Glenwood Caverns scales up its attractions
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park owner Steve Beckley is banking on the addition of three new attractions at the park to make it a viable year-round business.
The park, celebrating its 10th year in business, typically closes for at least a couple of months during the winter, but Beckley said the new attractions will allow for people to enjoy the park year-round.
“This year we shut down for January and February but we will be open for those months next year,” Beckley said. “We didn’t have any attractions that could stay open in the winter, but with the addition of the new theater and lazer tag, the kids will have a place to do something in the winter.”
The three attractions Beckley announced Wednesday were the Hole in the Wall 4D Theater, the OK Corral Laser Tag Arena, and a Speleobox Cave Simulator.
Beckley says that the 4D theater is the first in Colorado, and it combines 3D high-definition films with moving seats, bursts of wind, fragrances, and even a water feature that will allow patrons to feel the elements while they are inside. Movies are adventures, such as “Turtle Vision,” that takes patrons on a turtle’s journey through various waters and regions of the world.
“When you sit in the seat they have the ability to move and it also has little pokers that poke you in the back,” Beckley said.
The theater opening is scheduled for the first week in May. Construction began on the structures after the park closed for January.
The other attraction that has Beckley smiling is the OK Corral Laser Tag. This new indoor arena is the spitting image of an old west town under a futuristic black light that turns everything neon.
“It’s going to be a custom design,” Beckley said. “But it really looks like an old west town and it’s certainly sticking with the old west theme.”
Beckley said that compared to 2007, business increased 3 to 4 percent at the park during the 2008 season when the first waves of the recession were hitting much of the nation. He attributes the park’s successful season to the addition of a $37 day pass that included unlimited access to the park’s attractions and rides. While the day pass includes unlimited rides and the tram ride to the park, individual tickets for specific rides are still available.
“We saw business increase last year, I think, because of the day pass,” Beckley said. “People could come up and enjoy unlimited rides.”
Beckley said that good business last year made them decide to move forward with the nearly $500,000 additions despite the bad economy. And he believes with the new attractions added, and bringing the day pass back, will keep the trend going despite the economy.
“We’re taking a little bit of a chance with the economy the way it is,” he said. “But we think that people are going to keep coming to Glenwood.”
Plans for the expansion were actually included in the park’s master plan, according to Beckley.
“We’ve had these planned for years,” Beckley said. “Even up to a couple of months ago we could have not done this.”
With the additions, he expects business for 2009 to show between a 10 percent drop or a 5 percent increase, taking the economy into consideration. But he added that business should be similar to last year.
“Even with the high gas prices, it was one of our busiest summers yet,” he said.
Some of the 12 attractions will be open this weekend, Saturday, March 7, when the park opens for the year. Some of the rides and other attractions will open in April, including the new laser tag area. Beckley anticipates having the 4D theater open by the first week of May.
“Since we’re celebrating our 10th anniversary this summer, we wanted to make this year the best one yet,” Beckley said.
Contact John Gardner: 384-9114
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Grace Wesseling is an animal lover, a cheerleader of seven years and another soon-to-be graduate of Bridges High School, class of 2021.