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Web site no sales tool for Glenwood

by Lynn BurtonPost Independent Staff

Oh well, at least it’s not porn.That’s the latest news about the pirated Web site http://www.glenwoodsprings.com, which ditched its naked women and men, and is now “welcoming” visitors to Glenwood Springs by warning them “area police are out to get you.”The warning doesn’t scare Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association Director Marianne Virgili. “Most people know it’s not our Web site,” Virgili said.An Illinois cybersquatter commandeered http://www.glenwoodsprings.com in 1994, before the chamber had its Web site in operation at http://www.glenwoodchamber.com.The cybersquatter, TeleTravel, Inc., attempted to sell the Web site through the Internet auction house eBay last year for $20,000. When the chamber passed on the offer, the Web site for a time was linked to a pornography site.After President George W. Bush signed the so-called Amber Alert Bill, one section of which bans misleading domain names in some cases, the http://www.glenwoodsprings.com Web site’s content changed to a Glenwood Springs parody page.After the Web site’s “Welcome to Glenwood Springs” introduction, the next three lines say:-“Official Tenement for Aspen Resort Workers and-“Disposal Staging Area for Dead Glenwood Canyon Deer-“Featuring our Very Own Wal-Mart and Greyhound Station.”Web site visitors who click on “Glenwood Springs Colorado web page” are zapped to VacationRentals.com, where “thousands of listings” are “priced to every budget.”Click on “Glenwood Springs area police out to get you,” and 27 press accounts of police department racial profiling from across the United States fill the screen. The Colorado example comes from Eagle, and is a Rocky Mountain News account of the 1995 court case when the Eagle County Sheriff’s Department stopped a vehicle on Interstate 70 because the black driver fit a drug courier profile.Another Web site selection says, “A Few Good Reasons Not to Exit I-70 in Glenwood Springs,” then takes browsers to legitimate links to Vail, Georgetown and Grand Junction.The top of the Web site states the page is a parody of Glenwood Springs, so it’s not surprising the information boasts of dead dear, Wal-Mart, and the city’s alleged tenement status for Aspen. What’s not so clear is the inclusion of the Wildlands Center for Preventing Roads. This section takes browsers to the Wildlands Center site, which includes reports on the ecological impacts of mountain biking, studies that show roads spread weeds, a database on the environmental impacts of motorized recreation, subscription information for its publication “Skid Marks,” and more.TeleTravel representative Dennis Toeppen was not available for comment, as the company’s telephone has been disconnected.The Web site’s counter said 520,442 people have visited http://www.glenwoodsprings.com, and there are “more to come.” Chamber director Virgili just laughed it off when asked whether the site is hurting her organization.”Our Web site is at the top with all the search engines, including Google,” Virgili said. “We always come out at the top.”Contact Lynn Burton: 945-8515, ext. 534lburton@postindependent.com


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