Glenwood Caverns among 7 finalists for U.S. award
Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park has been named a finalist to be the U.S. Chamber of Commerce small business of the year.
The Glenwood Springs attraction is now among seven regional finalists in its 2015 Dream Big Small Business of the Year Award. The park is the finalist for the Southwest/South Central Region.
The finalists were selected from 100 Blue Ribbon Small Business Award winners. The U.S. Chamber said the finalists stood out for their exceptional business practices and community involvement.
The finalists and the rest of the Blue Ribbon Award winners will be recognized at the 11th annual America’s Small Business Summit, scheduled June 8-10 in Washington, D.C. During the summit, one regional finalist will be named the small business of the year and receive a $10,000 prize.
“This is just incredible news,” said Steve Beckley, who owns Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park with his wife, Jeanne. “This recognition reflects the hard work of our management team and employees, and the ongoing support of our guests and community.”
Being chosen as a finalist is one of several accolades the park has received recently. It was named a Blue Ribbon Small Business Award winner by the U.S. Chamber last month and the Top Brass Business of the Year by the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association earlier this month, and is currently one of four finalists in Sunset Magazine’s Travel Awards for Best Family Fun. Last summer, the park’s Alpine Coaster was named one of the 10 Best Roller-Coaster Rides of Your Life by USA Today.
“While we always knew Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park was an outstanding tourism business, this award goes beyond that and recognizes Glenwood Caverns’ contributions to economic growth and free enterprise. It means that Steve and Jeanne Beckley have made Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park a model for exceptional business practices including strategic planning, employee development, community involvement and customer service,” said Marianne Virgili, president and CEO, Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association. “The Glenwood Springs chamber will have representatives at the U.S. Chamber’s Small Business Summit, and we welcome community and business leaders to travel with us to D.C. to cheer the Caverns on.”
Glenwood Caverns originally opened to the public as the Fairy Caves in 1895, but closed at the onset of World War I. The caves were closed for 82 years until the Beckleys reopened the caverns in 1999. They added the Iron Mountain Tramway to provide year-round access to the mountaintop location in 2003 and, two years later, started adding rides and attractions.
Over the years, they’ve grown their family-owned business into a tourist destination. More than 185,000 people visited the park during 2014. This year, in partnership with Mogli and Coop Cooper, the Beckleys are opening the new Iron Mountain Hot Springs alongside the Colorado River, just across from the base of the tramway.
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