Weather is cold, but business is hot this holiday season |

Weather is cold, but business is hot this holiday season

Glenwood’s lodges are running at 80 to 100 percent full.

Most of Sunlight Mountain Resort’s terrain is open, and so is Interstate 70 from Denver.

There’s still four days left in the two-week holiday season.

And the uptick in the nation’s economy is equal to upbeat comments from Glenwood business owners.

“We’re doing great,” said Patsy Steele, owner of the Yampah Hot Springs Vapor Caves. “We’ve having a mellow, steady season.”

Watersweeper and the Dwarf owner Calvin Robertson sells handmade American crafts to tourists and locals from his prime spot under the bridge on lower Grand Avenue. He reports sales are better than last holiday season.

“The economy is starting to turn up a little,” Robertson said. “People are starting to be a little freer with their money.”

Many Glenwood Springs businesses rely on the holiday season for a cash infusion to help make payroll until spring break.

Sunlight Mountain Resort and the Hot Springs Pool are Glenwood’s primary winter draws for out-of-towners, and the season’s success or failure largely depends on snow and I-70 driving conditions.

One of Glenwood’s newest tourist-related businesses is benefiting from visitors Sunlight and the Hot Springs Pool are bringing to town, and from strong local support.

“I’m tickled pink with the way business has been,” said Exclamation Point restaurant manager Tom Regan.

Exclamation Point sits atop Iron Mountain, and serves visitors to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and others who just want to enjoy an aerial view of the town with their meal. Regan said the holiday season is going great.

“We had dozens of Christmas parties,” he said during a quick break Monday.

New Year’s Eve at Exclamation Point, which will feature rock band The Dags, is also shaping up well. “We got 250 tickets, and already sold half of them,” Regan said. “We’re getting calls from Grand Junction, Colorado Springs … even California.”

The restaurant business is also good 1,000 feet closer to sea level, at the west end of Glenwood Canyon.

“We’re extremely busy,” said Sarah Ball at Glenwood Canyon Brewpub in the Hotel Denver. “It’s been a really good season.”

Ball said the Brewpub employs nearly 100 people, so covering shifts during the busy season isn’t a problem for the restaurant or its employees.

“People want to make money,” she said.

Across the Colorado River at the Yampah Hot Springs and Vapor Caves spa, visitors and locals are streaming in for massages, facials, Jacuzzi baths, body treatments and natural steam baths.

“We’re keeping all our employees busy,” said Steele, who has owned the historic vapor caves and spa since 1990.

Not all of Steele’s guests are locals or Glenwood Springs tourists. “We get skiers from Aspen and Vail,” she said.

Many out-of-town skiers who do stay in Glenwood Springs check into the Caravan Inn on Grand Avenue.

“We’re full,” said Inn manager Barbara Obrochta. “Business has been very good.”

Contact Lynn Burton: 945-8515, ext. 534

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