Adventure Park Presents John McEuen and the String Wizards

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park will host John McEuen and the String Wizards for a special ticketed event concert on Friday, Aug. 30.

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band fans have good reason to head to Glenwood Springs, Colorado, later this month when founding member John McEuen and the String Wizards perform at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. The concert on Friday, Aug. 30, is the mountain-top theme park’s first ticketed event. McEuen brings with him more than 50 years of worldwide performing with his banjo, fiddle, guitar and mandolin. Often referred to as the string wizard, he weaves stories of his travels and family life—he has raised 7 kids—taking his audiences through where his musical path has taken him.

 McEuen a Legendary Performer

“We’re beyond excited to bring this caliber of entertainment not just to Glenwood Springs, but to our venue on top of Iron Mountain,” said Bob Stepniewski, food and entertainment manager for Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. “John McEuen is a legend whose music is woven into the history of our country. This is going to be a very special night at the park.”

 McEuen has assembled a uniquely talented group with The String Wizards, each one a stellar musician in his own right. Les Thompson, an original founding member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, performs bass, vocals and bouzouki. On guitar and vocals, John Cable toured Russia as a Dirt Band member. Matt Cartsonis, on vocals, mandola and guitar, has been McEuen’s music partner for 25 years. Together, they’ll perform Nitty Gritty Dirt Band favorites, hot bluegrass and other timeless classics.

A First for Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

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Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park logo

A limited number of tickets are available for $25 each at MtnTopPark.com. The gondola opens at 7 p.m., and the band takes the stage at 8 p.m. No outside food or drink is allowed. The park’s rides and attractions will be closed during the event, but food and drinks will be available at the Lookout Grille and Snack Shack. No discounts will be given for annual pass holders or cans of food. This is a rain-or-shine event.

Musical Notes: NGDB & John McEuen

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band recorded 30 albums, including three platinum and five gold; has 20 Top 20 hits; and won a Grammy Award, six Grammy nominations, one Country Music Award, five Country Music Award nominations and one International Bluegrass Music Award. McEuen has performed or recorded with many of music’s greats including: David Bromberg, Dolly Parton, Doobie Bros., Alison Krauss, Lyle Lovett, Vince Gill, Jackson Browne, John Prine, John Denver, Jimmy Buffet, Steve Goodman, Bob Dylan, Andy Williams, Gregg Allman, Marty Stuart, Linda Ronstadt, Jennifer Warnes, Kris Kristofferson, The Doors, Willie Nelson, Bill Wyman, Johnny Cash, Little River Band, Tommy Lee Jones, Leon Russell, Marshall Tucker Band, Michael Murphey, Bill Cosby, Steve Martin, Kevin Nealon, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Maybelle Carter, Tom Petty, The Smothers Brothers, Allman Brothers, Everly Bros., Jerry Garcia, Roy Acuff, Dizzy Gillespie, The Band, Crystal Gayle, Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, Jimmy Martin, Mark O’Connor, Lester Flatt, Chris Thile, Vassar Clements, David Amram, Sissy Spacek, Albert Gore and Phish.

Mountain-Top Summer Music Begins

The Missing Link Band
The Missing Link Band

In addition to cave tours, thrill rides and family fun, summer at America’s only mountain-top theme park means live music six days a week, entertainment for kids and some greats deals.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is putting the new Glenwood Gondola to good use this summer with more live music events than ever, plus some really good deals. Its season kicks off the week of June 10 with Two for Tuesdays, Friday Afternoon Club and Music on the Mountain. That’s the icing on the cake of the mountain-top theme park known for its cave tours, extreme thrill rides, panoramic views and family-friendly fun.

Summertime is Concert-time!

“Our summer season has arrived! Getting more people up and down the mountain quickly was our main goal with the new Glenwood Gondola, and we’re making the most of it with more Music on the Mountain concerts than we’ve ever hosted,” explained Nancy Heard, general manager for Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. “There are 15 concerts lined up with no break during the peak season as we’ve had in the past, plus we’ll have Friday Afternoon Club and some great deals for our guests.”

