Gondola envy is misplaced | PostIndependent.com

Gondola envy is misplaced

Plenty of attention and accolades have been focused lately on the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. After all, it’s not every day a gondola comes to town.

But some grumbling has also been heard.

It’s all about the caverns, the talk goes, and the community’s other tourist attractions, hotels, restaurants and shops have been forgotten.

Glenwood Springs businesses that cater to tourists should remember that the fuss over the gondola comes in large part because the attraction will bring more visitors to Glenwood Springs, and keep them here longer than they might have otherwise stayed.

In the month of March, shortly before the tram opened, the average number of nights for a tourist visit topped 2.0. That’s only happened one other month in the previous two years, in December 2001, according to figures compiled by the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association.

With the tramway serving the caverns, visitors will have another strong pull urging them to stay an extra day, and the chamber may well count more months when the average stay tops two nights.

For a time, some businesses may see a dip in trade as tourists flock to the newest thing in town.

And locals are checking out the Exclamation Point restaurant rather than hitting their favorite restaurants in town.

But when tourists stay two nights, they will eat at other restaurants, too, and take advantage of the other attractions Glenwood Springs offers. And locals will still patronize their old favorites.

Glenwood Springs businesses compete against each other for customers, yes, but the bigger competition is with resorts elsewhere in Colorado, the United States and the world.

In the grand scheme of things, the tramway will only add to the allure of Glenwood Springs, making business better for all.

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