Summer Fun Going Strong in Glenwood Springs

Summer activities are in high gear in Glenwood Springs

Even as we all adjust to a new normal that includes face coverings and social distancing, you can continue to enjoy many of the activities you’ve always loved to do in Glenwood Springs. In addition to rides, attractions and cave tours at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, there’s rafting, biking, fishing, comedy shows, outdoor dining, hot springs and much more!

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Spring Break is a Time to Spring Forward

Take a break at a family-friendly spot this year. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is a family favorite for spring break vacations. Learn more about spring break traditions around the country.

Spring break isn’t just for college kids. Your family can use a break—maybe from the winter cabin fever, maybe for that final sprint of the 

kids’ school year, surely for some getaway time together that will make more lifetime memories. After all, vacations aren’t just for summer.

Check out the hot spots online for college spring breaks. Then look somewhere else where you can find fun for the whole family. You probably don’t want to be competing with massive student groups for a spot on the beach or a table in a restaurant.

One nice thing about spring is that it’s still winter—snow season—in some parts of the country and summer—beach season—in others. You can find plenty of family-friendly resorts, pick breathtaking natural beauty, or explore the museums, shops, entertainment and fun in unexpected cities. Check out these lists for ideas:

  • Family Vacation Critic has found 14 desirable spots, from the mountains (Ogden, Utah) to the coast (Hilton Head, S.C.; Panama City, Titusville, and the Florida Keys) to the coast (Carlsbad, Calif) to the coast (the Caribbean and Mexico). They’ve also found fun family things to do in Indianapolis, New York City, and the Wisconsin Dells.
  • HGTV has a Top 10 that includes snow at Smugglers’ Notch in Vermont; sun in San Diego, Calif. and Captiva Island, Fla.; a dude ranch in Arizona; and a surfing school in Hawaii.
  • Good Housekeeping’s 15 recommendations include Lisbon and London; Banff, Canada, and Los Cabos, Mexico; Yosemite National Park and Hawaii.
  • Family Vacation Critic highlights out-of-the-way places such as Greenville, S.C., Blowing Rock and Beech Mountain, N.C., McCall, Idaho, and Blairsville, Ga., alongside the more familiar Punta Cana, Cancun, Mexico City, Quebec City, Montego Bay, and Palm Springs. It includes Glenwood Springs on a list focused on affordability.

Whatever your family’s interest—ski, swim, scuba, surf, big cities, small towns or back-to-nature, you can find the perfect spot for 2020 sightseeing. You’ll come home refreshed, renewed and ready for the rest of the years.

For a family spring break in Colorado, be sure to learn more about Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

Smaller Theme Parks Provide Old-Fashioned Fun

Smaller theme parks maintain a family-feel with vintage and modern attractions.

Far from the madding crowd of big-name amusement parks, dozens of slower-paced, family-style and nostalgic operations dot America with enough charm and attractions to take home a lifetime of large memories. Derek Sailors of North Carolina, who has worked on the encyclopedic Roller Coaster DataBase for years, started his own Facebook page, to boost those sites, including Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, and preserve the heritage (he also runs pages for zoos, road trips, and defunct amusement parks). Here are some of his top picks:

Knoebels Amusement Resort, Elysburg, Pa. This family-owned operation founded in 1926 is a big park with a small-park Americana feel. Admission is free, with individual prices for each of more than 60 rides, including three wooden roller coasters, a 1913 Grand Carousel, two miniature railways, and a dark haunted house. The compound includes a swimming pool, golf course, campground and restaurants.

Canobie Lake Park, Salem, N.H. This smaller theme park was founded by the Hudson, Pelham & Salem Railways at the end of a new trolley line in 1902. Visitors in those days dressed up for a day of picnicking, sporting events, canoeing, the Penny Arcade, and a ride on the Circle Swing. Attractions today include thrill rides such as the Yankee Cannonball rollercoaster and spinning Ice Jet, family rides including a 1903 carousel and 40-foot pontoon boat, kids’ rides, water rides, arcade games and live shows.

