Inside the Chamber: Bringing the world to Glenwood Springs

Lisa Langer
Inside the Chamber
Lisa Langer

In “innocents Abroad” Mark Twain wrote, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” This quote brings forth the very essence of last month’s IPW Denver, the U.S. Travel Association’s annual premier international travel trade and media marketplace and largest generator of travel to the U.S.A.

Glenwood Springs was front and center at this year’s IPW, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in the “Mile-High City.” Not only were we a sponsor of the event, which was hosted by Visit Denver, but also I represented the city as a partner in the Colorado Tourism Office booth, Marlene Neidert of my staff worked in the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop booth and Patsy Popejoy from Resort Trends, Glenwood’s public relations contractor, had appointments with 20 plus members of the international media. As a tourism promotion team, we presented Glenwood Springs and the state of Colorado in one-on-one visits of up to 20 minutes each to more than 100 travel trade and journalists from around the world.

On Sunday morning, IPW sponsors teamed-up with Visit Denver, USTA and Brand USA to welcome over 500 media delegates to a press brunch on Larimer Square, where each sponsoring destination was able to interact with writers and journalists from across the globe. At Mile High Stadium, Monday evening, delegates enjoyed local cuisine, craft beverages and interactive fun at the “Colorful Crafted Colorado” event. Every season and experience of Colorado was on display, including Glenwood Springs’ and other sponsors’ photos in every section of the stadium. Glenwood Springs was also touted to 55 passengers on the bus I hosted for the grand finale at Wednesday’s closing IPW evening event, where Colorado’s very own OneRepublic performed a high energy concert under the stars at iconic Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre.

Pre and Post IPW FAMs (familiarization tours) were conducted in every corner of the state. In Glenwood Springs, we hosted a pre-FAM with two UK tour operators. Post-FAMs for our community included 24 travel trade and media from 10 countries, 13 Japanese tour operators and media, one Portuguese travel agent, one tour operator from Argentina, and an international receptive tour operator from Florida. Although these familiarization tours are fast-paced, they are an invaluable way to give participants a personal experience highlighting our destination. Featured attractions and activities included Glenwood Springs History and Segway tours, the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue, Yampah Vapor Caves, Glenwood Hot Springs Pool, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and Iron Mountain Hot Springs, along with an array of dining options and lodging site tours.

Now, the real work begins. The Glenwood Springs tourism team will follow-up on all these appointments and FAM tours. We’ll provide detailed information that the tour operators and media have requested. These include lodging properties willing to work with companies that feature independent and group travel, activities and attractions, dining options, and itineraries for groups that include not only our destination, but those around us.

Lisa Langer is director of tourism promotion for the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association.

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