as a Grand Forks native…
It is going to be cheaper to fly from Denver to Fargo on AA than to fly into GFK. This is probably a the best option as far as air travel goes. Not sure about the best way to get the 70 miles North to GFK as a team. There are buses (Not frequent). You may be able to work something out with one of the FRC team’s from Fargo. Or rent vehicles, forks is not cheap to fly into and the flights are not always at the most convenient times (although a lot of the hotels will run shuttles).
As for Driving… once you clear CO it is smooth sailing driving from Denver to GFK in the summer. Probably not the best idea in Feb/march time frame if you can’t tolerate delays.
There are a LOT of hotels within a 4-6 block radius of the venue (not just the canad inn). The hotels in this area are all pretty good and deal with teams all of the time (lots of hockey tourneys in GFK)
I wouldn’t worry too much about the cold, just bring your normal Colorado winter stuff so long as it is wind proof (i.e. bring a ski jacket, gloves, hat and such)
Team 8 and 141 (I think) reached out to 876 to deal with some shipping stuff for robots last year, just a heads up.
As for food: there are the regular fast food/chain options. If you rent a van or two for the weekend and drive up from Fargo this buys you a lot of leeway for eating out for dinner. I would entertain the possibility of cattering in qudoba or something for the venue (someone doublecheck me here, I should know this because I am still technically on alerus payroll, but i think it is ok to bring food into the concourse area), another option if you have vehicles is to make a grocery store run for sandwich stuff.
Restaurants on that side of the river that are going to be good:
Fuji Japanese Seafood and Steakhouse
Rhombus guys (amazing but a little pricey pizza)
The truckstop on the corner of Gateway (US2) and I29 will feed you at any hour of the day
… and Red Pepper/Deeks pizza if you want “college drunk food”.
In East grand: