Inside the Chamber column: Amish visitors and playing Cupid at the Visitor Information Center

Suzy Alcott & Elaine Benson
Inside the Chamber
Suzy Alcott

This is considered the “quiet” or “mud season” time of the year in the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Visitors’ Center.

Perhaps the nicest thing about the “quiet season” is that we have a bit more time to actually visit with our guests. Because the pace is slower, they, too, seem to be interested in chatting. We thought we’d share two of the enjoyable conversations we have had this season.

In February we actually had a chance to play Cupid just before Valentine’s Day (on Feb. 9 to be exact). A gentleman called from Nebraska that specific Thursday morning to share with us that he and his fiancée and their family members were coming in by train the next day to get married.

“I guess you could say we are eloping,” he said with a broad grin in his voice. He sounded a bit shy about his situation and confided that they (the bride and groom) were bringing their kids and grandkids to witness the nuptials. He had checked with Garfield County and knew that he could get a marriage license at our courthouse, but did not know how to get there from the train station. They were due to arrive at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 10. We gave him the easy directions to navigate his troops to the building and issued a silent prayer that this Friday Amtrak would be right on time.

Then the nice prospective groom asked if we could suggest someone to marry them. He would rather not just marry at the courthouse and would even consider a member of the clergy. We don’t get that question too often and had to think about it. Then with a touch of historical inspiration we explained that the Presbyterian Church was easy to reach in downtown and had hosted many famous people, including Teddy Roosevelt. The pastor there just might be a good person to contact. We turned the rest over to winged Cupid.

What is particularly special about this visitor contact is we got to hear “the rest of the story.” Small town, big hearts and through the grapevine we were told that Pastor Charis had indeed had a first-time experience marrying a lovely couple from Nebraska in a private ceremony in her Presbyterian church that Saturday. We felt pretty good about that Visitor Center contact.

Another interesting visit was with three Amish couples who had come to our city last month from Ohio. They had been on a winter trip on various trains for two months that took them from the Midwest to California where they had enjoyed the entire Pacific Coast by train and biked and hiked along the way.

As they visited Glenwood Springs they actually were on their way home to ready their fields for the farming season. (They take the entire winter off every year and it was interesting to hear about their travels.) The visitors were spending two days in our city because of the hot springs, which they felt would be the highlight of their train trip before returning to hard work. We have many Amish visitors every year, and it is always nice to visit with them.

In the activities and attractions department we’d like you to know that restaurants are becoming destinations of their own. Our visitors are impressed by our dining options, and we’re fast becoming a foodie destination.

Winter, summer, spring or fall are all great times to visit Glenwood Springs. At the CMC/Chamber Visitor Information Center we specialize in making guests feel welcome.

Suzy Alcott and Elaine Benson are visitor information specialists who work at the CMC/Chamber Visitor Information Center at 802 Grand Ave.

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