Mountain-Top Music 6 Days a Week

All in all, the park features live music six days a week all summer. New this year, the park’s Two for Tuesdays begin June 11. The deal includes buy-one-get-one-free gondola rides, drinks for adults and slushies for kids after 4 p.m., plus live music. The popular Friday Afternoon Club on the Mountain events start June 14 and include free gondola rides with an ad from the Post Independent, live music and food and drink specials in the Lookout Grille. The Harmony Sisters entertain kids with fun and interactive musical performances in the plaza Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 11:30 and 2:30. Guitar soloist Rodrigo Arreguin from Mexico plays Monday through Thursday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Lookout Grille.

Eleventh Annual Music on the Mountain Kicks off June 15

The eleventh season of Music on the Mountain, Glenwood Springs’ mountain-top benefit concert series, starts Saturday, June 15, at a kick-off party with the Missing Link Band—the only band to have played in all 11 seasons—and the Dance of the Sacred Fire. Guests can ride the gondola free with the donation of at least one canned food item for the Lift-Up community food pantries. For all Saturday concerts, the free gondola rides start at 4 p.m., and the bands play from 6 to 10 p.m. For the two Sunday concerts, free gondola rides begin at 2 p.m., and the bands play from 4 to 8 p.m.

The 2019 Music on the Mountain Lineup

  • Saturday, June 15: The Missing Link Band – This popular local party band appeals to all age groups and tastes by performing the best from all genres of music including classic rock, blues, pop, R & B. They’re joined by Maciej Mrotek and his team who perform the Dance of the Sacred Fire, magical high-energy, fire shows that have captivated audiences around the globe.
  • Saturday, June 29: Brian Grace Band – This rockin’ country band from Colorado Springs performs original and cover songs, from Zac Brown, Jim Croce and George Strait to Bob Seger, Eric Clapton, Matchbox 20 and more.
  • Saturday, July 6: The Goodman Band – Specializing in classic rock and Stevie Ray Vaughn cover tunes, the three-piece Goodman Band plays songs that range from early country, rock and blues to today’s music.
  • Saturday, July 13: A Band Called Alexis – This energetic, talented and entertaining group of professional musicians from the Roaring Fork Valley specializes in country and blues with a little bit of rock ‘n’ roll.
  • Saturday, July 20: Poser – This high-energy, crowd-pleasing, six-piece cover band plays hits from classics like The Beatles, Santana, Springsteen, Clapton and more. The list of rock ‘n’ roll legends goes on and on.
  • Saturday, July 27: Emotional Rescue – Dedicated to playing Rolling Stones tunes in an authentic, high-energy way, Emotional Rescue wows their audiences with a true Rolling Stones show.
  • Saturday, August 3: Whiskey Stomp – This fun-loving, good-times band plays classic songs and energetic originals, ranging from blue grass, funk and Latino rhythms to rock, jazz and country.
  • Saturday, August 10: Fifty50 – Hailing from the Roaring Fork Valley, Fifty50 performs classic, modern and original rock that has awarded them many Locals’ Choice Awards over the years.
  • Saturday, August 17: The Mixx — For the young and young at heart, the dance floor will be grooving with music genres from Top 40s, R&B, classic rock, funk, country, blues and good old rock ‘n’ roll.
  • Sunday, August 18: Latin Night – BJ the DJ will mix Latin night with artists including Selena, Elvis Crespo, Malo, Santana, Chuchito Valdes, Los Mex Pistols Del Norte, Ramon Ayala, Los Lonely Boys, Kumbia Kings, Jennifer Lopez and Mala Mia. Free gondola rides begin at 2 p.m., and the music plays from 4 to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, August 24: Johnny O Band – Originally from the Roaring Fork Valley and going strong for 22 years, the Johnny O Band creates an infectious, freestyle Pop groove that doesn’t let go.
  • Saturday, Sept. 7: Echo Monday – This Roaring Fork Valley cover band draws most of its inspiration from the 90s to modern rock/alternative scene, and occasionally dips into the 80s and beyond.
  • Sunday, Sept. 8: Christian Night with Kings Loyal – This collective of musicians from around the Roaring Fork Valley specializes in Christian music with a modern rock style but also play a variety of covers. Free gondola rides begin at 2 p.m., and the band plays from 4 to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, Sept. 14: Painters Stage Variety Show – The gypsy sound and reggae rhythm of the local Painters Stage trio is joined by entertainers including Jammin’ Jim Pomey and performers from the Legacy Dance Company.
  • Saturday, Sept. 21: The Missing Link Band – Back for the season finale, this popular local party band appeals to all age groups and tastes by performing the best from all genres of music including classic rock, blues, pop, R & B.

