Inside the Chamber column: A decade of championing challenges |

Inside the Chamber column: A decade of championing challenges

Lisa Langer
Inside the Chamber
Lisa Langer

I realized recently I’ve been in my position as director of tourism since Jan. 2, 2012. In looking back through the past 10 years, I came upon a number of challenges that were championed by the tourism department of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association.

Glenwood Springs Visitor Center relocation — In June 2012, the GSCRA relocated its visitor center from 1102 to 802 Grand Ave. to be part of Glenwood Springs downtown core. By moving closer to the hub of visitor activity, we have been able to better assist travelers who are moving within the community instead of merely driving through to Aspen or other locations.

Introduction to International Markets — In 2013, we began a fruitful partnership with the Colorado Tourism Office to introduce Glenwood Springs to the international markets in which the tourism office contracts in-market representation. The results have landed us a number of tour groups and individual travelers from the UK, Germany, France, Mexico and Australia. We’ve also made inroads into the Chinese and Japanese markets.

Rebranding Glenwood Springs — In 2015, we leveraged our hot springs resources, two rivers, caverns carved from water and even our frozen water to rebrand the community as The Land of Water. This brand sets us apart from other Colorado mountain towns by adopting our unique assets. Through research, we found vacations that include water are at the top of travelers’ lists.

Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop — In 2015, we collaborated with four other western Colorado destinations to begin the Colorado Tourism Office matching grant process for formation of the 720-mile loop that features more than 19 hot springs attractions. We received our first grant in 2016 and have submitted and received the same match each year since. — Through the years, the visitor website has been rebuilt several times, the current version is constantly updated and enhanced with new content and new imagery. Crafting a planner-friendly website is imperative for any tourism destination. In 2019, the tourism department officially adopted the name Visit Glenwood Springs to differentiate our role within the GSCRA.

Hanging Lake Trail — In 2016, serious consideration of a shuttle service to help protect the fragile ecosystem of Hanging Lake and overuse of its trail was initiated through the Hanging Lake stakeholder committee. In 2019, this solution came to fruition, and Visit Glenwood Springs has assisted in communications and implementation of the joint city of Glenwood Springs and Forest Service contract for management of the National Natural Landmark.

Grand Avenue Bridge Communications — In 2017, we collaborated with the city of Glenwood Springs and CDOT to help disseminate information about how to navigate around and through the huge construction project of the Grand Avenue vehicular and pedestrian bridges. How happy we were to see the completion of this monumental project and the subsequent redesign of Seventh Street.

Rocky Mountaineer — For several years, Visit Glenwood Springs discussed the possibility of a new U.S. route with this long-standing Canadian luxury rail company. In August 2021, we welcomed the first guests of the outstanding, internationally recognized Rockies to the Red Rocks route. Recently, the company has announced that it is adjusting its visitation to our community to add more time for guests to enjoy our amenities.

Pandemic, Fire, Landslides — I’m pretty sure I don’t need to mention the challenges regarding COVID-19, the Grizzly Creek Fire and subsequent debris flows in Glenwood Canyon. Just know that the tourism department is in constant communication with the city of Glenwood Springs, CDOT, the U.S. Forest Service, destination organizations and visitor-related businesses throughout the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond to provide communications and resources to both residents and guests to our area.

It’s important to recognize that we have been a destination for visitors from around the globe since 1888. Going forward, it’s important that as local residents we continue to welcome our visitors as guests to our beautiful community. Visit Glenwood Springs is committed to championing sustainable tourism management as well as promotion. We will keep up the good word and work to help our businesses continue thrive through whatever future challenges arise.

Lisa Langer is director of tourism for Visit Glenwood Springs, a department of Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association. For more information checkout

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