Media Buzz: Glenwood Caverns Named A Winner (Twice)

Even while closed for the winter season for the installation of its new, highly anticipated Glenwood Gondola which is scheduled to open to the public on March 16, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park continues to fascinate all kinds of people from natural history buffs to thrill-seeking daredevils.

Fairy Caves Edge Out Powell Expedition by a Slim Margin

First, Rocky Mountain PBS  sponsored a contest asking viewers to choose a topic for an episode of Colorado Experience, a documentary show dedicated to preserving and celebrating the people, events and places that shaped Colorado. In a hotly contested vote-off, viewers chose the Historic Fairy Caves in Glenwood Springs. Out of 4,700 votes cast, a record-breaking number, the Fairy Caves came out on top, beating out six other episodes with 1,646 votes and inching by second place finisher the Powell Expedition by a mere six votes!

The Fairy Caves are the historic portion of Glenwood Caverns; the newer section is called Kings Row and the Park offers tours of both.  Loaded with fantastical cave formations, the Fairy Caves have dazzled visitors to Glenwood Springs since they opened to the public in 1897. In fact, children today are as charmed as the tots from a century ago when they receive a “cave fairy kiss”— a drop of water falling from the cave ceiling. A highlight of the Fairy Cave tour is the historic lighting section called History Lane, which is illuminated with replica Edison and Marconi-style light bulbs. There are ticketing options that include just a gondola pass and cave tour or a complete FunDay Pass, the best-value, which bundles the Glenwood Gondola, cave tours and admission to all of the Park’s rides and attractions.

Update: Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park & Glenwood Gondola Now Open!

After being closed for four and a half months for the construction of the new Glenwood Gondola, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park reopened just in time for spring break visitors. Beginning Saturday, March 16, the park’s winter attractions will be open—the Alpine Coaster, both walking cave tours, the laser tag arena and 4D Motion Theater. The Lookout Grille and General Store gift shop will be open as well. An exciting ride on its own, the opening of the state-of-the-art Glenwood Gondola, ushers in a new era for Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. Stay tuned for more information about it in upcoming posts.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is Hiring

Glenwood Caverns is hiring

Earn a paycheck and have fun at the same time! America’s only mountaintop theme park, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, is hiring now for seasonal spring and summer positions.

When opportunity knocks, it’s always a good idea to answer. Well, it’s knocking today! Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs, Colorado is hiring seasonal positions for the upcoming spring and summer seasons.

While the balmy days of summer may seem far off, they’re not. Peak season at the Park is just around the corner. With the installation of the Glenwood Gondola underway and on schedule for completion next month, it won’t long before the Park reopens to the visiting public in mid-March. We’ll need a fully, trained staff to welcome and serve guests—“to make people smile”—our company mission.

If you are hard-working, reliable, friendly and teachable, we encourage you to apply. Working at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is a great way to build your resume and develop real-world marketable skills including increased confidence, public speaking, time management and problem solving.

We are looking for employees who share our six core values: guest service, enthusiasm, team player, passionate, adaptable and dedicated. If this sounds like you, we’d love you to be a part of the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park team in 2019. Now is the time to apply. To learn more about jobs, visit us at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.

We are currently hiring for the following positions:

  • Restaurant Cashiers
  • Attraction Attendants
  • Gondola Cashiers
  • Gondola Operators
  • Gondola Attendants
  • Gift Shop Cashiers
  • CDL Drivers
  • Cooks for the Lookout Grille
  • Photography Cashiers
  • Restaurant Bussers
  • Janitors
  • Cave Tour Guides
  • Part-time Receptionists
  • Sluice Attendants
  • Retail Inventory Control Specialists

Restaurant bussers can be as young as 14; cashiers, 16 and up; minor attractions attendants must be at least 16 and major attractions operators, 18 and older.

Do you hear that knocking? Opportunities at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park abound, but they won’t last long. Get to work. Make money. Have fun. Apply today!

Locals Get Your Free Glenwood Gondola Pass Now

You may have heard the news—Glenwood Gondola has been getting a lot of press lately as work shifts into high gear to complete the installation of the new state-of-the-art detachable gondola at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. We are over-the-top-thrilled about Glenwood Gondola nearing completion and providing Park guests with faster, more efficient and reliable transportation to and from the mountaintop.

