Glenwood Springs lodging outperformed competitors in 2021
Visit Glenwood director highlights new marketing strategies
Despite pandemic precautions, interstate shutdowns and the closure of Hanging Lake Trail, Glenwood Springs’ lodging and tourism industries finished 2021 strong, said Lisa Langer, the Visit Glenwood Springs director of tourism.
“We’re seeing a tremendous increase in our occupancy year over year,” Langer said. “We’ve even outdone our competitive markets in 2021.”
According to a Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association report released in January, Glenwood Springs experienced a higher occupancy rate, 70%, throughout 2021 than any other city, town or municipality in the state — despite a $30 increase in the average daily rate at Glenwood Springs’ lodging locations.
“It means we’re doing something right and seeing high demand if we can see our (average daily rate) rise without a drop in occupancy,” Langer said.
Data collection for Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association report is voluntary, so it serves more as a snapshot of the state’s tourism and lodging sectors rather than an exact gauge, she explained. Most importantly, Langer said the data confirms the area’s new marketing strategies are working.
“We market outside Glenwood Springs to bring people in, typically from the Front Range,” she said. “Our marketing efforts focus on the shoulder seasons — winter, spring and fall. But, during the rock slides, we pivoted our marketing west.”
With Interstate 70 shut down for weeks in August, Langer said Visit Glenwood started targeting Grand Junction and Salt Lake City, Utah.
“We tapped into markets we haven’t historically focused on before, and I think it yielded some great results,” she said.
Additionally, Visit Glenwood published its first Spanish-translation blog in January, and Langer said the organization hired a bilingual translator to begin work on their website.
“We have also dedicated marketing funds toward Spanish-translated markets,” she added. “We’re locking in what we’re doing with marketing, and we’re seeing it’s successful. So we’re continuing with those efforts while looking at some new avenues.”
Outside of snow dumps near the end of December, the West Slope’s snow days have been lackluster at best. While detrimental to the area’s vibrant ski community, Langer said Glenwood Springs can weather a warm, dry winter.
“We’ve got a destination that people want to visit regardless of a good or bad snow season,” she said. “Our community has a balance of attractions that aren’t dependent on weather.”
With a decade of Glenwood Springs tourism now under her hat, Langer said she’s proud to have played a role in some of the area’s tourism milestones.
“In the last decade, we’ve helped the city and U.S. Forest Service with Hanging Lake, built and expanded Iron Mountain and rounded out the experience at Glenwood Caverns,” she said. “I’ve also seen so much with the creation of the mountain bike and hiking trails. It’s amazing work, and I’m proud to be a part of it.”
Looking forward, Visit Glenwood plans to emphasize sustainability of the area’s natural assets as well as work toward bolstering the shoulder seasons to spread tourism throughout the year.
“Bringing in the Rocky Mountaineer has been a big success,” Langer said. “We’re actively working on a plan for passengers to stay two nights in Glenwood Springs this year, something the Mountaineer doesn’t do anywhere else.”
Reporter Ike Fredregill can be reached at 970-384-9154 or by email at email@example.com.
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