The Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Associations (GSCRA’s) annual Strawberry Days Festival in Glenwood Springs, Colorado is visited by thousands of people every year and since 2011 the “Green Strawberries” recycling effor has become an important part of the festivities. The program, sponsored by SGM, Renewal by Anderson and the City of Glenwood Springs collected an estimated 14,000 pounds of compostable matter and recyclables to be re-processed. Eighty-six per cent of waste was diverted from landfills.
Alyssa Reindel with Evergreen Events worked with the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association to plan the event to meet the increasing effort for an environmentally-friendly Strawberry Days, “Overall the event was a huge success. Vendors and patrons were happy to sort their items and the feedback we received was positive and grateful.”
Evergreen’s involvement may not be noticeable at first glance but some attendees may have noticed the placement of signs at handwashing stations encouraging them to “shake it off” rather than reaching for a paper towel and left over food items being collected for compost after the Rotary Club’s pancake breakfast. These may seem like minute tasks but they save fuel and reduce the creation of methane gas in our landfills.
“Our goal is to make Strawberry Days as ‘green’ as possible. With tens of thousands of people engaging in the event, we have the ability to educate a large group of people about the importance of recycling in a fun environment,” said Marianne Virgili, CEO of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association.
According to the GSCRA’s event organizer Angie Anderson, “The results get better every year. In 2011 we diverted 46 per cent of the waste from the landfill and now we are up to 86%. So we’ve made huge strides in 5 years! Most of that is because Alyssa works with the vendors in advance to make sure they are using compostable products.”
Anderson added that more people can get involved because there is always a need for more volunteers to help throughout the park with trash clean-up and to monitor recycling stations. She added, “We had a really great event and the trash and recycling portion is a big part of that.”
Ultimately, 2015 Strawberry Days collections will save about 593 gallons of gasoline and prevent over 46,600 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions.
Evergreen Events works with event planners to meet an increasing interest for environmentally friendly events, EverGreen Events provides Zero Waste and green event services for any occasion. From backyard parties to multiday sporting events and community festivals, they accommodate your specific needs, bringing the Zero Waste world to you and your guests. They work with municipalities, businesses, community groups and the public, offering full or partial sustainability consultation, operational management, compostable product distribution and outreach for any occasion with great results.
Strawberry Days Festival
Strawberry Days has been entertaining generations for more than 100 years. The festival features a FamilyFest area with interactive, entertaining and creative experiences for the kids; an arts and crafts fair and food court; an old-fashioned carnival; a parade down main street and a full entertainment line-up. We still serve free strawberries and ice cream on Saturday, just like we’ve been doing for the past century. For more information, visit Strawberrydays.com.
Colorado’s newest hot springs features 16 thermal mineral water soaking pools and a freshwater family pool with a whirlpool spa on the bank of the Colorado River in Glenwood Springs.
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (July 15, 2015) — The much-anticipated opening of the Iron Mountain Hot Springs is almost here. Glenwood Springs’ newest geothermal attraction will open on the bank of the Colorado River on Saturday, July 18. A grand opening celebration will be held later this summer. Catering to all who appreciate relaxing with a warm soak surrounded by mountain views, the Iron Mountain Hot Springs offers 16 mineral hot springs soaking pools and a freshwater family pool with a jetted spa.
The family pool is filled with 86,000 gallons of fresh water that’s heated to a comfortable 90 degrees Fahrenheit by the geothermal exchange. A smaller, elevated whirlpool spa offers a perfect soaking temperature of just over 92°F, where parents can enjoy the warmer water while supervising their children below. A waterfall provides calming sounds as water cascades from the upper to the lower section.
Sixteen smaller, naturally shaped pools are filled with thermal mineral waters that range from 98 to 108°F. To provide a soothing environment where guests can relax, restore and rejuvenate in the soaking pools, there is a quiet zone surrounding the area; children ages 5 to 14 must be accompanied by an adult and those younger than 5 are not allowed. The views, which vary from pool to pool, include the Colorado River as it winds through the valley, Iron Mountain, Red Mountain, the Flat Tops and the twin peaks of majestic Mt. Sopris to the south.
“We have really focused on the guests’ experience,” explained co-owner Mogli Cooper. “The location, shape and features of each of the pools, the materials and colors we used and the team we’ve built — it’s all been about providing a world-class hot springs destination where people can enjoy the therapeutic, natural mineral waters.”