Glenwood Gondola FREE for locals

To share our excitement as we usher in a new era of transportation at the Park, we are giving away FREE annual Glenwood Gondola passes to local area residents from Parachute to Basalt and the Town of Eagle to Glenwood Springs. That’s right, if you live in the area, you can ride Glenwood Gondola anytime the Park is open at no cost. Come enjoy a delicious meal and cocktails, sunset views, weekend concerts, seasonal festivals and opt to take a turn on the thrill rides or see what’s new on our cave tours.

“We want to welcome our locals back to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park when it reopens this spring,” Glenwood Caverns general manager Nancy Heard said, “We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the locals who have supported us over the years. After being closed all winter, offering a free annual gondola pass is a nice way to say thank you for your patience—now let’s have some fun!”

How to get your FREE Glenwood Gondola annual pass

Passes are valued at $38. To find out if you qualify, “purchase” your Glenwood Gondola annual pass between February 16, and March 10, 2019 at using the promo code LOCALSPASS. Locals can also purchase an Annual Thrill Pass and receive a $38 discount when they use the promo code. Passes will be ready for pick up after April 1,  just show your identification with your qualifying zip code at the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park base.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and Glenwood Gondola are scheduled to open in mid-March. The gondola will feature 44-detachable cabins in the Park’s signature orange color. The cabins won’t stop on the way up or down the mountain which will triple rider capacity and decrease ride time; the gondola will also be less susceptible to weather interference. Instead of waiting in line at the base or top of the mountain, guests will be able to spend more time enjoying Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.

Elevate your adventure at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park with your free Glenwood Gondola annual pass!

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 mountaintop 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.

Glenwood Caverns Throws Tram Farewell Party

Use weather apps to check climate conditions at the Adventure Park
Use weather apps to check climate conditions at the Adventure Park

Help us send off the Iron Mountain Tramway in style on Sunday, Oct. 28, from noon to 6 p.m. when we’ll be hosting a huge tram farewell party with throwback pricing, prizes, drawings and more!

The time has come to say goodbye to an old friend. The Iron Mountain Tramway at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park was installed April, 2003. Over its fifteen years of service, the tram has transported 2.2 million visitors to America’s only mountaintop theme park where they have enjoyed thrill rides, spectacular cave tours and fun-filled entertainment and events.

Tram Farewell Party, Oct. 28

After years of reliable service, this stalwart workhorse is ready to retire. We’ll celebrate on Sunday, Oct. 28 with a tram farewell party. Locals, visitors and the whole community are invited to attend. Festivities will begin at noon at the tram base with throw-back $10 tram rides—the cost of riding the tram back in 2003!

At the mountaintop, in addition to the rides and attractions that will be open (weather permitting), the celebration will feature free cake and refreshments, one dollar hot dogs for sale in the plaza, as well as prize giveaways and drawings. There will also be photo opportunities to commemorate the old tram. Don’t miss this chance to snap a souvenir photo before the tram is retired.

“This is definitely a bittersweet time for us. The tramway transformed a seasonal cave tour operation into a year-round destination,” Steve Beckley, who owns Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park with his wife Jeanne, said. “I’m sure there will be some emotional moments as we look back on how the business has changed over the years. At the same time, we are very excited to be able to improve service to our guests with the new tram.”

At the end of the evening, a winner will be drawn for the grand prize of taking the last ride down the mountain aboard the Iron Mountain Tramway with park owners Steve and Jeanne Beckley. Second prize is the second-to-last tram ride down with general manager Nancy Heard. The drawing will be held at 5 p.m., and winners must be present to win.

Decommissioning the old tram and installing the new tram will get underway immediately. The new, high-efficiency system with 44 detachable, six-person cabins will increase passenger capacity from the current 300 to 1,000 people per hour and significantly decreasing the frequency of weather-related closures.

Beginning on Monday, Oct. 29, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park will be temporarily closed for the winter season. Construction is anticipated to last until mid-March, when a grand re-opening celebration is planned.

Big Changes Ahead for Iron Mountain Tramway

Updated on Nov. 19, 2019 – The day after our Goodbye Tram party, we began decommissioning our old tram.  The cabins have been sent to Grafton, Illinois which sees 1.5 million cars pass through each year to visit the booming Riverside tourism experiences.  The Iron Mountain Tram upper deck has since received major demo, removal of terminal and foundation excavation in preparation for receiving the new foundation and drive terminal.  Soon the drive terminal at the tram base will be removed along with other demo.  Everything is going as planned and while we hope for a good snow season for local skiers, we are enjoying the great November weather as work moves forward.

