Westcliffe sounds like a viable alternative. We actually caught fish in the Lower Sand Lake. I'm not sure about hotels in town, but it's not a bad little place. The Music Pass upper trailhead is about 40 minutes from town, and 4wd is preferable, but I've seen people drive Subaru's up there.
Campsites are not the cleanest I've seen, there was used TP on the ground left by people too lazy or too ignorant to dig a hole, but we also saw that on the Tonahutu loop at RMNP over this past Labor Day weekend. Oh, and it is hunting season up there, so orange would be advisable.
Sounds like a lot of work for you to get just a few days off. Hope you can manage something, and have fun.
To all the critics, what are we supposed to do? Stay home and watch the Weather Channel wringing our hands and feeling sorry for the Front Range? Life does go on, the there was nothing wrong with the guy asking the question.
We take nearly all of our vacations in CO, and NM for backpacking in the mountains. I come out there on solo trips when I can manage to get away. We love it out there as much as anyone, and truly feel for those caught up in this disaster. Being from NJ, you don't have to remind me how devastating something like this could be. So, excuse us for not showing what you might think is the proper response.