Seabreeze, Rochester, N.Y. This park was founded in 1879 as the last stop on a steam train line with picnic grounds and a lakefront. Mechanical rides were added, including a carousel in 1900. In addition to the vintage 1920 Jack Rabbit rollercoaster, Seabreeze has modern thrill rides, family rides, kids’ rides, a water park, shows and games.

Arnolds Park Amusement Park, Arnolds Park, Iowa. Wesley Arnold bought land on the south shore of West Lake Okoboji in 1864 and started entertaining visitors on the Milwaukee Railroad in 1874. Community leaders raised $7.25 million in 1999 to save the park from demolition and build a Maritime Museum. In addition to a full range of rides, the park hosts concerts and shows and runs a large steamer ship, Queen II, on the lake.

Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park, Rossville, Ga. Lake Winnie opened in 1925, focused at first on water-related attraction. The Boat Chute, installed two years later, is the oldest still-operating mill chute water ride in the United States. The site also has a 1916 carousel, an open-air theater, a water park, and a Cannonball rollercoaster installed in 1967.

Plan a Thrilling Romantic Adventure for Two

Add some big thrills to your romance with a visit to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. The mountain-top theme park in Glenwood Springs is the perfect place for heart-warming and heart-pounding fun.

Give your romantic relationship a love booster shot. A spur-of-the-moment, micro-getaway that includes Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park could be just the remedy for the mid-winter amour doldrums. The Adventure Park checks all the boxes for a romantic  good time and a great date.

  • Snuggle on the Glenwood Gondola. The orange gondola cars will whisk you and your partner high above the humdrum of the ordinary. Get cozy under blankets that are provided in each cabin as you travel from the valley floor to the park entrance at the top of Iron Mountain. Consider it the grown up version of seven minutes in heaven!
  • Face fears together on the Haunted Mine Drop. There’s nothing that can bring a twosome together faster than a good, old-fashioned scare. The Haunted Mine Drop will have your hearts pounding in exhilaration as you drop 110 feet into the darkness below ground.
  • Plumb the depths. Explore new territory together. Cave tours offer couples a glimpse of a rare and magnificent underground landscape. See spectacular stalactites, stalagmites, showy aragonite crystals and more. The caverns have also been the site of more than a few marriage proposals and wedding ceremonies!
  • Feel the need for speed on the Alpine Coaster. Sometimes you’ve just got to go a little wild. Let the throttle out on the Alpine Coaster. You determine your speed as you soar down the mountain. The cool mountain air and fast pace are guaranteed to awaken the senses.
  • Be silly in the 4-D Theater. Love isn’t rational. You don’t need to be ten years old to enjoy these 15 minute animated shows. Grab a seat at this family-friendly attraction, put on your glasses and enjoy the surround sound, bumps and breezes of 4-D technology. By the end, no matter your age, you’ll feel like kids again.
  • Unwind with libations. For a more mature pastime, head to the Lookout Grille for an adult beverage and some sustenance. The bar serves a selection of decadent cocktails, beer in bottles and on tap. Wine and a Bloody Mary bar are other options. You can also satisfy your partner’s appetite at the Lookout Grille. The restaurant has an extensive menu of delicious casual dining menu choices.
  • Take in the views. To paraphrase Antoine de St. Exupéry, it not all about looking at each other; it’s looking in the same direction that matters. On your visit to the Adventure Park be sure to walk up to the Viewing Deck above the General Store for landscape views of the Roaring Fork Valley and Glenwood Springs. This is also the perfect spot for a romantic couple’s photo.
  • Attend an intimate concert. Add a little night music to the mix with Friday Afternoon Club FAC features talented local bands and food and drink specials every Friday through February from 5 to 8:30 p.m. The Park’s FAC also includes a free gondola ride after 4 p.m. with a coupon that appears in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent on Fridays. The small indoor venue is relaxed and laid back—perfect for a date night.

