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Glenwood Springs, Colo.: Springtime in the Rockies


Courtesy Visit Glenwood Springs

Where is Glenwood Springs, Colo.?

Glenwood Springs is between Aspen and Vail, 160 miles west of Denver. On Colorado’s Western Slope, the town of 9,000 is slightly higher than Denver, at 5,746 feet. At the confluence of the Colorado and Roaring Fork rivers, Glenwood Springs is home to Glenwood Canyon and Hanging Lake.

How do we get there?
Glenwood Springs is on Interstate 70, 90 miles east of Grand Junction. Air service is available at the Vail/Eagle County Regional Airport, 30 miles east, at Aspen Airport, 40 miles south; and Grand Junction Regional Airport, 90 miles east. Denver International has daily flights into Vail and Aspen, and a number of cities have direct flights to Vail. Amtrak’s California Zephyr makes a stop in Glenwood Springs.

What types of meetings best suit Glenwood Springs?
Conferences, meetings and reunions for up to 250 people are a good fit. The city has more than 1,700 guest rooms at hotels, motels and inns.

What’s new?
• Two Marriott-brand hotels opened this spring. The 101-room Courtyard by Marriott and the 124-room Residence Inn by Marriott are near shopping and dining, trails and other attractions. The Courtyard has a small meeting room.

• A new events space will open next spring at Glenwood Canyon Resort. The timber lodge will have 2,700 square feet of indoor events space and a large elevated deck that will allow parties to pour outdoors.

• Glenwood Springs Whitewater Park, a freestyle play park and water feature, was built in 2008 on the Colorado River and is enjoyed by kayakers, surfers, boogie boarders, rafters, inner-tubers and others. The venue has hosted two competitions including the recent U.S. Freestyle Kayaking Team Trials.

Did you know?

• Glenwood Springs is celebrating its 125th birthday. Even before it was a city, Glenwood Springs was a tourist destination, largely because of its mountain location and 50 mineral hot springs. Teddy Roosevelt, Molly Brown, Al Capone and John “Doc” Holliday were early visitors.

• True West magazine designated Glenwood Springs a “Top 10 True Western Town,” and the Travel Channel named Glenwood Springs “America’s No. 1 Hottest Place to Cool Off.”

• The National Trust for Historic Preservation named Glenwood Springs one of America’s “Dozen Distinctive Destinations” in 2004.

Tell me about the main meeting venues.

• The area’s largest and most historic hotel is the 130-room Hotel Colorado. It was built in 1893 by silver magnate Walter Devereux, who also built Glenwood Springs’ best-known attraction, the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool, and who is credited with making the town the “Spa of the Rockies.”

Teddy Roosevelt was such a frequent guest that the hotel became known as the Little White House of the West. Now a member of Historic Hotels of America, the handsome property has 10,000 square feet of meeting space.

• The second-largest conference hotel is the 120-room Ramada Inn and Suites, with 7,000 square feet of meeting space.

Tell me about some spots for off-site events.
• Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is a multidimensional mountaintop attraction. Adventurous types can explore Glenwood Caverns and Historic Fairy Caves. Thrill seekers can ride the rides, scale a climbing wall and master a mechanical bull. Scenery seekers will enjoy its Iron Mountain Tramway. The park welcomes groups, and its most popular event is a group picnic that offers unlimited turns on the alpine roller coaster and other rides, as well as a pasta or fajita bar.

Describe some of the sites worth seeing.
• Don’t forget your bathing suit, because Glenwood Hot Springs Pool, the world’s largest mineral hot springs pool, is worth a soak. Hike and bike the area’s 30 trails, and then sit a spell in a pool that is a steady 90 to 93 degrees. To turn the rejuvenation up a notch, schedule a treatment at the Spa of the Rockies, a new holistic spa that is a reincarnation of the spa built when the pool opened in 1888.

• A century ago, vaudeville was the only show in town in the West. The Glenwood Vaudeville Revue revives this tradition at the Blue Acacia Theatre in the Masonic Lodge with a two-hour family show and pub-style dinner with skits, jokes, dance numbers and song. Performances are weekend evenings during the summer and during the winter holidays.

• Soar across the Colorado River on one of three 350-foot zip-line rides in Glenwood Canyon with Glenwood Canyon Zipline Adventures. The zip lines are high above whitewater rapids.

For a true taste of Glenwood Springs …
A convertible and a summer Colorado evening are a winning combo at Vicco’s Charcoalburger Drive-In. This throwback to the 1950s has been in business since the early years of that decade, and its burgers, fries and old-fashioned milkshakes have amassed a following. Buffalo, elk and veggie patties, all a hefty one-third pound, are alternatives to traditional beef burgers.
The historic Hotel Denver is home to Glenwood Canyon Brewpub, known for its honey ale, concocted from wheat and local honey.

At the Hotel Colorado, Baron’s Restaurant uses brews in a different vein with its Fat Tire-battered salmon. Other specialties are red curry chicken soup, pan-fried Colorado rainbow trout and a tasty Palisade Peach barbecue sauce. At Juicy Lucy’s Steakhouse, local owners David and Cece Zumwinkle have handpicked a wine list that’s affordable and well suited to the dishes David whips up using Sterling Silver beef, local elk and lamb and fresh seafood. The list has earned honors from Wine Spectator.

For more information:

970-945-6589, Ext. 110