Several springs emerge onto the Iron Mountain Hot Springs property with average water temperatures ranging from 105 to 108°F. There are at least 14 minerals found in the analysis of the water; the five most abundant are iron, sulfate, chloride, sodium and calcium. Iron and sulfate are known for their relaxing qualities. Thermal heat from the springs is also used to warm the pools and to heat the walkways and buildings.
“The past nine months have been a whirlwind,” co-owner Steve Beckley said. “Building the bathhouse, restaurant and 18 pools takes an enormous amount of coordination and an impressive number of people. In addition to the structures and pools you can see, the infrastructure beneath the ground took just as much work. We have to get the water from three different mineral water sources into our facility and routed to the pools. The water in the smaller mineral pools continually flows through the pools and completes a total changeover every two hours.”
Richard Nash, of Nash Construction, was the general contractor for the project. Care was taken to use local sources throughout the process, including approximately 50 contractors, vendors and suppliers from the Western Slope.
Making sure that the therapeutic waters at the Iron Mountain Hot Springs are accessible to all was also a priority during planning and construction. A gently curving ramp with a handrail provides a gradual entrance into the family pool for those in wheelchairs or anyone who prefers to avoid steps. Two of the soaking pools have transfer walls and grab bars that allow a person to leave a mobility device and transfer onto the wall and then into the water. An aquatic wheelchair is available, and the family changing rooms are accessible as well.
“Accessibility was very important to all of us,” Cooper said. “The healing nature of the warm mineral waters can work wonders with everyday aches and pain. Imagine how significant that can be to those facing long-term healthcare issues and challenges. We want everyone to feel welcome.”
A lodge-style bathhouse greets guests upon arrival. Inside, they can buy passes, shop and prepare for their soak in well-appointed locker rooms. Separate changing rooms for families are available to make visits with the kids easier. If guests have forgotten something or would like to pick up a gift or souvenir, the retail shop offers swimwear, sunscreen and pool accessories; lotions, body wash and other personal care items; specialty soaps and candles; shirts; hats; ornaments and candies. Many of the items are made right here in Colorado.
When it’s time for a break, the on-site Sopris Café located next to the family pool is just the spot. The menu includes breakfast pastries and croissants, snacks, salads, wraps, sandwiches, pizza, hot dogs, frozen yogurt, soft-serve ice cream, smoothies, specialty coffees, soft drinks, beer, wine and mixed drinks. Free water and bottle-filling stations are available near the family changing rooms in the bathhouse to help guests stay hydrated.
The Iron Mountain Hot Springs will be open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. through Labor Day weekend, and then off-season hours will begin. Admission is $25 per adult, $15 for kids 3 to 12, and free for children younger than 3. An evening soak from 8 to 10 p.m. is available for $15 for adults and $9 for kids. Discounts are available for guests ages 65 and better, AAA members and military. Re-entry is not included with admission. To ensure a relaxing atmosphere, capacity will be maintained to make sure that the pools do not become overcrowded. Guests can check availability at www.IronMountainHotSprings.com. A pop-up screen will notify visitors when capacity has been reached, and they can check back regularly from mobile devices and tablets to find out when space has become available.
Soaking in the iron-rich waters while taking in the views from this spot is not a new idea. The history of the Iron Mountain Hot Springs property dates back to 1896, when the West Glenwood Health Spa opened. Over the next 100 years, it changed hands multiple times and also operated as the Wash Allen Bathhouse, the Gamba Mineral Springs, the Glenwood Health Spa, the Fort Defiance Bathhouse and the Iron Springs Spa. It was razed in 1996 to make way for a water park project that never came to fruition and sat vacant until construction of the Iron Mountain Hot Springs started in late 2014. A viewing tower reminiscent of one located on the site in the early 1900s is planned to reflect the site’s rich history.
July 8, 2015
51 Service Center Drive
Aspen, CO 81611
RE: RFTA Access Control Plan/Glenwood Springs
The Board of Directors of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association (GSCRA) has been following the proposed RFTA Access Control Plan (ACP) and the Roaring Fork Transit Authority’s discussions of the plan with Glenwood Springs City Council:
As the business organization for Glenwood Springs, the chamber looks at things from an economic perspective. We also realize that preserving and enhancing City’s quality of life and creating a “sense of place” are what makes individuals, entrepreneurs and businesses want to relocate to our community. Ultimately, this sense of place is the Roaring Fork Valley’s best economic development tool. That is why we fell the above bullet points are critical.
