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Whitewater events coming to Glenwood

Glenwood Springs will leave its mark on the whitewater industry in October when it hosts the third annual Whitewater Symposium. The symposium is a sort of meeting of the minds, for leaders in the whitewater community, said Lori Hogan, director of tourism marketing at the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association. “This kind of puts us on the map as a great whitewater destination,” she said.Each year, the symposium travels to a new whitewater center around the country. The past two years, the symposium was at Zoar Outdoor in Massachusetts and Nantahala Outdoor Center in North Carolina. Symposium organizers decided on Glenwood Springs this year, thanks in part to Hogan, who attended last year’s symposium to learn about whitewater parks. Hogan pitched Glenwood Springs for this year’s event, and by the end of the three-day event, organizers had all but cemented plans to come to Glenwood, Hogan said. Glenwood was also a natural fit for a whitewater symposium. “Glenwood’s the heart of Colorado whitewater,” said coordinator Kent Ford, of Durango. Glenwood has easy access to three rivers – the Crystal, Roaring Fork and the Colorado – and is one of the few communities in Colorado that has whitewater in October, he said.No Name’s Glenwood Canyon Resort and Rock Gardens Rafting will play host to the actual event, but Glenwood Springs should see a bit of a benefit. “It’s going to be a big economic impact to have all these folks in town for basically a week,” Hogan said. This year another event, the first Whitewater Courses and Parks Conference, will piggyback on the Whitewater Symposium. That event will run Oct. 5-7, the three days before the symposium. The previous Whitewater Symposiums drew about 75 participants, but Ford expects 150 this year. The symposium doesn’t exclude anyone, but it is really marketed toward people who work or volunteer in the whitewater industry, Ford said. Among those who will attend are: Joe Pullium, founder of Dagger kayaks and executive vice president of Watermark; and Eric Jackson, founder of Jackson Kayaks and the freestyle kayak world champion. Contact Ryan Graff: 945-8515, ext. 520rgraff@postindependent.com


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