Updated on Oct. 17, 2018 – We’re just about done with the party planning. On Sunday, Oct. 28 we’ll be saying goodbye to the Iron Mountain Tramway with a big bash of a celebration on the mountaintop from noon to 6 p.m. Join us for throw-back pricing of $10 tram rides. This was the cost of a ride when the tram opened in April, 2003. There will be cake, drawings, prizes, free refreshments and $1 hot dogs in the plaza. We’ll also have photo opportunities to commemorate the old tram and celebrate the new one. Lastly, there will be a grand prize drawing for the final ride down the mountain at the end of the evening aboard the old tram alongside Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park owners Steve and Jeanne Beckley. Mark your calendars and plan to come out for the festivities and to help us say farewell to the original Iron Mountain Tramway.

We’re getting ready to say goodbye to an old friend. In just a few short months, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park will be retiring the current tramway which was installed in April of 2003. In service for 15 years, the tram has transported 2.2 million visitors to America’s only mountaintop theme park for cave tours, thrill rides and more. We’ll be sad to bid farewell to this stalwart workhorse, but we’re excited about ushering in a new era of visitor transportation for Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.

At the end of October, we’ll begin the process of decommissioning the original tramway and installing a new state-of-the-art aerial tramway. The entire process will take several months during which the park will be temporarily closed. We expect construction to be completed by March with the new tram debuting in time for 2019 spring break and the summer season.

To keep you up-to-date on everything that’s happening with Iron Mountain Tramway before and during the construction period, you can visit us here for all the latest information. We hope to post videos, technical details and fun facts about the construction project, so be sure to check back in.

A Faster Ride to the Top: New Tram Coming to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

When you can’t wait for the fun to start, you want to get to where you’re going—fast.  With guest satisfaction in mind, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park will soon install a speedy new tram that transports visitors to America’s only mountaintop theme park faster than ever before.

It won’t be long before Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park welcomes guests aboard a state-of-the-art new tramway slated for installation later this year. The new tram will double the speed and triple the capacity of the current Iron Mountain Tramway, the main transport system that takes visitors via gondola cars from the floor of the Roaring Fork Valley to the top of Iron Mountain, an elevation gain of 1,300 feet.

The new tramway will be comprised of 44 detachable, six-passenger cabins with a capacity to convey up to 1,000 people per hour. For comparison, the current tram, with 18 cabins, transports 300 visitors per hour. The new tram will cut the travel time in half, from 12-15 minutes to approximately seven minutes, effectively eliminating customer wait times. In addition to its speed, the new tram will be more reliable. The detachable tram is designed to equally distribute the weight of the cabins across all the towers, which will allow it to sustain higher winds without impacting operations. “This system will help us enhance our guests’ experience by reducing wait times and reducing the frequency of weather-related tram closures,” Nancy Heard, general manager of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, explained. “It will be more stable in high-wind conditions and will eliminate 80 percent of the shutdowns caused by wind and lightning.”

The reason the new tram will be less susceptible to weather-related closures is twofold. First, operators will have the ability to clear people off the tram in seven minutes rather than 15. Second, the new tram will have lightning arrestors that will dissipate the electricity and minimize the potential damage to the tram. This will allow operators to wait to see if a storm develops before deciding to shut down the tram. Currently, the tram closes as a precaution even though in some cases storms may not materialize. The more resilient new tram will reduce the need to run busses and Adventure Vehicles up and down the mountain during inclement weather.

For guests attending Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park events such as Music on the MountainFriday Afternoon ClubOctoberfest or Winter on the Mountain, the high capacity and more dependable tram will be an asset to event attendees who want to depart at the end of a show, a time when there is a high demand to return to the base.

As for the timeline, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park will be open as usual during the peak season from spring through Oct. 28, 2018. During the construction of the new tramway, from mid-November through mid-March, 2019, the park will be temporarily closed.

After the new tram is installed, it’s full-speed ahead for fun at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park!

