Cheap hotel rooms drive X Games crowd to Glenwood Springs | PostIndependent.com
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Cheap hotel rooms drive X Games crowd to Glenwood Springs

It may have been a drag for the cash-strapped 16-to-30 crowd to drive 40 miles from Aspen to Glenwood Springs to find a cheap hotel room for the X Games, but downvalley businesses aren’t complaining. Glenwood was hoppin’ over the weekend. Glenwood Canyon Brewery brew master Ken Jones’ theory: Everyone on the Front Range stayed home the previous weekend for the disastrous Denver Broncos playoff game. Last weekend, disappointed with their loss, Denverites emerged from the flatlands and descended on the Roaring Fork Valley for some snowy X Games action. “We certainly noticed a rise in business,” he said. “The X Games did give us a boost. We saw a lot of those (Front Range) folks around here.”Indeed, many crammed themselves into the cheapest hotel rooms in the valley, something found exclusively in Glenwood Springs. “Aspen and Snowmass fill up, so their overflow visitors stay in Glenwood Springs,” said Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association President Marianne Virgili. “A lot of the X Games audience is made up of young people on a budget. Glenwood Springs is very popular for them.”If you were on a budget in search of the cheapest digs around, $14 would have bought you a bunk at the Glenwood Springs Hostel on Saturday night. For $29 you could have scored a room for two, but don’t expect free piping hot cinnamon rolls waiting for you in the morning. Prices climbed quickly from there. Double occupancy at the Affordable Inn was $69.50, while the same room that night would have cost $84.50 at the Silver Spruce Motel, and $99.95 at the Ramada Inn. Compare those prices to a Saturday night stay at the Comfort Inn in Carbondale, which would have cost $139.99. The Best Western Aspenalt Lodge in Basalt charged $149 for room for two that night. hotel rooms: see page A2hotel rooms: from page A1One of Aspen’s cheapest rooms Saturday night – booked long in advance, of course – was found at the Hotel Durant for $179. The Molly Gibson Lodge charged $205 that night, while the Hotel Aspen’s cheapest room was $245. But while hotel owners were cheering about their bottom line, at least one wasn’t cheering at all about some of her rather rowdy clientele. “I had a bunch of parties I had to break up – all kids,” said Barbara Hille, manager of the Caravan Inn in Glenwood Springs. X Games spectators occupied about 90 percent of the Grand Avenue hotel’s rooms last weekend, she said. “This year was a lot busier than the prior years,” she said. “It was definitely unexpected to have that much overflow from Aspen.”Silver Spruce employee Lynna Radeck said her hotel was more than 80 percent full of X Games spectators. “We assumed we were going to be pretty busy,” she said. “We had a lot of reservations – that, and we were a lot cheaper than Aspen.”Crowding the hotel with X Games fans is a good thing because “it helps build clientele,” she said. Not all of Glenwood’s hotels were packed with X Games spectators. Scott Hert, owner of First Choice Inn in West Glenwood, said between three and 10 rooms were filled with people going to the X Games. “Not a huge impact,” he said. “It’s about what we get every year. Definitely a younger crowd.”Overall, Glenwood fared very well for the weekend, Virgili said. “There was a big impact from the X Games,” she said.The Winter X Games started last Friday and wrap up today. Last week, Aspen inked a deal to extend its contract to keep the games to 2010. The event includes winter sports events at the Buttermilk Ski Area and entertainment around Aspen. The Winter X Games started in 1997 and, after several other venues, moved to Aspen in 2002.Contact Bobby Magill: 945-8515, ext. 520bmagill@postindependent.com


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