Thank you Sponsors!

The Adventure Park thanks its sponsors for supporting this benefit concert series: Bighorn Toyota, Coca-Cola, Glenwood Adventure Company, CUC Construction Co., GlenwoodTV.com, SGM, Young Services, Glenwood Insurance Agency, Leitner Poma, Community Banks of Colorado, Iron Mountain Hot Springs, Best Western Antlers Glenwood Springs, Tradesman Electrical Services, Glenwood Springs Post Independent, KSPN and Phil Long Honda.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., with longer hours during Saturday Music on the Mountain events.

Celebrate National Caves and Karst Day

King's Row Cave Tour
King's Row Cave Tour

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Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is celebrating National Caves and Karst Day on Saturday, June 8 with activities that include a hands-on educational and interactive display and free cave posters. Kids can earn a Junior Cave Scientist badge as well.

 Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is based around its flagship tours of Glenwood Caverns and the Historic Fairy Cave that started 20 years ago. When the National Caves Association (NCA) decided to designate a National Caves and Karst Day in 2017 to raise awareness of the crucial roles both play in our lives, everyone at the park was on board. For the third year in a row, the park is going all out to celebrate. Although the official NCA event is June 6, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is hosting its event on Saturday, June 8, to allow more people to participate.

“We get pretty excited about caves around here, so National Caves and Karst Day is a big deal,” explained Nancy Heard, general manager for Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. “Every time we give a tour or host a school group, we have the opportunity to teach our guests about cave science and the importance of conservation. On June 8, we’ll get to dive deeper into these topics and have some fun at the same time.”

Have Fun Exploring the Science of Caves

 National Caves and Karst Day activities include a hands-on educational and interactive display at the shade building located across from the Soaring Eagle Zip Ride and free cave posters to the first 120 people to ask for one. Kids can pick up a Junior Cave Scientist booklet there as well. To earn a free badge or sticker, they must complete at least one activity for each year of their age and return the completed booklet to the building to have it checked. The first 20 to do so will receive a free, signed “Cave Critters” coloring book written by Kay Cochran, a tour guide at the park.

Cool Cave Facts

Early June is a good time for families to visit the Adventure Park and to map out their cave visits for the rest of the summer. Here are 10 fun facts to know about caves and karst while planning a cave tour:

  1. A cave is a naturally occurring area or space under the surface of the Earth. Caves are often a system of interconnected passageways created by the weathering of rock.
  2. Most caves form in karst, which is terrain typically characterized by sinkholes, underground rivers and barren, rocky ground. Forty percent of the drinking water in the U.S. comes from karst aquifers.
  3. Icicle-shaped speleothems, or rock formations, form as water drips from the cave roof. Stalagmites, which one might trip over, grow up from the floor, usually from the water that drips off the end of stalactites that cling tight to the cave roof. When these two meet, a column is formed.
  4. Stalactites and stalagmites grow by only a fraction of an inch in a year, and since some are many yards in length, one can appreciate the time it takes for these speleothems to develop. In arid areas with little humidity, it can take a thousand years for a formation to grow one cubic inch.
  5. We learn a lot from caves. Researchers collect broken formations to track historical weather trends dating back hundreds of thousands of years. Universities partner with privately owned caves to learn how bacteria can play a role in cancer treatment and the development of new antibiotics.
  6. No two caves are alike. They can be found in glaciers, on mountaintops, in cliffs by the sea, in molten lava, in the desert and in hillsides.
  7. Caves are living things. Seepage from groundwater causes water to drip, which keeps formations growing and changing. A drop that falls onto a caver is called a cave kiss and is considered to be good luck.
  8. Caves are known to have provided shelter to mankind’s earliest ancestors. Cliff dwellings, such as those found in the Four Corners region of the Southwest, were inhabited by Ancestral Puebloans as early as 550 A.D. Fossils dating back to the Ice Age have been found inside caves as well.
  9. Caves are home to many forms of life that do not exist elsewhere. Troglobites, or cave-inhabiting creatures, are only found in caves and include certain species of shrimp, fish, blind salamanders, pseudoscorpions, spiders, millipedes and beetles.
  10. There are many ways to experience the subterranean world. Guided walking and wild tours are the most common, but there are caves that offer kayaking, floating or boating on underground rivers; cave diving; wildlife spotting; campouts; concerts; rappelling and more.