Lift-Up: “A beaming light in a trying time of darkness”

As most people familiar with Music on the Mountain know, we partner with the non-profit organization Lift-Up for Can for a Tram, a program that collects cans of food at the tram base at every concert. We also collect turkeys in November for Lift-Up’s Thanksgiving meals during our Turkey-Tram-a-Ganza event. We thought we would shine a spotlight on this important organization that’s helped thousands of people all over the region!

Lift-Up began during the oil shale boom in Rifle, when workers flooded into the area, looking for jobs but living in cars and under bridges. In the ensuing oil shale bust in the 1980s, Lift-Up was invaluable when Exxon closed overnight and 2,000 people were suddenly unemployed. Ever since, they’ve been a facilitator for the community to respond to people in need.

While food collection and donation is a big part of their program, they do much more. “Lift-Up’s mission is to provide essential humanitarian assistance in the communities we serve,” says Kim Loving, Lift-Up’s director. “We serve the unemployed, underemployed and homeless in our communities.”

To show the impact they have, let’s look at the year 2015: in that year alone, Lift-Up gave out over 35,000 bags of groceries! They assisted 42,872  people in 2015 with everything from groceries, prescriptions, thrift store vouchers, bus passes, emergency help, and soup kitchen meals. Last year, Lift-Up assembled and distributed 1,738 food baskets during the holidays. “To me, our numbers served show the impact we have on the community,” Loving points out.

There are also the personal stories that put a face to the individuals that Lift-Up helps. Take the case of Lisa (name changed for privacy), a struggling mother who was at her wit’s end:
“This past winter, we found ourselves in need of help. We had mounting medical bills due to a sick child, and I was sick myself. This resulted in numerous ER visits and surgeries. We didn’t have medical insurance at the time so the bills added up quickly. We paid $800 a month in medical bills on top of a mortgage and other various bills. Soon, we were struggling to keep food in the pantry and on the table. In November, one of our debtors decided to raise our bill significantly, and would sue us if we didn’t keep up. This was most of our budget for food. We had no choice but to swallow our pride and reach out for help. I reached out to a friend who told me about Lift-Up and what it was all about. I remember crying all the way down to Lift-Up, thanking God that there was someplace that could help us keep our children fed.

When we arrived, I didn’t know what to expect. Debi, a Lift-Up employee, was so wonderful and just started filling boxes and bags of food for our family. She was so sweet and caring. There was no judgement; just love.
Lift Up helped us get through Thanksgiving and Christmas. They helped me with jackets and snow pants for my kids, so they could be warm during winter. We are so grateful for Lift-Up and what they did for our family. They were a beaming light in a trying time of darkness. We appreciate them and we are eternally grateful for providing what we needed and for their love and compassion.”

The organization is always trying to branch out and fulfill needs that aren’t being taken care of. Lift-Up began a new Mobile Friday Lunch program last November, in collaboration with the school district. Kids going to Garfield RE2 schools only go four days a week, so Lift-Up makes and distributes a nutritious sack lunch at three lower-income locations in Rifle on the days when school is not in session.

“We have distributed over 1,800 lunches so far in 2016. This program has been such a blessing for Lift-Up. I personally enjoy handing out the lunches to the kids. They have been so thankful and a joy to be around!” exclaims Loving.

During Turkey Tram-a-Ganza, people donating turkeys get free tram rides to the top of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.

“I would encourage anyone who can to come join us and hand out lunches on Fridays. We start at 11:00 at Davidson Park in Rifle and end up at Joyce Park at 12:00. The middle stop is Cottonwood Springs Park, which begins at 11:30. The smiles and thank you’s are so worth it, even when it is really cold out.”

If you’d like to donate to Lift-Up in other ways, Loving says, “we are always in need of donated food items or even gift cards from grocery stores, where we can purchase meat for the pantries. Monetary donations are welcomed too!” A full list of items Lift-Up always wants on their shelves can help guide you.

“I would like the community to know that all of Lift-Ups’s programs wouldn’t be possible without the support we have received. I can’t ever thank everyone enough,” Loving concluded.

Bring at least one can of food to donate to Lift-Up and receive a FREE tram ride to the top for Music on the Mountain this weekend, and every Music on the Mountain show in the future. Thank you for making a positive impact on our community! For more information about upcoming concerts, visit Music on the Mountain.

Music on the Mountain is back!

