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ALA 2023 Annual Conference & Expo


Discover Aurora


Welcome to Aurora, Colorado — a vibrant and diverse city that offers a perfect blend of urban excitement and natural splendor. Located just a short drive away from Denver, Aurora has established itself as a thriving community with a wide array of attractions, activities and cultural experiences. Whether you're staying only for the #ALAConf24 weekend, or longer, Aurora has something for everyone, from outdoor adventures to cultural exploration and culinary delights and much more!



A Message from ALA's Mile High Chapter


Merriam-Webster defines conference as:

noun     kən-ˈfər-ən(t)s
a:         a meeting of two or more persons for discussing matters of common concern
b:         a usually formal interchange of views
c:         a meeting of members of the Association of Legal Administrators in Aurora, Colorado May 19–22, 2024

We added the ending of part c, but if you are the slightest bit involved with the management of law, there’s no other way to define the largest conference of legal management professionals in the world. Knowing many of you personally, we’re confident that we’re not telling you anything that you don’t already know. If by some twist of fate, you haven’t yet registered to attend, there’s still time to get on-board and discover the difference. ALA’s Annual Conference and Expo is the place where we’re: Creating Excellence. Driving Innovation. Empowering Leaders in Law.

What you may not know is that there are over 50 sessions including general, break-out and meeting-of-the-minds sessions. Additionally, there are 14 Business Matters sessions brought to us by our business partners. There’s a general session each day featuring some world-renowned speakers who are sure to motivate and enlighten us. Then there are the break-out sessions which cover operations, human resources, finance, information technology, legal industry issues and a focus on individual wellness. Our meeting-of-the-minds sessions give you the opportunity to meet with like individuals to discuss select topics and share ideas to collaboratively further the legal industry. Our Business Matters sessions help you evaluate trends and meet with some of the top subject matter experts of the day.

Finally, there’s no better place to find the latest and greatest products and services being offered to the legal community than the Expo Hall. If you’re in the market for new services, technologies, software solutions, etc., there’s nothing quite like the excitement of the Expo Hall to get your creative juices flowing.

The educational offerings and Expo offerings of the Annual Conference are all you need to find solutions and learn new skills for your personal betterment and that of your legal operations. But there’s more…so much more!

Merriam-Webster defines networking as:

noun    ˈnet-ˌwər-king 
the exchange of information among individuals, groups, or institutions
specifically: cultivation of productive relationships which can be achieved at ALA’s Annual Conference

Okay, we might have edited that last part. However, many of us do rely on ALA’s Annual Conference to provide ample networking opportunities in addition to educational sessions. Simply speak to those sitting at your table or who are seated nearby in classes, and you will learn you are surrounded by like-minded individuals with the same concerns and facing the same challenges as you are – and you are often within arm’s reach of 50+ years of experience overcoming similar hurdles to your own. What’s the best way to network? Just start talking. Introduce yourself and share something about your company. Hi, my name is Missy Hirst, and my firm has 40 employees and a fear of ChatGPT. And, you are?

The ALA knows full well we learn from one another while at conference, so you’ll see they have formally scheduled opportunities to network on the agenda. If you’re relatively new to ALA or if you’ve been a member for a while but this is your first ALA conference, plan to attend the Newcomers Connection on Sunday at 5 p.m. From there, you can head on to the Welcome Reception to meet and greet everyone else anxious for the conference to begin. It’s social and it’s fun. And there will be food, drink, music, and good times, I assure you.

Once the conference kicks off, take advantage of the multiple networking opportunities available to you over the next few days. There’s a networking continental breakfast on Monday beginning at 7:30 a.m. Networking breaks will be in the Exhibit Hall mid-morning on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. There will be networking luncheons on Monday and Wednesday. Mid-afternoon networking breaks are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday. And, there will be a networking reception at 5:15 p.m. on Tuesday and a closing networking event at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

Plan on capitalizing on your ALA Annual Conference by experiencing networking at its most productive.

