Laramie, Wyoming, sprung up as a railroad town in the 1860s and was infamous for lawlessness. Today, the town is home to the University of Wyoming and is known for its historic architecture, quaint shops, dining and breweries. For meetings, the new Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center, a $35 million conference and event facility and museum that opened fall 2014 on the UW campus, is a major draw.
Visitors can feel Laramie’s Wild West heartbeat everywhere they turn, as 21 sites in the area are on the National Register of Historic Places. A host of museums pay homage to the city’s past, such as the Wyoming Territorial Prison, which once held notorious train and bank robber Butch Cassidy. Planners can rent numerous spaces and structures in the historic prison compound, including an old theater, for meetings and events.
Historic walking tours abound in Laramie. Interested in railroad architecture? Rodeo roots? Ghost towns? There’s a tour for that. Planners can tailor private tours to group interests, then top them off with a rustler-worthy dinner at Altitude Chophouse or the historic Cavalryman Steakhouse. Laramie also serves as the jumping-off point for visitors to the snowy Medicine Bow Mountains that flank the town, which lured cattle drivers in the late 1800s.