Inside the Chamber: A walk with a 3-year-old or bridge detour? Either way, stop and smell the flowers | PostIndependent.com

Inside the Chamber: A walk with a 3-year-old or bridge detour? Either way, stop and smell the flowers

Angie Anderson
Inside the Chamber

Angie Anderson

We smell every flower we see, examine every bug and jump into every puddle within sight. This is a typical walk with my 3-year-old daughter. Getting from point A to point B certainly takes a little (or sometimes a lot) longer with a small child, but it also forces me to slow down, look around and appreciate my surroundings.

The Grand Avenue bridge detour is very much like a walk with a 3-year-old. It takes most of us longer to get from one place to another, but I believe that this project is bringing out the best in our community. In fact, I have never been prouder to live here. We look forward to the day when our greatly anticipated new bridge opens, but in the meantime, there are many great things happening that deserve recognition. Residents throughout the region are utilizing alternative and unique forms of transportation, businesses are putting their best foot forward, and we're all working together as a team.

First, kudos to everyone from Parachute to Aspen who is utilizing some form of alternative transportation when they can. My family is a regular on the Hogback bus. It's been very convenient for us, and my daughter can hardly contain her excitement when the bus arrives. Everyone has been so pleasant from the bus drivers to people that offer seats to one another when the bus is full.

Walking over the pedestrian bridge each morning and afternoon has been one of my favorite parts of the experience. Not only do we get to see amazing progress happening on a daily basis, but it's become the social gathering place in town where old friends randomly connect. Even strangers are united as they watch Glenwood's newest addition take shape.

One of the most creative forms of transportation is the school district's "walking bus," where volunteers walk with kids between Two Rivers Park to GSES. The program even caught the eye of 9News last week. One of the highlights is Janelle Lundin, who wears a different and fun hat every day, plays music and dances along the trail. What a unique way to put the best possible light on a scenario. Kids may never want to ride the regular yellow school bus again.

Businesses are adjusting hours and even offering creative incentives to meet the needs of their customers. For example, there are special yoga classes at Providence Apothecary or take advantage of a short-term gym membership at Midland Fitness. These provide a great opportunity to start healthy habits that could extend even beyond this 95-day period. Jonathan Gorst, owner of the Riviera Supper Club & Piano Bar, is collaborating with other businesses to offer the The Detour to Relaxation. Five validations from any downtown business will get you a day pass to the Iron Mountain Hot Springs. Learn about these special offers and more at glenwoodchamber.com/bridge-bargains.

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Who wants to win a prize package worth $1,000? The Glenwood Springs Chamber's Bridge to Riches Treasure Hunt is a fun way to discover and support our downtown. New clues as to the whereabouts and contents of the treasure are posted every Monday morning in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, at glenwoodchamber.com/treasure and on Twitter @gwschamber.

Our new bridge will be complete before we know it. In the meantime, keep up the good work, everyone. Thanks to those that have worked so hard to get us to this point. This has been a fantastic team effort, but our continued support is needed until the end. A simple thanks to the police at the crosswalks — a smile or hello goes a long way.

If you follow social media, there's a lot of positive "liking" and "sharing" happening. A great example of this is Mike Mercatoris' #rooftopreport from the roof of the Grind. There are lots of selfies too. Glenwood Insurance encourages their employees to go out to lunch and take a selfie at the restaurant with the hashtag #giasupportingdowntown. Positivity and enthusiasm are contagious — let's keep spreading them around.

By slowing down a little bit — whether it's on walks with my 3-year-old or traveling from one place to another during this detour — I've enjoyed noticing things I wouldn't normally notice. Most of all, I'm reminded of why I chose to live here in the first place. I'm proud to be part of a community that works together to turn challenges into opportunities.

Angie Anderson is the executive vice president at the Glenwood Springs Chamber.

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