Heard added, “A lot of good things happen when you spend time in a cave. Many studies report that spending time in nature can boost mental and physical well-being, improve concentration, increase energy, reduce stress and lower blood pressure and heart rates. Pair that with exercise, such as descending and then climbing the 120 steps inside King’s Row, and the results are even better. It’s quality time that a family can spend together, focusing on nature instead of looking at screens.”

Park Admission & Hours

Regular admission rates apply for this event. A ride on the Glenwood Gondola costs $19 for adults and $14 for kids 3 to 12. The Gondola/Cave Tour combination is $32 for adults and $27 for kids. An inclusive Funday Pass is $58 for adults, $53 for kids, and includes the gondola ride, two walking cave tours and unlimited access to all rides. Annual Gondola and Thrill Pass holders can attend free. Those who have vouchers for the Locals’ Gondola Pass from earlier this year are encouraged to redeem them prior to this event, preferably on weekdays prior to 7 p.m.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Beginning Saturday, June 8, it will be open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., with longer hours during Music on the Mountain events.

Glenwood Springs Moves to 100 Percent Renewable Electricity

Starting June 1, 2019, the historic resort town of Glenwood Springs, Colorado, will be powered by 100% renewable energy. The announcement was made at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, the mountain-top theme park overlooking Glenwood Springs, which becomes one of the first amusement parks in the country to be powered by 100% renewable energy.

Glenwood Springs, Colorado, joins an elite group June 1, 2019, as it becomes the second city in Colorado and the seventh in the U.S. to be powered by all renewable energy.

Energy buzz

“We are very excited to announce that Glenwood Springs will soon be operated on 100% renewable electricity, making us the second municipality in Colorado to do so. Many cities and towns across the country have set aggressive targets, and we are doing our part today—our future is now,” said Mayor Jonathan Godes.

Members of the community joined local dignitaries, director of the Colorado Tourism Office Cathy Ritter and officials from the Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (MEAN) for the signing of the contract at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. CLEER, Clean Energy Economy for the Region, which implements programs for the City, provided free LED lightbulbs for attendees.

This contract makes Glenwood Springs Electric 100% renewable electricity; MEAN is bringing the equivalent wind power onto its grid to provide for all of the electricity in Glenwood Springs. As other communities follow in Glenwood’s path, MEAN will increase the total renewables on the grid, benefiting all the members.

Clean energy makes a difference

Long a leader in sustainable energy, Glenwood Springs has been offering and promoting energy efficiency with residents and businesses by offering rebates since 2009. Glenwood Springs has been 35% renewable on the electric grid since 2013. According to MEAN, switching to 100% wind saves the environment 77,156 tons of CO2 emission that the City of Glenwood Springs would have “created” using MEAN fossil fuel plants to generate power.

Adventure Park guided by sustainable ideals

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, well-known for its cave tours and over-the-top extreme thrill rides, was one the first businesses in Glenwood Springs to take advantage of Garfield Clean Energy and City of Glenwood efficiency rebates and install LED lighting within the cave. In addition to cost effectiveness and sustainability, the LED bulbs put off less heat, which makes it easier to keep the 54 unique species residing in the cave alive.

The City’s switch to all renewable makes Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park one of the first amusement parks in the nation to use 100% renewable electricity, a move that makes owner Steve Beckley proud.

“Our business is centered on nature-based adventure, so protecting the environment and natural resources has been our primary goal since we gave our first cave tour in May 1999,” explained Steve Beckley, who owns Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park with his wife Jeanne. “We are really pleased to be one of the first theme parks in the U.S. to have all of its electricity provided from renewable sources. Sustainable tourism is an important issue these days, and this move is a huge step in the right direction for Glenwood Springs as a whole.”

