Support Glenwood Caverns tramway
Steve and Jeanne Beckley, the owners and operators of Glenwood Caverns, are proposing to install a tramway on Iron Mountain. The tramway would transport cavern visitors from Two Rivers Plaza to the cave area, eliminating the noise, dust, and traffic created by the fleet of buses that are currently used. The safety record of the buses has been excellent, but the use of a tram for the transportation of the cave visitors would obviously be safer.
Since Glenwood Caverns opened in May of 1999, over 110,000 visitors have enjoyed the caves. It is no secret that the attraction of the caverns has benefited the Glenwood Springs area greatly. The economy of Glenwood Springs is undeniably tied to tourism, and that factor is not likely to change in the foreseeable future. The addition of the tramway would allow the caverns to remain open year-round, further adding to the allure of the area.
The visibility of the tram towers will not present a problem. There will be no “clear-cut” for the tramline, since the towers will be placed by helicopter and the tram cars will ride just above the treetops. Since the tramline towers will be painted to match the existing landscape, they should be all but invisible. Jeanne Beckley showed me a photograph of a similar tramline on the face of a mountain in Moab, Utah. I was truthfully unable to spot either the towers or the cables until she pointed them out to me.
I have been acquainted with Steve and Jeanne Beckley since before they started the extensive project that culminated with the opening of Glenwood Caverns. Since that opening, one of the things that has impressed a great many of the over one hundred thousand visitors is the lengths to which the Beckleys have gone to ensure that the caves remain clean, pristine, and “healthy.” From installing airtight doors and humidity monitors to painstakingly cleaning and repairing the formations, they have extended a great deal of effort and time to providing Glenwood Springs with a spectacular tourist attraction. The Beckleys have established a reputation in Glenwood Springs for their community service and for the care and attention to detail that they have exhibited in their preparation of Glenwood Caverns for public viewing.
There is no reason to believe that they will approach the installation of the tramway with anything other than the same concern for the environment and for the town. Glenwood Springs has been blessed in the past with the visions of the likes of Isaac Cooper and Walter Devereux. Those visions resulted in the development of the Hot Springs Pool, the Hotel Colorado, and the Vapor Caves. We owe Steve and Jeanne’s vision our full support, both individually and as a city.
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