Love is a big, bold adventure. Add some thrills to your romance at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park!

Win a Family Getaway to Glenwood Springs

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, America’s only mountain-top theme park is sponsoring a contest for a vacation package that includes the best of Glenwood Springs activities and accommodations.

Win a Glenwood Family Getaway

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is rolling out the Glenwood Family Getaway contest again for 2020. One lucky family will receive:

  • A 2 night stay at the historic Hotel Colorado
  • 4 Funday passes to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
  • 4 day passes to soak at Iron Mountain Hot Springs
  • 4 show tickets to the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue
  • 4 vouchers to the Glenwood Escape Room
  • Fifty-dollar gift card to Glenwood Canyon Brewpub

The Best of Glenwood Springs

The Hotel Colorado is a Glenwood Springs landmark. It has hosted such notable guests as President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt and Titanic survivor “Unsinkable” Molly Brown. It is famous for its holiday lighting display, fine dining and as a favorite location for weddings and other special events.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is an award-winning, family-owned theme park. It is home to spectacular caves and holds the record for the second largest cave room in Colorado. The mountain-top theme park is also known for its thrill rides. The Haunted Mine Drop and the Giant Canyon Swing, two extreme rides, have attracted world-wide attention from media outlets and thrill seekers.

Located on a terraced bank along the Colorado River, Iron Mountain Hot Springs allows guests to customize their soaking experience. Sixteen individual soaking pools—varying in size, shape and temperature—enable guests to find the one that’s “just right.” Other amenities include a larger, freshwater family pool, a restaurant, modern locker rooms and a gift shop.

For evening entertainment, the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue, Glenwood’s own Comedy Central is the place to go for laughs. The talented cast of professional performers keeps audiences in stitches with family-friendly skits, jokes, high energy dance numbers and more. The venue also hosts special events, bringing in bands, comedians and musicals.

For guests who like a challenge, the Glenwood Escape Room will put sleuthing skills to the test. The question is: Are you clever enough to get out in time? Choose from three scenarios and use clues to solve the mystery. Guests have 60 minutes and must work as a team to unlock the door and escape!

The Glenwood Canyon Brewpub brings flavorful and memorable food to your table. With a variety of delicious American pub dishes for everyone and award winning brews.

Enter to Win Today!

For the chance to win the Glenwood Family Getaway, fill out the entry form. The contest begins February 3, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on February 29, 2020. The winning family will be electronically drawn at random and announced March 2, 2020. Winners’ travel must occur between March 31, 2020 and March 31, 2021. Blackout dates apply.

The Fine Print:

  •  No purchase necessary
  • One valid entry per contestant
  • Must be 21 years of age or older at time of entry to be eligible for this contest.
  • This contest is void where prohibited by law.
  • Employees of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and their immediate family are not eligible.
  • Winners will be notified by phone and/or email.
  • If a winner is unreachable after seven (7) days or if that winner is unavailable for prize fulfillment an alternate winner will be selected.
  • Travel expenses to Glenwood Springs are not included.
  • Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park reserves the right to substitute any prize with another prize of equal or greater value.
  • Contest entrants agree to abide by the terms of the Official Rules and by the decisions of the contest commissioners which are final on all matters pertaining to the contest.
  • Entrants further grant Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park the right to use and publish their proper name and state online and in print, or any other media, in connection with the contest.
  • By completing this registration and pressing “submit”, entrants give Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, Hotel Colorado, Iron Mountain Hot Springs, Glenwood Vaudeville Revue, Glenwood Canyon Brewpub and Glenwood Adventure Company permission to contact the contestant via the email provided.
  • Contestants authorize Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, Hotel Colorado, Iron Mountain Hot Springs, Glenwood Vaudeville Revue, Glenwood Canyon Brewpub and Glenwood Escape Room Inc. to send emails about their products using automated technology.

Mechanical Wizard Keeps Thrill Rides Rolling

Mike Liebelt is a whiz at all things mechanical. As Lead Mechanic at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park he does whatever it takes to ensure thrill rides are open and ready for Park visitors.