Eco-friendly practices help protect Glenwood’s future

Glenwood Springs has been a wellness destination since the 1880s, with travelers from around the world visiting to soak in the healing benefits of its mineral hot springs. Prior to that, Nomadic Ute Indian tribes inhabited the area and frequently bathed and soaked in the hot mineral waters. Today, visitors also come to fish, raft and kayak the Colorado and Roaring Fork Rivers; hike, bike and ride the trails; camp and hunt in the White River National Forest; and ski, ride, snowshoe and snowmobile at Sunlight Mountain Resort. Providing clean energy to protect the area’s natural resources is a major accomplishment.

Angie Anderson, president and CEO of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association, said, “We are thrilled that Glenwood Springs is on the cutting-edge utilizing 100 percent renewable energy. Our community has proven that clean energy is an important part of our local economy. This commitment to sustainability makes our community shine in a positive way.”

Learn more and plan your visit to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park today.

Party Like it’s 1999 at Park 20th Anniversary Party

Glenwood Caverns gave its first cave tour in May 1999, more than 82 years after the Fairy Caves closed to the public during World War I. The mountain-top Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, is throwing a Party Like it’s 1999 celebration on Saturday, May 18, 2019. 

A Dream Realized

Twenty years ago, Steve and Jeanne Beckley were putting the final touches on the substantial improvement projects that made it possible to open the Glenwood Caverns and the Historic Fairy Caves to the public for the first time in 82 years. They’d spent the previous months working with volunteers to grade and gravel a road to the cave entrance, clear debris that had collected for decades, rewire and install lighting, carve a new tunnel into the mountain and install two airtight doors to form an airlock that protects the temperature and humidity inside the cave. Their first tour was during Memorial Weekend in 1999, the realization of dream 18 years in the making.

A Look Back at Glenwood Caverns’ Beginnings

Steve Beckley, a petroleum engineer and graduate of the Colorado School of Mines, read about the Fairy Caves in 1982 in an out-of-print book about Colorado caves. He wrote to Pete Prebble, the owner at that time, and expressed his interest in visiting the closed cave for 11 years before he and then-girlfriend Jeanne were allowed in. It was such a remarkable experience that they spent the next six years persuading him to lease the property and then, after quitting their jobs in Denver and moving to Glenwood Springs with their newborn son, spent a year preparing to open.

“I remember telling Jeanne at the time that we’d give cave tours during the summer and then relax, ski and play the rest of the year,” Steve Beckley, who co-owns Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park with his wife Jeanne, explains. “Well, that’s not exactly how it went. Jeanne knows ‘I have an idea’ is probably my favorite phrase and that I say it a lot.”

Glenwood Caverns Becomes America’s Only Mountain-top Theme Park

More than 33,000 people toured the caved in five months that year. The company had to close during the rest of the year due to the winding road that was impassible in the winter and spring months. Steve began working on a new transportation system to keep the tours open year-round; in 2003 the Iron Mountain Tramway opened, and the company changed its name to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. Since then, it has grown to include thrill rides, family-friendly attractions, live music, shopping, dining and, as of this year, the new high-speed Glenwood Gondola that can transport 1,000 people per hour up and down the mountain.

“We never imagined that 20 years later that we’d be operating the only mountain-top theme park in America, with roller coasters and a giant swing and concerts under the stars,” co-owner Jeanne Beckley said. “It’s been such an incredible process. Our boys have grown up here, and the park has become this special place where families can have fun, learn about nature, experience this spectacular cave and create memories together.”

Premier Prince Tribute Band to Highlight 20th Anniversary Celebration

To celebrate this 20th anniversary, the Adventure Park is throwing a Party Like It’s 1999 celebration on Saturday, May 18, from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Paizley Park, a costumed and choreographed Prince tribute act, will rock the stage from 7 – 9 p.m. The audience will fall under the purple spell of Phillip Lamar Jordan as Prince during this high-energy show featuring the music of Prince, Vanity 6, Apollonia 6, Sheila E. and more. Guests who wear purple to the event can get a free drink at the Lookout Grille, a purple Icee for kids and a special “Purple Rain” adult beverage. The Airi Photo Booth will be set up to the right of the stage with props to help guests create free souvenir photos to take home as well.

Learn About Spelunking and Formations in Cave Simulator

CaveSim, a crawl-through electronic cave simulator with 60 feet of passage to explore, will be at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. It’s decorated with artful reproductions of real cave formations. Each formation is electronically sensed to count the number of times it gets hit by cavers. This information is saved in a central computer, and cavers can compare their scores and times.

