Tourism promoters look for lift from opening of tramway |

Tourism promoters look for lift from opening of tramway

Greg Masse
Post Independent Staff

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – City tourism officials here plan to ask City Council for $15,000 from the city’s tourism marketing budget to help promote the city during the opening gala for the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and its new tram. The opening of the park is tentatively scheduled for April 25-26.

Piggybacking on the anticipated media blitz for the park’s opening, the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association is also planning a two-day seminar celebrating the startup of the city’s Community Broadband Network.

Employees at the chamber contacted USA Today, Sunset Magazine and Good Morning America, along with scores of other Colorado and national media organizations, in hopes that the tramway’s opening will make a big splash.

If approved by council at Thursday’s regular meeting, the $15,000 funding request would come out of the city’s tourism marketing budget – money that was put aside in November to promote Glenwood Springs during times of special need.

Council approved the chamber’s idea of placing money in reserve after last year’s Coal Seam Fire. The chamber, which normally doesn’t advertise during the already-busy summer season, had no money budgeted to let potential tourists know that the city was still up and running after the well-publicized fire, so $15,000 was put aside – and will be put aside in future years – in case of another unforeseen situation or event like the opening of the caverns tram.

The opening of the adventure park is seen by chamber officials as a prime opportunity to get statewide and nationwide exposure for the city. The chamber plans to use the money to hire a videographer, rent a satellite truck that can be used by media outlets, conduct a direct mail postcard campaign and run ads about the park’s opening in Front Range newspapers and radio stations.

“We’re hoping this is the kickoff for the summer season,” said Lori Hogan, tourism and marketing director for the chamber.

Normally, April is a relatively slow month in Glenwood Springs, Hogan said, so she hopes the event will get people to visit the city during the shoulder season.

“A lot of the major attractions and larger businesses will be there,” Hogan said.

Representatives from Sunlight Mountain Resort, the Hot Springs Lodge and Pool, Pepsi, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent and other local businesses will set up booths at the tram’s base area.

“It’s kind of a community effort to try and get as much (information as possible) out to the public about what’s here in Glenwood,” Hogan said.

The tram’s first-day opening, April 25, will be for media and VIPs only. On Saturday, April 26, Hogan said, the park will offer free admission for the general public.

Strike Up the (Broad) Band

Chamber director Marianne Virgili figured that with all the attention focused on Glenwood Springs during the adventure park’s opening, it would also be a great time to let the world know about the city’s broadband system.

“We just figured it’s an opportunity that will never come again,” Virgili said.

The plan calls for a two-day seminar to inform people on what the system is, how it works and how they can be hooked up. There also will be a public party on the evening of April 25 to celebrate the operation of the system.

The $3 million system, known as the Glenwood Springs Community Broadband System, is one of just 13 such systems in the country, Virgili said.

The seminars will run April 25 and 26. Also, Colorado Department of Personnel and Administration executive director Troy Eid will give a keynote speech.

“There will be breakout sessions that are industry-specific,” Virgili said. “It’s all about how people can use broadband in their everyday life.”

Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511

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