Glenwood Springs Historical Society shares survey results, asks public for feedback
BY THE NUMBERS
75 percent of the Frontier Museum’s visitors are tourists.
23.9 percent of survey respondents have never visited the museum.
53 percent of respondents haven’t attended the Ghost Walk.
72.9 percent agreed history is an essential component of Glenwood Springs tourism.
51.2 percent said the society adequately represents the city’s history; 35.9 percent indicated they weren’t sure.
These are the questions discussed during Wednesday’s Glenwood Springs Historical Society survey meetings.
Is history being adequately represented by the Frontier Museum/Glenwood Springs Historical Society? Why or why not? What more could be done?
If Glenwood Springs history is so important, what is the best method of delivery: Self-guided narrated podcast tours, guided tours and use of portrayals; plus where and how should additional information, signs and interactive displays be used (on existing historical structures only)?
Why and how do we acquire things for the museum? Including objects (Doc’s gun, Western paintings and oral history videos, etc.)
Talk about an alternative, new or satellite location for the Frontier Museum. Why or why not? If so, where?
How does history fit into Glenwood’s future development?
Location, location, location.
It’s the first rule of real estate, and it was top of mind for those gathered to discuss the Glenwood Springs Historical Society’s Vision in Action survey. The organization conducted the survey online over the course of several weeks, and more than 300 people responded.
“A lot of the people in town recognize the value of history. We put it on the wall and sometimes that’s where we leave it,” Executive Director Bill Kight said during the first of two Wednesday sessions. “Can we be doing more? Yes, we can.”
The existing museum, at 1001 Colorado Ave., is overcrowded and outside of the downtown footprint that regularly attracts foot traffic. It would cost between $180,000 and $200,000 for the museum to be stable, Kight said. It’s difficult for the museum to get historic funding because it isn’t on a historic registry.
That’s a requirement to receive such money from the state. Kight said the society is in the process of getting the building on a local historic registry; however, the state money would still require a match from the organization or its supporters.
“A lot of people are not happy with what’s happening in Glenwood Springs, but I’ll tell you what: The bus, the train and the plane already left,” Kight said.
It’s up to the city’s residents to make the Grand Avenue bridge construction a positive thing by incorporating the city’s history, he said.
The 20-plus people gathered in the morning meeting broke into groups to discuss questions the society prepared and then reconvened to discuss their ideas.
“If we’re making money on the ghost tour, you might (also) be able to do that in July,” said Bob Anderson.
Other ideas included more signage and interactive displays throughout downtown; videos on the society’s website; small traveling exhibits to introduce the city’s history at banks, the hospital and tourist attractions; bus tours; printed material for tourists; and relationships with area schools.
“We’ve really got to find a way to get into the schools and have them excited about our Glenwood history,” attendee Floyd Diemoz said. “I’m really disturbed about history being lost in our culture.”
The society’s board will review the discussion meeting suggestions and plan its next steps. There isn’t a timeline in place for that process.
Kight said, “We wanted to be sure we shared it with the public and ask them, ‘What do you want to see next?’”
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