Education was a primary goal of the Beckleys when they first opened the cave in 1999. According to Steve, “We were, and still are, so overwhelmed by the beauty of this world beneath our feet that we wanted to share it with as many people as possible while still protecting the natural resource. Teaching our guests about the history and geology of the area, the life forms within the cave and the importance of conservation has always been at the forefront of our business.”

Since that first tour, more than a million people have toured Glenwood Caverns and the Historic Fairy Caves. The park offers affordable field trips for thousands of students every year, providing the opportunity to share the science and experience of exploring to even more young people, many of whom might not have the chance to do so otherwise.

Steve and Jeanne Beckley at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

Event Admission Details

Regular admission rates apply for this event. A ride on the Glenwood Gondola costs $19 for adults and $14 for kids 3 to 12. The Gondola/Cave Tour combination is $32 for adults and $27 for kids. An inclusive Funday Pass is $58 for adults, $53 for kids, and includes the gondola ride, two walking cave tours and unlimited access to all rides. Annual Gondola and Thrill Pass holders can attend free. Those who have vouchers for the Locals’ Gondola Pass from earlier this year are encouraged to redeem them prior to this event, preferably on weekdays prior to 4:30 p.m.

Grand Opening of the Glenwood Gondola

There’s a new gondola in the Roaring Fork Valley, and Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is ready to celebrate its completion. The Glenwood Gondola, which replaces the park’s former Iron Mountain Tramway, has been under construction since October 29, 2018. On Saturday, April 20, the mountain-top theme park in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, is rolling out the red carpet to introduce its newest attraction.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony kicks off the festivities at 10 a.m. on April 20

Paying homage to the grand opening of the Iron Mountain Tramway in 2003, owners Steve and Jeanne Beckley have invited two of the people who played important roles in that ceremony to come back for repeat performances. KMTS news and sports director Ron Milhorn will once again be the emcee for the event. Melissa Miller Matis will sing the same two songs she sang in 2003, when she was 15, “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “A Moment Like This.”

After the Beckleys take the first ride, the Glenwood Gondola opens for the public. The park saved tram cabin number one, which is located at the base for photo opportunities. Cake will be served on the stage in the plaza area beginning at 11 a.m. Silk’s Saloon Olde Tyme Photos will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. as well.

“Everyone at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is really looking forward to the grand opening,” park general manager Nancy Heard explained. “Even though the park has been open for a few weeks with 17 gondola cabins, this is really the big kick-off for us. We have a lot of great things planned for this summer, so this is just the first of many fun events coming up, including our 20th anniversary celebration on May 18 and 15 Music on the Mountain concerts through the summer.”

Giving thanks to a supportive community

To thank the community for its patience while the park was closed, free annual gondola passes were offered to residents from Basalt to Glenwood and from Eagle to Parachute. More than 17,000 people signed up, a much larger number than anticipated.

Heard added, “Wow, the response was just incredible! We had to make a special order of the plastic cards used for the passes to accommodate so many people. We continue to be humbled by the loyalty and enthusiastic support of our community.”

At $38 per annual gondola pass, that’s a $650,000 goodwill gesture to encourage locals to come up and see what’s new and to bring back those who may have stopped attending the Music on the Mountain concerts because of the lines to get up and down the mountain.

The Glenwood Gondola improves the park experience for visitors

With the increased capacity of the Glenwood Gondola, that should no longer be an issue. In the past, the majority of customer complaints were related to getting up and down the mountain. The new gondola is designed to be much more customer-friendly. It features 44 detachable cabins that move continuously, so the ride is faster and smoother than the former Iron Mountain Tramway. It’s also less susceptible to weather-related closures.

“When you combine the gondola, the capital improvements made throughout the park and compensation to keep our year-round, full-time employees on the payroll during the closure, this multi-million-dollar investment in the park is the largest since its inception,” Steve Beckley said. “Jeanne and I are really pleased with the dedication our managers and staff members have shown to improving our customer experience. We can’t wait to hear what our guests have to say.”

