Inside the Chamber column: How to help our guests have a happy visit during the detour | PostIndependent.com

Inside the Chamber column: How to help our guests have a happy visit during the detour

Cristin Barta
Inside the Chamber

Cristin Barta

As a resort town, continued overnight visitation is essential to the health of Glenwood Springs' economy. Thankfully, in spite of the enormous infrastructure project in the heart of our tourist district over the last 18 months, the visitors have continued to show up. In fact, the latest year-over-year accommodations tax receipts show a 5 percent increase in lodging spending.

But now that the closure has arrived, it isn't just enough to make sure our visitors are coming. It is time for the Glenwood Springs community to go a step further and help them have a fabulous vacation in spite of the construction. How can we do that you ask? Well, let's simply encourage our visitors to follow the same guidelines we locals plan to follow.

First, whenever possible, show guests how they can walk, bike or bus to local attractions, shopping and dining. Luckily, as one of Colorado's most walkable towns, our guests tend to do this already. And now free bus rides and updated pedestrian access will help further reduce the number of cars on the road.

For us to share with visitors just how easy it is to get around without a car, the Grand Avenue bridge and tourism promotion teams put together a bridge closure informational piece specifically tailored to tourists. The two-sided, printable map includes information on how to access all the main attractions. It encourages the guests to leave their cars at the hotel by highlighting bus schedules and pedestrian paths.

We suggest having these on hand for all employees who interact with guests. Mark directions directly on these maps and hand them to guests to help them avoid getting lost. Let them know that all businesses in town are accessible. If they ask about a certain restaurant or store, happily explain how to get there.

Also, while helping guests get around it is essential we all stay positive. Positive attitudes breed positivity. When we interact with our guests we should convey what a landmark project this is for our community. A temporary inconvenience with long-term benefits, Glenwood Springs is excited for the transformation that is happening before our eyes. Commiserating with them is not going to help improve their trip. Use the resources available to find a solution to their challenges. So far, construction has not been an issue for our guests, and in truth our Glenwood Springs Visitor Center staff rarely receive positive or negative comments about the bridge.

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We want our visitors to keep coming back year after year, as so many of them already do. Let's work together to make sure they have a wonderful vacation during this bump in the road.

Cristin Barta is the tourism marketing project manager for the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association. For a copy of the map mentioned in this article, email cristin@glenwoodchamber.com or print it here: https://goo.gl/xf4rJ9.-

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