Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park ready to ring in the season with 750,000 holiday lights |

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park ready to ring in the season with 750,000 holiday lights

Kristof Kozmowski sketches outlines before doing touch-up paint work to Santa's sleigh at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in preparation for Winter on the Mountain.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
The Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park has been prepping for Winter on the Mountain since Labor Day.

Chelsea Self / Post Independent

The Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park starts planning its Winter on the Mountain festivities long before the first snowfall arrives. 

“It’s a pretty intricate process,” Bob Stepniewski, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park food, beverage and entertainment manager, said. “We start that process even before Labor Day.”

This year, over 750,000 holiday lights will illuminate the adventure park, which perches 7,100 feet above sea level.

While Winter on the Mountain officially kicks off Nov. 23, the park will debut the spectacle, via a soft opening, this weekend.

“Come on up if you want to see the lights without the crowds,” Stepniewski said of this weekend’s soft opening.    

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According to Stepniewski, the idea to light up the adventure park in the Rocky Mountains was partially inspired by a theme park owned by Dolly Parton in the Smoky Mountains of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. 

“Dollywood, I think they have 5 or 6 million lights that they put up; it’s a big park,” Stepniewski said. “That was kind of the inspiration for what we’re doing now.”

Winter on the Mountain also showcases a musical Christmas tree that plays holiday tunes to a synchronized light show.

The massive tree alone requires 80,000 lights.

According to Stepniewski, renewable energy will power the three-quarters of a million holiday lights after Glenwood Springs became the seventh city in the U.S. to rely entirely on renewable energy earlier this year.

Friday also marks the return of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park’s Friday Afternoon Club. 

The Friday Afternoon Club features live music and food and drink specials from 5-8:30 p.m. in the adventure park’s Lookout Grille.

Folk duo Pam and Dan will kick off the Friday Afternoon Club with performances of popular covers and their own original tunes, too.

“We’ll have live entertainment in the restaurant,” Stepniewski said. “Either a solo, a duo or a trio in a little more intimate setting.” 

Additionally, popular adventure park attractions such as the haunted mine drop, which plunges riders 110 feet inside Iron Mountain and the alpine coaster that takes riders down 3,400 feet of track will open during the winter.

The park’s 4D motion theater, laser tag and cave tours will also welcome patrons this winter.

According to Stepniewski, regardless of the temperature outside, the adventure park’s caves remain 52 degrees year-round. 

“In the winter it’s actually kind of nice to go in there when it’s cold,” Stepniewski said of the cave tours. 

Now in its fifth season, Winter on the Mountain at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park runs from Nov. 15 through Feb. 29, 2020.  

“The staff will get tired of Christmas music by the end of February,” Stepniewski joked.

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