geographical name Col·o·ra·do ˌkä-lə-ˈra-(ˌ)dō  chiefly by outsiders  -ˈrä- 

According to Merriam-Webster, Colorado is defined as a state located in the western United States, known for its stunning mountain landscapes, vibrant culture, and diverse recreational opportunities. Visiting Colorado in May promises an eclectic blend of activities catering to all tastes. Sporting enthusiasts can revel in the excitement of baseball games at Coors Field or witness the intense athleticism of the Colorado Rockies climbing season. Golf aficionados can tee off amidst stunning mountain backdrops at world-class courses such as the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs or the Keystone Ranch Golf Course. Those inclined towards culture can explore the vibrant art scene in Denver's RiNo Art District or immerse themselves in the rich history of Mesa Verde National Park. Shopping enthusiasts can indulge in boutique finds along Denver's Larimer Square or peruse artisanal crafts at the Boulder Farmers' Market. Culinary delights await at every corner, from farm-to-table restaurants serving up delectable Colorado cuisine to the myriad of food trucks offering diverse flavors. Microbrew aficionados can sample the state's renowned craft beer scene with brewery tours and tastings. Outdoor adventurers can embark on breathtaking hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park or whitewater raft down the roaring rivers. For relaxation, spa and wellness retreats nestled in serene mountain settings offer rejuvenating treatments. It is crucial to remember to wear sunscreen, stay hydrated, and be mindful of altitude sickness symptoms when exploring Colorado's awe-inspiring landscapes.




Discover the unique attractions that make Aurora an exciting destination. The Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum is a must-visit for aviation enthusiasts, showcasing an impressive collection of aircraft and space artifacts. If you're looking for family-friendly fun, head to the Children's Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus, where interactive exhibits and hands-on activities await. Additionally, the nearby Denver Zoo and Denver Botanic Gardens provide captivating experiences for nature enthusiasts.


Immerse yourself in Aurora's rich arts and cultural scene. The Aurora History Museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the city's heritage, featuring engaging exhibits and educational programs. Art aficionados will appreciate the exhibitions at the Aurora Cultural Arts District, where local artists showcase their talents through various mediums. For a dose of performing arts, catch a show at the Aurora Fox Arts Center, known for its diverse theatrical performances and community events.



Indulge in the culinary offerings of Aurora, where a diverse food scene awaits. From cozy cafes to upscale dining establishments, Aurora boasts a wide range of international cuisines to satisfy every palate. Explore Stanley Marketplace, a bustling hub of eateries and shops housed in a former aviation manufacturing facility, offering a feast for the senses. Don't miss the opportunity to savor local craft brews at Aurora's breweries, where you can sample a variety of handcrafted beers and soak in the vibrant atmosphere.


Nature enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunities to explore the great outdoors in Aurora. Plan a hike at the nearby Cherry Creek State Park, featuring scenic trails, wildlife viewing and water-based activities such as boating and paddleboarding. Golf enthusiasts can tee off at the award-winning golf courses in Aurora, including Murphy Creek Golf Course and Saddle Rock Golf Course, where stunning landscapes provide the backdrop for a memorable day on the greens.



Satisfy your shopping desires at Aurora's diverse retail destinations. The Southlands lifestyle center offers a mix of national retailers, local boutiques and dining options, creating a vibrant shopping and entertainment district. For unique finds and artisanal goods, explore the boutiques and specialty shops in Aurora's charming neighborhoods, where you'll discover one-of-a-kind items and locally made treasures.


Explore a variety of excellent spa and wellness locations in the city. Aurora has it all ― traditional Korean day-spas, pampering nail salons, an all-day spa experience and everything in between. Stop by one of our wellness centers, local businesses or yoga studios to focus on your well-being while traveling.


Let's Get Prepared


Before you dive into your conference itinerary, let's talk about altitude. Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado boasts some of the highest elevations in the United States, including Denver’s famous mile-high status. As such, the oxygen level in Aurora is about 15% lower than it is at sea level.

With that in mind, it’s important to give your body time to adjust to the lower oxygen levels. This is known as acclimatization.

Here are some tips to help you acclimate smoothly:

  • Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate: Increase your water intake before and during your trip. Hydration is key to helping mitigate altitude sickness symptoms.
  • Take it Easy: Don't overexert yourself in the first 24 to 48 hours. Give your body a chance to adapt to the elevation.
  • Eat Light: Enjoy meals that are high in carbohydrates and low in salt to maintain your energy levels.
  • Limit Alcohol and Caffeine: Both can dehydrate you and exacerbate altitude sickness.
  • Monitor Your Health: Pay attention to your body. If you feel unusually short of breath, dizzy or have other concerns, seek medical advice.

