Tramway, trees and technology all happening next week
Post Independent Staff
Fasten your seat belts, because next weekend promises big time entertainment, a chance to learn about new technology and an opportunity to make a difference.
We’ve all been watching with mounting enthusiasm the aerial tramway being built up the side of Iron Mountain to Glenwood Caverns. Everyone will get a chance to ride the gondola and see the view from up high at Saturday’s grand opening of the new Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.
A special supplement to the Post Independent, “Welcome Tram,” will be included in next Friday’s edition of the paper.
“There are so many new things to experience at Glenwood Caverns this year. In addition to the cave tours that have been so popular the past several years, we’ve added the tramway, gemstone sluice box mining for kids, a restaurant and lounge, all with spectacular views,” said Steve Beckley who owns the caverns with wife Jeanne.
The 4,300-foot tram rises 1,400 feet in elevation with eight six-passenger gondolas that travel to the top in 7.5 minutes. The view of the valley is spectacular.
Once atop the mountain, visitors can go on the cave tour, a one-hour guided walk through Glenwood Caverns and the historic Fairy Caves.
Another option is to take the wild tour, a get-dirty, three-hour in the twisty narrow reaches of the caverns leading to huge crystalline caves few ever get to see. Reservations are required.
Local author Jim Nelson will be signing copies of his book, “Glenwood Caverns and the Historic Fairy Caves,” from 1-3 p.m. at the gift shop. A slideshow presentation of his photographs of the caverns will run throughout the day.
Also opening Saturday is the new 9,400-square foot Adventure Center, which includes a restaurant and lounge, appropriately called Exclamation Point, a gift shop and viewing decks to take in the scenery and take photographs.
Saturday’s festivities begin at 10 a.m. with the official ribbon cutting to open the new park. At the top of the mountain there will be a Ute blessing at 11 a.m. Local entertainers will also perform.
Ticket prices for a round trip tramway ride and cave tour are $15 for adults and $10 for children three to 12. Rides on the tramway without the tour are $10 for adults and $7 for children. The ticket office opens at 10 a.m.
The caverns will now be open year-round. During the summer the tramway will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
The caverns originally opened in 1895 but closed at the onset of World War I. They remained closed for 82 years until the Beckleys reopened them in 1999. The caverns were recently named one of the 10 Best Places to Go Underground by USA Today.
Next week, folks will get a preview of the advantages that new broadband capacity brings to Glenwood Springs.
Broadband is the high speed, always-on Internet connection that offers warp-speed data transfer compared to snail-paced modems.
The city of Glenwood Springs installed the hardware for broadband connectivity last year and is now offering it to the public.
The Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association, the city of Glenwood Springs, the Colorado Mountain College Small Business Development Center and the Colorado Department of Personnel and Administration are sponsoring free business seminars Thursday and Friday, April 24 and 25, at the Glenwood Springs Community Center.
The seminars, which run from 9 am. to 5 p.m. both days, will present hands-on demonstrations designed to provide businesses with practical information about how broadband computer access can help expand markets, increase sales, reduce costs and increase productivity and business efficiency.
There will be vendor booths featuring information on how to get connected and applications booths with the latest in technology.
After the seminar it will be a party time from 7-10 p.m. Friday at the Community Center with more demonstrations, prize drawings, food and drink.
Troy Eid, executive director of the Department of Personnel and Administration, will be the keynote speaker and will discuss the impact broadband will have on the state’s economy.
For information about the seminar call the chamber at 945-6589 or go to http://www.glenwoodchamber.com/broadband/index.html.
Coal Seam tree-planting
Saturday and Sunday, volunteers will also have an opportunity to bring something green out of the ashes of the Coal Seam Fire. Last June the roared through Glenwood Springs, incinerating 12,000 acres of forest and destroying 29 homes.
Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado have organized the Coal Seam Fire Restoration Project that aims to plant hundreds of trees and shrubs on several hundred acres on Red Mountain behind the Community Center and in South Canyon where the fire started. It will also focus on restoring the Mitchell Creek Trail.
About 250 volunteers from across the state have already been recruited but 150 local folks are needed as well. To sign up, call Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers at 927-8241.
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Glenwood’s Sunlight Mountain Resort opens full-time for the season Friday with all three of its lifts providing access to expanded terrain. Oh, and it’s supposed to snow!