The season ahead at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

The park’s year-round attractions are open—the Alpine Coaster, both walking cave tours, the laser tag arena and 4D Motion Theater. An inclusive Funday Pass costs $47 for adults and $42 for kids 3 to 13 until May 10, when all attractions will be open. A ride on the Glenwood Gondola is $19 for adults and $14 for kids, and the Gondola/Cave Tour combo is $32 for adults and $27 for kids. Annual Gondola Pass Holders can upgrade to a Funday Pass for $28 or to an Annual Thrill Pass for $90 per adult and $78 per child.

The Lookout Grille is open with a variety of new options on the menu, including a line of Panini Sandwiches and more vegetarian choices. The General Store gift shop is open and also has a lot of new items, including locally made cave-themed chocolates, handmade artisan soaps and lotions, and fresh designs on t-shirts and hoodies, with more on the way.

Starting Thursday, April 11, hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Longer hours for summer will begin in late May. More information about the park can be found at GlenwoodCaverns.com and on Facebook.

Glenwood Gondola: New Name, New Experience

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is excited to reveal the name of its soon-to-open new attraction. Beginning in March, Glenwood Gondola will transport visitors from the valley floor in Glenwood Springs to America’s only mountain-top theme park. 

The staff at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park has been hard at work since fall when the park temporarily closed to install a new high-capacity gondola to transport visitors to and from the mountaintop.  Currently crews are working closely with a team from Leitner-Poma to install the newly named Glenwood Gondola.

Elevate Your Adventure

Set to open March 2019, Glenwood Gondola, with its tagline “Elevate Your Adventure,” signals a new era for Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. “We’ve chosen a new name to emphasize just how much difference it will make in our guests’ experience. The 44 detachable cabins that won’t stop on the way up or down the mountain are going to more than triple our capacity and decrease the ride time,” general manager Nancy Heard said. “So, instead of waiting in line at the base or the top during peak season, our guests can spend that time enjoying the park. This also allows us to offer more events, even during the summer. Our Music on the Mountain schedule is greatly expanded with more Colorado bands for this year, and locals will still be able to enjoy live music during Friday Afternoon Club.”

Glenwood Gondola Progress Report

 Heard added, “At this point, the heavy excavation, the removal of the old concrete footers, is completed. All of the footers for the new gondola have been poured. The two columns for the supporting structure of the base terminal were installed last weekend. This week, the terminal for the base will be constructed. Next comes the support structure for the top and then the terminal building itself. After that, the tower assemblies will be flown in and the haul rope, or cable, will be installed. Finally, the gondola cabins will be attached. Once assembled and operational, testing will be conducted, followed by the commission by Leitner-Poma and licensing by Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board.”

Spring Grand Opening Planned

 A March grand opening celebration is planned for the new Glenwood Gondola and the re-opening of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. Guests can expect to enjoy faster transportation up and down the mountain with few or no lines, and a fresh, new look throughout the Park.

Firefighter Appreciation Day at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

Firefighter Appreciation Day

Firefighters and their immediate families are invited to spend the day enjoying cave tours, thrill rides and kid-friendly attractions, courtesy of the mountain-top Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Members of the community can drop off cards or signs of support at the tram base by Sept. 15.

In light of the extraordinary efforts and sacrifices made by firefighters in the Roaring Fork and Grand Valleys this year, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is hosting a Firefighters Appreciation Day on Sunday, Sept. 16. These heroes and their immediate family members are invited to spend the day at the park, free of charge. For those unable to attend, a make-up day is being held Sunday, Sept. 23.

“This is our way of saying thank you to these brave men and women and their families for the sacrifices they have made,” Nancy Heard, general manager of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, said. “We are also inviting the public to drop off thank you notes and signs of support that we can display during their visit.”

To obtain the free Funday Passes, firefighters must show their badge or ID at the tram base upon arrival. The passes include transportation up and down the mountain, two walking cave tours and unlimited turns on all rides and most attractions.

Heard, whose family was evacuated during the early days of the Lake Christine Fire, added, “I know a lot of the volunteers who fought so hard to save not just our home and those of our friends and neighbors, but the entire towns of Basalt and El Jebel. I saw firsthand the incredible danger that they willingly subjected themselves to in order to serve our community. We all hope that they can take some time on the 16th or 23rd to relax, laugh and play a little, our treat.”

Anyone interested in dropping off cards, notes or signs should do so at the tram base by Saturday, Sept. 15. The park will be open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.