Our popular concert series returns August 20th after a mid-summer hiatus! Music on the Mountain, showcasing local and regional bands, has been a staple in the Glenwood Springs, Colorado live music scene for eight seasons now. Music on the Mountain also helps to serve the community. By collecting canned goods for Lift-Up in exchange for a free tram ride to the top, we’ve been able to donate thousands of cans to needy families in the Roaring Fork Valley. In the 2016 season alone, our Can for a Tram program has collected 2,571 cans so far!

Kicking off the August concerts is Fifty50, a local rock band who have won many Local’s Choice Awards over the years. Beth Getzen Stoltzfus, Dave Stoltzfus, Dale Loper, Jerry Larsen and Tom Mercer play covers of favorite tunes and original music, and they’re known for a special blend of instrumental energy and unique harmonies.

They’ll be followed the next week by the Gerry Goodman Band, a rockin’ trio that plays classic rock. The band specializes in Stevie Ray Vaughan tunes, paying tribute to one of the most influential electric guitarists of all time.

Music on the Mountain returns August 20th with Fifty50

September 10th brings us “A Tribute to Bob Dylan and The Band.” This special night will bring together a select group of valley musicians to honor Americana music at its best. Folk, rock, bluegrass and gospel music blend together for a magical evening!

September 11th, a special Sunday show, showcases The Orchard and New Creation Church. Bringing faith-based music to the mountain, these local church groups will celebrate worship and spirituality with their passionate, uplifting music.

On September 17th, Fifty50 makes a return to Music on the Mountain, bringing back their infectious enthusiasm and love for music.

The Missing Link Band will close out the 2016 Music on the Mountain series on September 24th. Fans love this local band for their diverse sound and energetic performances. It’s been a tradition for the Missing Link Band to play the last show of the season, and they always make it a party!

Don’t forget to bring at least one can of food to donate for a free tram ride to the top, where there will be amazing views, great food and drink specials waiting for you. Can for a Tram starts at 4pm and music is from 6 to 10pm (except for the Sunday show with The Orchard and New Creation Church, which has a Can for a Tram start at 2pm and music from 4 to 8pm). For more information, visit Music on the Mountain.

More Live Music Ahead at FAC!

Haven’t had a chance to make it up to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park for Friday Afternoon Club? It’s not too late! We’re about halfway through the FAC season, and there are still plenty of chances to take in the views and enjoy free live tunes mountaintop in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. With Glenwood Caverns recently awarded a Gold for “Best Place to View the Sunset” and a Bronze for “Best Live Music Venue” by the Glenwood Springs Post Independent Locals’ Choice Awards, FAC really is the place to be!

Friday, July 15th features Frank Martin, a frequent musician at FAC. Martin’s Americana blend of country, bluegrass, folk, blues and jazz, coupled with his powerful vocals, is a crowd-pleasing valley favorite.

On July 22nd, Vid Weatherwax will take the FAC stage. Weatherwax is a beloved local who has played in many bands around the valley and is known for his amazing jazz keyboard skills and his collaborative spirit.

July 29th sees Gerry Goodman in the FAC spotlight. Based in Grand Junction, Goodman plays a variety of classic rock, blues, and a little country; something for everyone. He always puts on a great show that gets people moving!

The tram offers spectacular sunset views, the perfect way to end the week!

August 5th brings Painters Stage, whose gypsy sounds and reggae rhythms are captivating. The trio of Noemi, Kristof and Max Kosmowski have been playing together for 25 years, and their passion is stronger than ever. The pleasure they have playing on stage is contagious, so bring shoes you can dance in!

On August 12th, The Logan Brothers will close out the final FAC. Named the 2016 and 2015 Glenwood Springs Post Independent’s Locals’ Choice Favorite Band, it’s a treat to have them perform the last concert of the summer FAC season. Playing a mix of classic hits you love, and some b-sides of songs you may not have heard yet, their shows always leave the audience feeling good. They are known for occasionally inviting audience members to come join them at the microphone, so be ready!

Every Friday Afternoon Club offers food and drink specials from 5 – 8:30 p.m. You can also get a free tram ride with a coupon that appears in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent on Fridays. The coupon is valid for free tram or bus rides for up to four people starting at 4 p.m.

Visit our events page for more information on FAC and other events at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. Summer will be over before you know it; come up and enjoy it with us! We can’t wait to see you!