‘We wanted adventure’ — Glenwood draws summer workers | PostIndependent.com

‘We wanted adventure’ — Glenwood draws summer workers

Kelli Rollin
Geralyn Moody from Rochester, Michigan, chats with co-workers at Glenwood Adventure Co. She's in town working as a Segway guide this summer.
Kelli Rollin / Post Independent |

It’s barely been a week, but smiling faces and bright, ice cream-colored dresses have helped settle Savannah Chupp and Julie Hochstetler into their job at Sweet Adventures.

Chupp and Hochstetler, both Amish from Indiana, came to Glenwood Springs for a summer job, as many other young people do each year, working for retail shops, outdoor companies, restaurants or the hilltop caverns and amusement park.

“We were wanting something exciting in our lives,” Chupp said. “We wanted adventure.”

Ken Murphy, owner of Glenwood Adventure Co. and Sweet Adventures, offered the girls a job at the candy and ice cream shop after Hochstetler and her family visited last summer.

After being stressed at work in Indiana, Hochstetler decided to take Murphy up on his offer.

“We did kind of plan it in one day,” Hochstetler said about deciding with co-worker and friend Chupp to come to Glenwood.

Their adventure began with support from their families as they traveled by train to Glenwood, as the Amish don’t drive.

“I think they’re all kind of jealous,” Hochstetler jokingly said about her family.

So far, both said they like working at Sweet Adventures.

“I like the fun, happy atmosphere,” Chupp said.

“It’s easy to make people happy with ice cream,” Hochstetler said.

This is the second year Murphy has drawn Amish workers to his business after creating a relationship over the years.

“There’s a trust factor now,” Murphy said.

Murphy finds housing for the workers who come from out of town, which is about half of his summer team of 113 workers.

“Glenwood is such a hub for the outdoors,” he said. “It’s important to have a combination of locals and out of state.”

Haley Marshall came from Texas to work for Murphy in Glenwood, bringing magical knowledge with her.

Marshall previously worked for Disney as a skipper on the jungle cruise. A skipper, as Marshall described it, is sort of like a cruise guide but involves “a lot of dad jokes.”

That intern and job experience was a good match to be a raft guide for the adventure company. Marshall has family in Glenwood, so she decided to check out other jobs.

“My internship was ending at Disney, but I still wanted to be in the guest service industry,” Marshall said.

Out of 600 summer applicants, Marshall was one of 30 who were hired.

She came to Glenwood in early May for training and said the previous training classes she took at Disney helped her as a raft guide. Including the dad jokes, which work as well on the Colorado River as on a Disney amusement park.

“This company in particular, everyone is like a big family,” she said, which helped her transition of moving.

But Glenwood Adventure Co. and Sweet Adventures aren’t the only businesses that draw out-of-town summer workers.

Dallas twins Kaylee and Danielle Sullivan came to work Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park because of the fun things they heard from their sisters, who worked there before.

“It was our turn,” Kaylee said.

The Sullivans have family near Glenwood, which they said made it easier to move here from Texas for the summer.

They said their family used to visit the Adventure Park, the last time being when they were 12. But that was nearly 10 years ago, as the twins are in college now.

They chatted about favorite childhood rides and attractions in the park. Both mentioned the cave tours and Alpine Coaster at the top of their lists.

“I love the people and environment we’re in,” Kaylee said. “You’re not just in a tiny space all day.”

Humorously noting that she sometimes loses breath walking up the hill, Danielle said she enjoys working outside.

“My mission is to make people smile,” Danielle said. “I like being outdoors and interacting with the guests,” she said.

Eric Brotherson, the human resources manager for Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, said the business employees about 200 people in the summer.

“Two hundred employees is a lot, but we always want to maintain that close-knit feel,” Brotherson said about the work environment.

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