool. Those looking for a little quiet time to reflect on everything they are learning at the conference will want to check out the Alluvia Spa, a full-service oasis for nurturing the mind, body and soul, or take a boat trip on the resort’s 35-acre private lake.

Regardless of how attendees unwind, they are sure to build up an appetite. The culinary options are another area where the Cheyenne Mountain Resort excels. Backed by Executive Chef James Wilson, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, the resort features three Colorado-inspired dining venues. Elevations is a rustic restaurant and bar steeped in local flavors, libations and culture while Gates Grille offers casual gourmet fare with spectacular views of Cheyenne Mountain and the golf course. Finally, Mountain View Restaurant boasts the best breakfast buffet in Colorado Springs.

Golf Outing
After returning in 2022, the FEDA Annual Conference golf outing just keeps getting bigger. With the Rocky Mountain’s jagged peaks as a backdrop, this year’s golf event is set up to be the most memorable yet.

Cheyenne Mountain Resort’s 18-hole course takes full advantage of its setting. Designed by prolific golf course architect Pete Dye, a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, the course features nearly 7,000 yards of immaculate greens, angled doglegs and sprawling sand traps that will challenge players of all skill levels. Players will especially enjoy the course’s signature 17th hole, a par three that sits against the shore of Curr Reservoir and features a long putting green nestled between two bunkers.

With prizes awarded to the winning groups and for skills challenges, the FEDA Annual Conference’s golf outing is a great way to earn bragging rights while teeing up a few conversation starters. However, the popularity of the event means that space is limited, so attendees are encouraged to sign up as soon as conference registration opens.

Networking and Free Time
One of the reasons golf has proven so popular at the FEDA Annual Conference is that it’s a great way to rekindle professional relationships or spark new ones. But even for those who don’t want to showcase their backswing, the conference will offer plenty of chances to make those connections.

For the last few years, based on attendee feedback, FEDA has been building more free time and networking opportunities into the conference schedule. The 2024 conference will continue to expand those options, with plenty of time for private one-on-one meetings and chance encounters at the resort’s restaurants or athletic courts. Also, in expanding on the success of the golf outing, FEDA is planning another sporting competition that will engage leaders and executives from dealers and manufacturers in a bit of fun rivalry. Stay tuned for more details early next year!

Opening Night Reception and Dinner
The opening night reception and dinner event will mark the official start of the 2024 FEDA Annual Conference. All attendees will gather to reconnect with their colleagues from across the industry while enjoying an evening of music and a selection of Colorado-inspired dishes and hors d’oeuvres.

General Sessions
The general sessions at the FEDA Annual Conference set up the topics that help drive the conversation both in the smaller group sessions and around the dinner table each evening. The 2024 lineup will feature exciting business, economic and industry speakers.

The general sessions will also provide a chance to hear directly from the people most embedded in shaping legislation and advocating on behalf of businesses. Advocacy leaders will provide important updates on the status of legislative and regulatory actions that will have the most significant impacts on foodservice equipment and supplies companies, providing attendees with the information they need to operate effectively in the face of changing requirements.

TED Talks and Topic Roundtables
New for the 2024 conference will be TED Talk-style presentations from knowledgeable FEDA members about the topics that are most relevant to the foodservice equipment and supplies industry. These presentations will provide powerful deep dives into the issues informed by real-life business experience.

The conference will then connect the information in those TED Talks to action through the roundtable discussions that follow. The reenvisioned roundtables will ask participants to select their own topics and share their experiences and business lessons. By bringing together dealers, manufacturers and other industry representatives, these roundtables will foster an understanding of various business challenges and how companies can work together to implement meaningful solutions.

Gold Awards Breakfast with Special Guest Presentation
The strength of the foodservice equipment and supplies industry comes from more than the equipment sold and the efficiency of warehouse operations. The companies that are truly moving the industry forward are the ones that raise expectations and invest in their futures. The FEDA Gold Awards Breakfast aims to celebrate the industry by recognizing those individuals and companies who are creating dynamic and unique workplace cultures, elevating service and operations, and helping young professionals become future leaders.

Following the breakfast and awards ceremony, there will be a special presentation from one of the nation’s most recognized and highly regarded leaders. More details will be announced in early 2024.

Last Night Event
After a few days of intense learning and networking, conference attendees will have one more chance to socialize at the Last Night event. The evening event will feature a casual atmosphere with music, food and drinks to help attendees unwind as they enjoy watching the sunset over the Rocky Mountains.

With a lineup of industry and business experts, alongside revised, impactful educational sessions, the 2024 FEDA Annual Conference is positioned to anchor the industry’s ascent into the next level of success. “We are so excited to welcome everyone to Colorado Springs in 2024,” says Valentina Tomov, chief program officer for FEDA. “Our schedule and programs are shaping up to be more engaging than ever and we look forward to sharing unmatched insights and invaluable perspectives from leaders within and outside our industry.”   

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