Making memories that last a lifetime—for Tiffany Adams, the photo department manager at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, that phrase is much more than a saying. It’s her calling, her life’s work. What started out solely as a job to make some money, has become a career that includes managing the Caverns’ souvenir photography business and providing consulting services to other resorts and attractions.
You never know where a job might lead
When Tiffany started out in the souvenir photography business more than 14 years ago, she had no idea that accepting the photographer job at Monarch Ski Resort would change her life. “I had no photography experience and was really just looking for a job and thought, why not give it a shot,” she said. “I was pretty point and shoot at the time and not good at talking to and photographing people. I didn’t know why my backgrounds were terrible either. It would take a few years for me to become a better photographer.”
Acquiring skills and building a resume
As her skills improved and so did her career prospects. Now Tiffany shares her knowledge and skills with her staff and helps other attractions build successful photography programs. “Over the years I have learned so much about the art and business of photography. It feels good to be able to pass those skills on to others,” Tiffany explained. “It took a lot of practice, but I became very good at interacting with guests and getting them to smile in photos. For the first time in my life, I was making a real difference in people’s lives. This sense of satisfaction re-enforced my belief that I had found my calling.”
Tiffany’s resume includes managing souvenir photography at some of Colorado’s biggest resorts including Keystone, Copper Mountain and Snowmass. She also helped launch the photography program at Squaw Valley Ski Resort in California. Not limited to winter season photo shoots, during the summer season Tiffany shot river rafting and managed the photography business for the Durango Railroad and the Grand Canyon Railroad.
It was a summer gig that initially led her to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park where she was quickly promoted to manager, but left at the end of the season to work in Durango. Tiffany spent about three years away from Glenwood Caverns. Her Caverns boss, general manager Nancy Heard, a natural at spotting and cultivating talent, kept in touch with Tiffany as the years ticked by. According to Tiffany, “The whole time I lived in Durango, Nancy checked in with me to see how things were going and if I was ready to come back to Glenwood.” When she was ready to relocate, Tiffany met with Heard and Caverns owner Steve Beckley. “They had me convinced. To this day, I have never looked back and Steve and Nancy have kept every last promise that they made to me.”
Opportunities keep coming
As a manager at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, Tiffany participated in the 53rd National Caves Association convention held this year in Glenwood Springs. The event brings together members representing over 80 show caves in the U.S., Bermuda and Barbados to exchange and share ideas on topics related to owning and operating a cave attraction. It was here she met John Graves, owner of Luray Caverns in Luray, Virginia. After getting the go-ahead from Beckley and Heard, Graves and his brother Rod invited Tiffany to visit their attraction to consult with retail, maintenance and IT managers about adding souvenir photography to their operation.
After arriving home in Glenwood, Tiffany got back to work. “Then one day, Nancy asked me to call Colossal Cave Mountain Park in southern Arizona about their budding photography program. Their general manager had also been at the NCA convention!” Tiffany will be heading there soon to share her expertise in souvenir photography. “Wow! What a privilege.”
Making people smile comes naturally to Tiffany. It’s one of the reasons she’s a great fit for Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park where our mission is: To Make People Smile! But every employee at Glenwood Caverns has that same potential to enhance guest experience and find value and meaning in helping others. Starting out at a seasonal job could have life changing consequences. You never know, so why not give it a shot, like Tiffany did. Glenwood Caverns is currently hiring for the upcoming spring and summer seasons.
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