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Glenwood Chamber negotiating for move downtown

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association and Visitor’s Center could have a new home at the corner of Eighth and Grand by next spring, if negotiations pan out with Colorado Mountain College to be in its new central services building.

“We have been negotiating with CMC about having a presence at their new location [at 802 Grand Ave.],” Chamber President and CEO Marianne Virgili confirmed Wednesday.

“We believe it’s something that would help position our downtown as the true heart of the community, which is something that the chamber has advocated for a long time,” she said. “Our visitor’s center would also be greatly enhanced with a downtown location.”



CMC spokeswoman Debbie Crawford also confirmed that negotiations are ongoing for the chamber to rent space in the college’s recently acquired building.

The college is currently renovating the second- and third-floor areas of the building to house its new administrative offices. CMC is planning to sell its current building at Ninth and Grand, and will give up its leased office space in the Alpine Building on Colorado Avenue.



“We do not have the specific details as far as the terms of the lease, but we hope to know more in a couple of weeks,” Crawford said of CMC’s talks with the chamber.

The chamber and visitor’s center would likely be located in the street-level space at the south end of the building, opposite U.S. Bank’s downtown facility. But how much of that space the chamber would take is still being negotiated, she said.

“We are excited about this as a potential partnership,” Crawford said. “It’s a way for visitors to Glenwood Springs to learn more about the college. It also opens up possibilities to improve our training and other partnerships with businesses in the community.”

It’s yet another dynamic to the collaboration already going on between CMC, the Garfield County Public Library District, the city of Glenwood Springs and the Downtown Development Authority to build a new downtown library and shared facilities across the alley to the east at Eighth and Cooper.

With CMC’s plans to vacate the Ninth and Grand building by the end of the year, the college is also looking at ways to incorporate the existing street-front art gallery in the new facility, Crawford said.

“The gallery will have to close its current location when we vacate that building,” she said. “We are looking at the new building to see where they can have a presence as well. We’re also looking at our partnership with the library, and whether there could potentially be a

presence there.”

Virgili noted the chamber has a long history of partnering with CMC, ever since setting up the original committee in the 1960s to look at establishing a community college in Glenwood Springs.

“After cultivating this partnership for more than 30 years, we believe it’s a relationship that can pay off for both parties,” she said. “We also hope it can serve as a model for other communities, and how local learning institutions can partner with chambers of commerce.”

The chamber has been at its current location at the corner of 11th Street and Grand since the original A-frame structure was moved to the Garfield County-owned site in 1971, Virgili said.

The building has been added onto and renovated several times over the years. The county still owns the property but leases it to the city of Glenwood Springs, which in turn sublets it to the chamber.

Part of the ongoing negotiations is also to determine what to do with the chamber-owned building, Virgili said. She said the chamber hopes to move to the new downtown location sometime next spring.

jstroud@postindependent.com


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