While visitors to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park get an adrenaline rush from thrill rides like the Alpine Coaster, Giant Canyon Swing, Cliffhanger Roller Coaster, Canyon Flyer, Soaring Eagle Zip Ride and the Haunted Mine Drop, the Park’s Lead Mechanic Mike Liebelt gets his from making sure the rides perched on the pinnacle of a mountain in Glenwood Springs are all in top form and running like well-oiled machines.

Liebelt grew up living between Elitches and Lakeside, two Colorado amusement parks. The irony that he’s now employed at one isn’t lost on him. “I loved those parks when I was growing up. When I came here I quickly fell in love with Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park,” he said. “Working here is serendipitous and wonderful!”

Liebelt started as an attractions attendant in 2012, working at the Alpine Coaster. When the season ended he was hired on to spend the winter digging, clearing and expanding areas in the caves. Not only was he grateful for the job, he was all in for the laborious, difficult and exhausting work ahead. “For five months I smashed rocks. It was great,” he said, laughing at the memory. In 2014, he transferred to the maintenance department full time.

“Mike’s knowledge of rides is unmatched. He has been absolutely invaluable with his skills, experience, dedication and ‘can do’ attitude as well has his mentorship of new mechanics,” Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park General Manager, Nancy Heard said.

In the eight years since he began, Liebelt has been part of the installation of all thrill rides since the Alpine Coaster at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. In addition to Lead Mechanic, Liebelt is also Lead Ride Inspector certified through the National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officers (NAARSO). For trainings he’s traveled to major theme parks including Hershey Park in Pennsylvania and Carowinds in North Carolina. The most recent training took place in-house with Utah-based Apollo Engineering and S&S Worldwide, the largest U.S. manufacturer of amusement park rides and roller coasters.

When it comes to his personal favorites—to work on and ride on—roller coasters are the hands-down winner for Mike Liebelt. He’s particularly excited for the new experience visitors will have on the Cliffhanger Roller Coaster beginning in the spring of 2020. “The Cliffhanger is being completely redone and will basically be a new ride when we’re through. It’s going to be all magnetic, with no moving parts. Guests will experience a smoother, quieter overall ride. My job right now is to make sure it’s open and ready to go by May 22,” he said. “I’m confident we’re going to make it.”

Mike Liebelt, Lead Mechanic at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

Another ride that’s getting an overhaul under Liebelt’s eagle-eye is the Alpine Coaster. The Park’s first and most popular ride is being upgraded with new computers and receiving all-new wiring for its entire length along the mountainside. For guests, it will mean more fun and shorter wait times.

As Lead Mechanic, Liebelt is also the go-to guy when a ride experiences a problem. Sometimes closures are scheduled. When a ride undergoes a mandatory inspection, it may be closed for as long as a day. In that case, the Park posts the closure in advance at the base, the mountain-top and on the Glenwood Caverns website under Ride and Attraction Status.

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Other times mechanical issues arise. “We take a ride being down personally,” he said. “I happen to be very good at problem solving and can quickly diagnose and troubleshoot.” Liebelt is particularly proud of last summer’s nearly flawless operational record. “With safety as our number one priority, our goal is to keep every ride open and operating at all times.” When a ride does have to close down for a maintenance issue, Liebelt tells guests “not to worry, the average repair is completed within 30 minutes.”

What’s the best part of his work? “I love this job. On any given day I might be woodworking, painting, pouring concrete, fixing rides, doing maintenance or weekly inspections, but it’s the people that keep me here. I’ve never worked at a place that feels more like a family.” Liebelt is pretty sure guests feel the same vibe as well, “On a summer day, everywhere you go you see people—families and friends— smiling and having fun,” he said.  That’s reason enough for Mike Liebelt to keep those rides running day in and day out.

Lead Mechanic at Glenwood Caverns, Mike Liebelt often works behind signs like these. Authorized Personnel Only image by StickerMule