Remember: Give yourself the time to adapt and soon you’ll be breathing easy and ready to take on all the experiences this high-elevation haven has to offer. We look forward to welcoming you to an elevated conference experience in every sense of the word.

Recommendations! Places to Visit While You Are Here


Restaurants near The Gaylord/Short Uber

  • Moonlight Diner – 6250 Tower Road (Good for Breakfast & Brunch) 
  • Di Ciccco’s – 6701 Tower Road (Italian)
  • Green Valley Ranch Beer Garden – 4995 Argonne St, Denver, CO 80249
  • Corner Bakery – 5680 Tower Rd. Suite 130
  • Ted’s Montana Grill – 16495 E. 40th Circle, Aurora
  • Garibaldi Mexican Restaurant – 3471 N. Salida St., Aurora
  • Fontana Sushi – 19741 E. Smoky Hill Road, Suite B; Centennial, CO 80015 
  • Athenian Restaurant – 15350 E. Iliff Ave., Aurora CO 80013
  • Café Paprika – 13160 E Mississippi Ave, Aurora, CO 80012
  • K+ Hotpot – 21699 E Quincy Ave, A, B, Aurora, CO

Southlands Mall in Aurora, CO (about 20 minutes away – estimated ride share cost $30)
— Address: 6155 S. Main Street, Aurora, CO 80016 (E-470 and Smoky Hill Road)

Restaurants in Southlands Mall

  • Monsoon (Indian)
  • Mt. Fuji Sushi & Hibachi
  • Ted’s Montana Grill
  • Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar
  • Lazy Dog
  • PF Chang’s
  • On the Border
  • Olive Garaden
  • Chili’s
  • Red Lobster
  • Buffalo Wild Wings
  • Bent Barley Brewing Co.

Stanley Marketplace – (about 25-30 minutes away):
— Address: 2501 Dallas Street, Aurora, Colorado 80010

  • Stanley Marketplace is a community of 50+ independently owned Colorado businesses that offer a place for you to eat, drink, shop, exercise, play, work, and more. 

Restaurants in Stanley Marketplace

  • Annette
  • Boychik
  • Cattivellela
  • Chi Lin Asian Eatery
  • Denver Biscuit Co.
  • Comida
  • Rolling House BBQ
  • Other places
    • Maria Empanada
    • Miette Et Chocolat
    • Sweet Cow Ice Cream
    • Cheluna Brewing Co.

Take the Light Rail into Downtown/Union Station

NOTE: The Gaylord Rockies resort fee includes scheduled shuttle service between the hotel and light rail station located at 61st and Pena, approximately five minutes from the hotel. This station is the first stop after departing Denver International Airport (DEN) toward downtown Denver.  3-Hour Pass $2.75; Day Pass $5.50. – (see light rail map below)

  • Venice – 1700 Wynkoop St., Denver CO 80202
  • Machete Tequila + Tacos – 1730 Wynkoop St.
  • Wynkoop Brewing Company – 1634 18th St. 303-297-2700
  • Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant – 1745 Wazee St. 303-23-5432
  • Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill – 1605 Wynkoop St
  • Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse – 1513 Wynkoop St
  • Tupelo Honey Southern Kitchen & Bar – 1650 Wewatta St #104
  • Stoic & Genuine – 1701 Wynkoop St
  • Ultreia  – 1701 Wynkoop St #125
  • Citizen Rail – 1899 16th St Mall
  • JINYA Ramen Bar – Union Station
  • Kachina Cantina – 1890 Wazee St.
  • The Kitchen American Bistro – LoDo 1560 Wazee St., Denver, CO 80202
  • Illegal Pete's Lodo – 1610 16th St Mall
  • Nola Jane Restaurant & Bar – 1435 Market St.
  • Hopdoddy Burger Bar – 1747 Wynkoop St
  • ChoLon – Downtown – 1555 Blake St. #101
  • Tavernetta – 1889 16th St Mall
  • Urban Farmer Denver  – 1659 Wazee St
  • D’Corazon Mexican Restaurant – 1530 Blake St., Unit C.

Things to do in Denver