Being cheap brings in tourist bucks |

Being cheap brings in tourist bucks

Lynn Burton

The latest tourism survey shows the typical visitor to Glenwood Springs:-Is 35 to 49 years old.-Is part of a family with children, with a household income of $50,000 to $74,999 per year.-Ranked price as the number one reason for vacationing here, followed by scenic beauty, small-town atmosphere, number of activities and variety of special events.Those figures are included in the 2002 Glenwood Springs Visitor Research survey, conducted by the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association.A whopping 85 percent of the respondents rated their stays as “very enjoyable” to “extremely enjoyable.”Tourists also enjoy themselves in Glenwood Springs many, many times. The survey shows almost 56 percent of the respondents have visited Glenwood Springs more than five times. That statistic doesn’t surprise Rich Law, manager of the Antlers Motel.”I’d say 80 percent of our people are repeat,” Law said. “Families have been coming for years, and now their kids are coming.”The survey showed that 69 percent of Glenwood’s tourists are from Colorado. California comes in second with 4 percent, followed by Texas with 2 percent. Statistically speaking, nobody comes to Glenwood Springs from Missouri, Massachusetts and Arkansas.The survey asked 11 questions whose subjects ranged from the primary purpose of the visit to the length of stay in Glenwood Springs.A quick weekend getaway was listed as the primary purpose for visiting Glenwood Springs with 38 percent, followed by a family vacation with 23 percent. Weddings were dead last, at 1 percent. When asked which special events they attended, Strawberry Days led the pack with 16 percent, followed by the Fall Art Festival with 10 percent, the Summer of Jazz and Ski Spree or skating events with 7.9 percent and 7.6 percent respectively, sports tournaments with 6 percent, and the Tri-Glenwood Triathlon or other running events with 2 percent.Lori Hogan, the Chamber Resort Association’s tourism marketing director, said the 2003 advertising budget includes for the first time $7,500 to help groups promote their events. A key criteria in deciding which of more than a dozen special event groups receive funds will be whether they bring tourists to town.”Which events will put heads in beds,” Hogan said.The Hot Springs Pool is still Glenwood’s main tourist attraction, with 67 percent of the respondents taking at least one soak. “Rest and relaxation” was listed as the next most popular activity with 51 percent, followed by shopping with 34 percent.The largest number of respondents, at 41 percent, spent two nights in Glenwood Springs, with 29 percent spending one night, and 20 percent spending three nights. The average length of stay was 1.68 nights.Glenwood’s reputation as a family destination resort is reflected in dollar amounts visitors spend. A total of 37 percent spent $300 or less in Glenwood Springs, and only 2 percent spent $1,500 or more.Hogan said the survey was conducted through five seasons, starting in January 2001. The survey contained many of the same questions put to tourists in 2000-2001, but at least one was finetuned to reflect the popularity of Glenwood Caverns.A tramway will start shuttling visitors to the Caverns early next year, which chamber officials have said will give the local economy a shot in the arm.”Now we can start tracking the caverns,” Hogan said.

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