Thanks for all you do for our communities and for continuing to negotiate with local governments so that the final ACP works for everyone.
Marianne Virgili, IOM, CCE
President & CEO
The GSCRA Supports Sunlight's Colorado River Round Table Grant Application for funding to construct a reservoir in Babbish Gulch to help with snowmaking.
July 7, 2015
RE: Colorado River Round Table Grant
To Whom It May Concern:
The Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association would like to support Sunlight Mountain Resort in pursuing a Colorado River Round Table grant to help build a small reservoir in Babbish Gulch. This reservoir would be filled in the spring during runoff and the water stored for use in the ski area’s November/December snowmaking season.
Snowmaking is important to Sunlight as it is to any ski area. Dependence on the weather makes it difficult to plan or execute predictable and successful ski area operations. As a resort community that entertains more than 1M overnight visitors, we realize that most of our visitor traffic comes during the summer season. Sunlight helps balance our tourism economy by providing positive social and economic impact to the community during the winter months. It’s very important for the ski area to have the physical water available in order to continue offering a quality ski/ride experience.
Please consider Sunlight Mountain Resort’s grant application favorably and don’t hesitate to contact me if I can provide additional supportive information.
Marianne Virgili, IOM, CCE
President & CEO
Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association
July 1, 2015
Mayor Michael Gamba
Glenwood Springs City Hall
101 W. 8th Street
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
The Board of Directors of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association has asked me to write to you re: your consideration of repealing the denial of licensing for two more retail marijuana stores in downtown Glenwood Springs. We would appreciate your support of the denial handed down by the licensing officer.
This is a complicated subject involving the will of voters to legalize recreational marijuana; marketplace fairness and free enterprise; the unexpected consequences of marijuana legalization; and the public and social perception of Glenwood Springs as a tourist town because of the proliferation of retail marijuana outlets in our downtown core.
We appreciate the moratorium and emphasize that this is clearly the time for City Council to reevaluate the marijuana sales policy and figure out what is working and what isn’t. We already have numerous retail marijuana outlets downtown – they are so obvious that we do not get inquiries in our visitor center about where and how to purchase marijuana.
There has been a lot invested in the downtown by individual property and business owners, the City, the Downtown Development Authority, Colorado Mountain College, the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association and Garfield County – investments that include time, money and planning to make our community a desirable place to live, work, play and do business. As we consider these investments we need to realize the negative effect the addition of more marijuana retail stores has on the visual image of the family-friendly community that we have worked so hard to create.
The board appreciates your thoughtful deliberations and respects City Council in its leadership role of having to decide and enforce zoning and design standards that are critical to careful community planning. We trust you as our elected representatives to do the job of fairly monitoring and taxing this industry. Likewise, the chamber board applauds Council’s recent decision to look at development standards and incentives that are industry-wide instead of on a case-by-case basis.
Marianne Virgili, IOM, CCE
President & CEO
Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association
NerdWallet considers business climate and local economic health
San Francisco, CA (June 30, 2015) – NerdWallet, a consumer finance website, has conducted a study to find the best places in Colorado to start a business – and Glenwood Springs ranked fifth.
To determine this ranking, NerdWallet examined 85 places in Colorado with populations of 5,000 or more and analyzed the following factors:
Local economic health
Glenwood Springs has held the title of “Most Fun Town in America,” bestowed annually by Rand McNally and USA Today. Each year, the city attracts over 1 million visitors, who come for rafting, skiing, the hot springs and more. This exceptional tourism helps make Glenwood Springs one the best places in the state to start a business. About 2,400 businesses operate here, and collectively earn over $1.46 billion annually.
Other cities in the top 10 include Steamboat Springs and Durango. See the full study here.
Learn more about NerdWallet Small Business here.
NerdWallet is a personal finance site for consumers. Our data-driven tools and content enable consumers to make well-informed decisions across a broad range of financial topics, like buying a house, saving for retirement and starting a small business.
Samantha Schulte | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association was named 2013 Chamber of the Year by ACCE!