Glenwood tourism on the rise | PostIndependent.com
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Glenwood tourism on the rise

Ryan Graff

Glenwood Springs’ tourist economy looks like it is headed in the right direction – up, if only slightly. The Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association released accommodation tax collections for 2004 recently, and collections looked to be up for the third year in a row.With December still unreported, Glenwood Springs collected $486,539 in 2004 in accommodations tax, compared to $498,029 in 2003 and $491,974 in 2002. The city historically collects $26,000 or more in December, which would bring the total for 2004 to $512,539, an increase of almost 3 percent.”I’d say we’ve definitely recovered,” said Lori Hogan, director of tourism marketing for the Glenwood Chamber.Area hotels have noticed the effect. “We were slightly up compared to the year before,” said Barbara Hille, manager of the Caravan Inn. “We were up in September, which is odd.”A likely explanation for Hille’s September increase is the Chamber’s increased radio and TV advertising on the Front Range in Glenwood’s shoulder seasons – September and March. City collections were up 21 percent in March, 12.5 percent in September, and 14.5 percent in November. This year the Chamber received an increase in funding from the city, going from $475,000 in 2004 to $510,625 for 2005. The increase in funding will buy two extra weeks of Denver TV and radio advertising, Hogan said. One bleak spot in the Chamber’s report was a slight decrease during Glenwood’s high summer season. Accommodation tax collections decreased in July and August 2004 2.3 percent and 6 percent respectively from 2003. Hogan attributed the decline to increased competition from resorts that have traditionally been winter destinations such as Vail, Aspen, and Steamboat Springs.The chamber will tap further into key publications to try and bolster summer numbers, said Hogan. New attractions in Glenwood Springs may also give the town a boost. “I think definitely the (Glenwood Caverns’ new attractions), the whitewater park and the bike path between Carbondale and Glenwood will attract extra visitors,” Hogan said.Those attractions will increase visitor numbers (an estimated 1.5 million visit Glenwood each year), and will also increase the length of time visitors stay, said Hogan. The Chamber’s advertising efforts include print ads in 25 publications, 12 billboard ads on downtown Denver busses, and advertisements on Denver radio and TV, said Hogan. Part of Glenwood’s appeal is its variety of activities, a quality the Chamber plays up in its “You’ve got options” ad campaign. The advertisement features pictures of different landscapes along with the footwear required for each one, and the question “What pair will you wear today?” This year, the campaign’s theme will remain, though the imagery may switch to sunglasses or hats instead of shoes, said Hogan. Eighty-five percent of visitors visit in the summer months, she said. Though summer is the busy season for hotels, winter may be bigger if Mother Nature would help out. “There was definitely an increase,” said Edi Dutton, general manager of Hampton Inn, of 2004. “Now make it snow so I can get some skiers in here,” she said. Contact Ryan Graff: 945-8515, ext. 520rgraff@postindependent.com


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