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Businesses bushed after Presidents Day

Cristina GairSpecial to the Post Independent
Post Independent Photo/Kelley Cox
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For those seeking sanctuary in the mountains whether to ski, take a dip in the Hot Springs Pool, or just enjoy a romantic getaway, Glenwood Springs was a hot spot for Presidents Day weekend.For JoAnn Acosta and her three adult daughters, it was Girls Weekend Out and the continuing of a 15-year tradition. We came up just for the pool, Acosta said. We used to live in Rifle. We moved back to Denver 10 years ago, and now we come here all the time. Acosta said the pool was very crowded, but she expected that with a holiday weekend. Actual pool attendance numbers were not available at presstime.Acostas daughter, Brittany Soto, might win the award as the visitor from the farthest distance. She is visiting her mom from Okinawa, Japan, where she is stationed with her husband, a pilot in the Airforce. On Monday, Acosta and her daughters were preparing to leave, but not before hitting the downtown shops.The combination of a three-day weekend with a Saturday Valentines Day brought in-state tourists from Denver to Grand Junction and out-of-state tourists from Missouri and Texas. Traffic was constant at attractions, eateries, downtown retail shops and hotels.Hotels in Glenwood were bursting close to or at full occupancy. The 71-room Hotel Denver had 100 percent occupancy for the holiday weekend with guests from states as far-flung as California and Massachusetts, according to Corrine Elston, front desk manager. She said numbers were up slightly from last year.Also, the Hot Springs Lodge was mostly sold out all weekend, and according to the front desk clerks, Friday and Saturday found a lot of couples checking in for a romantic Valentines weekend.For Sunlight Mountain Resort, this weekend delivered a 5 percent increase in ski traffic over last year.We were pretty solid, said Turi Nevin-Turkel, marketing, sales and communications director for Sunlight. It had a lot to do with our partnership with the Hot Springs Pool, chamber of commerce, and our Ski, Swim, Stay package.Also, snow conditions have been pretty decent. Turkel said. This weekend is one of the big ones for Sunlight, but it doesnt compare to the Christmas and New Years holiday or spring break weeks in mid-March. Either way, Turkel is happy with the result: If we continue to have a 5 percent increase each year, well take it.The Glenwood Caverns first Presidents Day Weekend was deemed a success. Most of our cave tours were full all weekend, said Steve Beckley, co-owner of Glenwood Caverns. We could use more weekends like this. Cave tour traffic on Saturday and Sunday numbered more than 400 people. This is less than the height of 800 during the summer, but it is a significant number during the winter months.Monday found those who worked the weekend shift ready for a break.Weekend sales and tourist traffic increased at Summit Canyon Mountaineering. There were a lot of people from out-of-town. It was definitely busier than a regular weekend, said Jen Jabbour, sales associate.We got killed all weekend, said Amy Thomasell, bartender at the Springs Downtown Bar & Grill. Were all still very tired from it. Thomasell said the room was filled on Saturday night with tourists and some locals waiting to get served.We were at full capacity on Saturday, said Anita Juan, Rivers restaurants general manager. Valentines Day in and of itself was better than last year. Juan said she estimates about 75 percent of people were from out-of-town, with locals making up the remaining 25 percent.One visit to Glenwood Springs often brings another, until it becomes a tradition to come to the area, for those such as Acosta and others who have fond memories of the mountain town and its attractions.On Monday on their way back from Los Angeles, Jim and Carol Ross of Monument stopped at the Hot Springs Pool to revisit the site of their honeymoon in 1970. Carol said that they came to Glenwood several times since and that they would continue to come back.


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