It’s officially Christmas season in Glenwood Springs
The Hotel Colorado announced the arrival of Christmas with a bang at the 30th annual lighting ceremony Friday.
For Glenwood Springs resident Lisa Hartert, who has been to at least 10 lighting events, this years’ show was as fabulous as always.
“Having the lights go on at the countdown, and then all the fireworks was terrific,” Hartert said.
Hartert’s only criticism was the weather. “This year was a little wet, a little cold,” Hartert said.
Krista Lasko of Carbondale nearly made her family turn around because of the wet freezing weather.
“We almost turned around today because the roads were horrible coming from Carbondale,” Lasko said.
Still, Lasko was glad to attend the event for the first time.
“Fireworks are one my favorite things, and I love seeing the Hotel Colorado decked out in Christmas,” Lasko said.
Hundreds of people crowded into the street below the hotel’s courtyard to listen to a range of holiday musical acts, and cheered for the five-minute fireworks show from the iconic twin turrets of the hotel.
The slightly inclement weather made it possible for Michelle Zinser, who has lived in the area for three years, to attend the lighting show.
“I’m usually not here, but because of the snow and everything my family wasn’t able to make it,” Zinser said.
Dieter Rittner, a Hotel Colorado banquet team member, also attended the show for the first time.
“I’ve been here for three years, and I never came down here,” Rittner said.
“It’s mind-boggling what it does for Glenwood Springs,” Rittner said.
Another newcomer to the ceremony was Rifle resident and 2020 Garfield County Fair & Rodeo princess Leann Brand, who said she would definitely come back.
“I think it’s really pretty – it’s my favorite time of year. I love it,” Brand said.
Several hours before the 500,000-plus lights were turned on, Craig Melville, spokesman for the Melville family, which owns the hotel, asked guests in his opening remarks to remember the ideals that make America unique.
“Let us as Americans focus on our common values this Christmas season, values central not only to Christianity, but to Judaism and Islam as well. It is these ideals that have made the American experience such a great success,” Melville said.
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The Forest Service plans to replace the Carbondale Aspen-Sopris ranger district station with a newer, larger facility.