Gov. Jared Polis awards Glenwood Springs tourism stimulus efforts |

Gov. Jared Polis awards Glenwood Springs tourism stimulus efforts

People meander through the Glenwood Springs downtown market on a summer day in Glenwood Springs.
Chelsea Self/Post Independent

Visit Glenwood Springs’ implementation of a tourism stimulus program in 2020 received recognition Nov. 4 from Colorado’s top official.

The Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association’s tourism department, Visit Glenwood Springs, was announced as the 2020 winner of the Governor’s Outstanding Tourism Initiative, a news release stated.

“We were thrilled,” said Lisa Langer, the Visit Glenwood Springs tourism promotion director. “We had some tough competition this year.”

Specifically, the Glenwood Gold Visitor Stimulus Initiative caught Gov. Jared Polis’ attention, Langer said.

The program, which ran from July 1-Nov. 30, offered visitors $100 in local currency — Glenwood Gold — if they booked a two-night stay and checked in between Sunday and Thursday.

“The stimulus campaign was about bringing visitors to Glenwood safely by spreading out the impact of visitation to the days with typically the least bookings,” Langer said.

Funded through tourism promotion reserves and matched by the Garfield County Commission with CARES ACT funding, the initiative provided visitors with $100,000 to spend at local retailers, attractions and lodging establishments, the news release stated.

“We really needed to make sure the dollars stayed local as a way to boost the economy during the pandemic, then following the Grizzly Creek Fire (in August 2020),” Langer said. “We heard from restaurants and retailers how easy it was to use, and many businesses said it helped keep their doors open.”

While some businesses have signed on to the Glenwood Gold program since, she said the bulk of the current program participants joined during the stimulus initiative.

A large group of people deboard the westbound California Zephyr train at the Amtrak station in downtown Glenwood.
Chelsea Self/Post Independent

Currently, Glenwood Gold owners can spend their currency at 18 retailers, 27 restaurants, seven lodging establishments, four attractions and 12 services outside the tourism industry, such as dentists and car dealerships, Langer said.

Go to for a complete list of participants.

During the Nov. 4 tourism awards ceremony, Colorado Tourism Board chair Courtney Frazier praised tourism offices throughout Colorado for their efforts to keep local economies thriving in 2020.

“The last 18 months have been a trying time for the tourism and hospitality industry,” Frazier said in the news release. “Our industries continue to rebound and adapt to new ways of doing business. I am encouraged by the tenacity and work of our many industry partners.”

Langer said the recognition reaffirmed her department’s approach to keeping Glenwood Springs tourism strong through the worst of times.

“The award validates that the stimulus idea is what we were shooting for, an innovative initiative to help uplift the community in a time of need,” she said.

Reporter Ike Fredregill can be reached at 970-384-9154 or by email at

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