Glenwood Springs’ latest honor recognizes its history |

Glenwood Springs’ latest honor recognizes its history

John Stroud/ Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Glenwood Springs got an early birthday present for its 125th anniversary Thursday, when the announcement came that it made the No. 5 slot in True West magazine’s Top Ten True Western Towns of 2010.

The Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association and the Frontier Historical Society Museum teamed up to prepare the town’s application for consideration by True West. The issue will be available on newsstands starting Jan. 6.

The magazine’s editors determined the winners for the annual award based on each of the town’s efforts to preserve their local history through attractions, old buildings, museums, exhibits, events, traditions and the promotion of historic resources.

“This is so exciting, what a neat honor,” said Cindy Hines, director of the Frontier Historical Museum. “Glenwood is finally getting some recognition based on its history.

“I think a segment of the population knows about and appreciates that history, but a lot of people come here for the recreation attractions,” she added. “It’s nice to have that historical side too, and it makes us feel very proud of what we do.”

True West listed Glenwood Springs’ one-of-a-kind historic attractions, colorful western past, preservation efforts, and the fact that 2010 is Glenwood’s 125th anniversary among the reasons for including it on the annual list.

“What attracts us to Glenwood Springs is how the town demonstrates history as relevant to everyday life through its pairings of historic attractions with modern-day needs, such as the 1895 Fairy Caves that are a popular attraction at a local theme park and the 1896 vapor caves that have been renovated to a spa today,” the magazine’s editors wrote in announcing the winners. “The 1888 Hot Springs Pool also features modern safety features, but its red sandstone bath house stands in its original form as a testament to the past.”

Making the list ahead of Glenwood Springs were, at No. 1, Virginia City, Nev., followed by Florence, Ariz.; Fort Davis, Texas; and Dubois, Wyo. Rounding out the top 10 from sixth through 10th were Fort Pierre, S.D.; Cherokee Nation (Tahlequah, Okla.); Lincoln, N.M.; Dodge City, Kan.; and The Dalles, Ore.

Glenwood Chamber Vice President of Tourism Marketing Kate Collins said the magazine exposure will help with marketing efforts, especially with some of the events planned around the 125th anniversary.

“It dovetails real nicely with the birthday celebrations we have planned,” she said. “We have a whole lot in the works for that.

“And, now more than ever, people want to do low-cost or no-cost activities, and history is a really accessible form of entertainment for Glenwood Springs visitors,” Collins said. “The Walking History Tour is an example. You can literally walk around in the four-block downtown area and learn a lot about the people who settled here and the historic structures.”

The article also notes the many preservation projects that have been spearheaded by local citizens, such as Israel Shapira’s renovation of the 1904 Edward T. Taylor house, and the renovation of the 1913 Citizen’s Bank building using vintage photographs to restore the interior and exterior of the building.

And, to get a feel for what it’s like to live in Glenwood Springs, True West interviewed longtime locals, business owners and community activists Gregg and Marilee Rippy. The couple revealed their favorite spots to eat, shop, play and relax in Glenwood Springs.

“In the past, folks like Tom Mix and Teddy Roosevelt visited Glenwood Springs,” True West Executive Editor Bob Boze Bell said. “Thanks to the ongoing preservation efforts, today’s visitors can enjoy the same atmosphere and history.”

True West magazine has been publishing true stories of Old West adventure, history, culture and preservation since 1953. The current issue also lists 22 “Towns to Watch,” including three in Colorado: Fort Garland, Durango and Cripple Creek.

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