Two Iconic Glenwood Springs Landmarks Celebrate 125 Years with a Historic Birthday Bash
The Hotel Colorado and the Yampah Spa and Vapor Caves have teamed up to bring the community together for a once-in-a-lifetime, all-day anniversary celebration party on Sept. 15!
Glenwood Springs, Colo. (August 20, 2018) — Two of Glenwood Springs’ most historic and beloved properties are turning 125 in 2018. The Hotel Colorado and the Yampah Spa and Vapor Caves are joining forces to mark dual milestone anniversaries on Saturday, Sept. 15. A jam-packed day of events, activities, history, art, dancing, food and music is planned. It’s the event of the century and one Glenwood Springs visitors and locals will not want to miss.
Both properties are celebrating the 125-year legacy of Walter Devereux, whose vision it was to create a luxurious, world-class resort in Glenwood Springs. Devereux brought hydroelectric power to Glenwood Springs and established the Glenwood Light & Power Company. He later developed the Hot Springs Pool, the Yampah Vapor Caves and The Hotel Colorado.
“The Birthday Bash is an opportunity to celebrate a momentous occasion—it’s not every day you turn 125—it’s a way of celebrating Glenwood’s amazing past and gathering everyone together for an incredible day-long party they won’t soon forget,” Christian Henny, General Manager of the Hotel Colorado, said.
Celebration events kick off at the community gathering space under the bridge on 7th St. with a Rotary Club-sponsored pancake breakfast beginning at 8 a.m. Along with flapjacks, there will be plenty of fun for children, including antics and entertainment by Jamin Jim, face painting, kid’s games and activities. At 10 a.m., an eclectic group—Boy Scouts, Ute Indians, beret-hatted Glenwood Springs Art Guild representatives and Glenwood Springs Historical Society (Frontier Museum) members dressed in period costumes (including Jasper Ward along with other familiar Glenwood Springs historical characters)—will usher the festivities to North Glenwood Springs as they lead the crowd from 7th St., over the Pedestrian Bridge to 6th St.
For the remainder of the day, quasquicentennial festivities will take place on 6th St, which will be closed to vehicular traffic in front of the Hotel Colorado. Visitors are encouraged to walk and ride their bikes to the event. Summit Canyon Mountaineering will have racks available for storing bicycles. The day’s events include musical entertainment, an activity area with games for kids (and adults) in the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool’s upper parking lot O, a beer garden, food vendors in front of the Hotel Colorado and an art show with demonstrations and lessons at the Glenwood Springs Arts Center. Throughout the day, there will also be guided tours of both the Hotel Colorado and the Yampah Spa and Vapor Caves.
“We’ve been planning this event since November 2017 and after all these months it’s rewarding to see it come together,” David Anselmo, co-owner of Yampah Spa and Vapor Caves, said. “Celebrating and sharing Devereaux’s dream and history with others is how we continue to grow community and make connections that last well-beyond a day and even a lifetime. It’s events like the Caves’ and the Hotel’s 125th Birthday Bash that become a marker in time in the history of a town. I wonder what they’ll do for the 250th Birthday?”
Specific events and activities planned for the 125th Hotel Colorado and Yampah Spa and Vapor Caves birthday bash include:
- At 10:30 a.m., the Boy Scouts will officially kick off the day’s event with a color ceremony.
- At 10:45 a.m., there will be a blessing by Ute Elders and community faith leaders.
- At 11 a.m., “Dr. Noise” takes the stage to entertain youngsters.
- Noon, Magic Greg dazzles audiences with his clever magic show acts.
- The Kids Area in parking lot O across from the Hotel Colorado will feature all-day activities like cornhole, balloon twisting, giant Jenga, giant ping pong, a bounce house and an inflatable mechanical bull.
- At 1 p.m., the presentation of dignitaries Among the featured speakers will be Mrs. Melville, the matriarch of the family that owns the Hotel Colorado. She is affectionately referred to as “The Grand Dame of the Grand Dame Hotel Colorado.”
- At 1:30 p.m., Ute Elders and royalty from three Ute tribes will perform historic dances in traditional regalia.
- In the Colorado Room at the Hotel Colorado, the Glenwood Springs Historical Society will showcase artifacts and memorabilia depicting the history of Glenwood Springs, the Hotel Colorado, the Yampah Spa and Vapor Caves and Glenwood Hot Springs. Thanks to the recent donation by the Van Rosenburg family, it will be first time that documents, drawings and artifacts of architect Theodore Van Rosenburg are publicly displayed.
- Ute tribe members will be selling traditional handmade Native American items throughout the day.
- At 3 p.m., the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue will perform their hilarious comedy show on the stage.
- At 4 p.m., there will be free birthday cake and ice cream for one and all!
- At 5 p.m., Skywave takes the stage to warm up the crowd, followed by Chris Daniels and the Kings from 6 to 7 p.m. Daniels was inducted into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame in 2013. He has appeared with the Garth Brooks, B.B. King, Vince, Gill, Amy Grant, Joe Walsh, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, John Oates, The Lumineers, Uncle Cracker, Blues Traveler and The Neville Brothers. Most recently Daniels and his band headlined at Strawberry Days to cheers and multiple ovations.
- At 7 p.m., the Yampah Spa and Vapor Caves will provide free access to the Vapor Caves until 9 p.m.
- At 7 p.m., the Glenwood Hot Springs Resort will offer attendees two-for-one access to the pool.
This year is a milestone for other Glenwood Springs attractions as well. In April, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park celebrated the 15th anniversary of the installation of the Iron Mountain Tramway, the main mode of transportation to get visitors to and from the mountain-top theme park. On July 4, Glenwood Hot Springs Resort celebrated its 130th year of welcoming guests to swim and soak in its geothermal waters; and coming up in October, the Spa of the Rockies will commemorate its 10th anniversary.
The Hotel Colorado and Yampah Spa & Vapor Caves would like to thank community partners for making this event possible. They include: Rotary Club, Boy Scouts, Glenwood Springs Historical Society, Glenwood Springs Art Guild, Glenwood Springs Parks and Recreation, Ute Indian Tribe, YouthZone, Glenwood Hot Springs Resort, Colorado Animal Rescue and Summit Canyon Mountaineering.
About the Hotel Colorado
The Hotel Colorado opened in 1893. It was part of Walter Devereux’s dream of building a first-class hot springs resort. Construction began in 1881 at a cost of $850,000. Architect Edward Tilton Theodore designed the structure as a replica of the Villa de Medici in Italy. The hotel was dubbed “the little White House of the West” because President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt liked to summer there and hunt in his free time. The teddy bear is alleged to have been invented by the hotel’s maids after the president came back empty-hand from a hunting excursion. Other famous guests have included President Taft, actor Tom Mix, Titanic survivor Molly Brown and gangster Al Capone. The Hotel Colorado is listed in the U.S. National Register of Historical Places.
About the Yampah Spa & Vapor Caves
The Ute Indians, who originally inhabited the region, visited the caves for centuries and regarded them as a sacred place of healing and rejuvenation. They used the caves as a sweat lodge for traditional ceremonies and for healing. It wasn’t until 1893 when Cave No. 3 as it was known opened to the public. A foundation was poured, electric lights were installed, and marble benches placed within the caves for comfort. At that time, for modesty’s sake, men and women had separate bathing times. People continue to come to the Vapor Caves for the healing it offers as well as for therapeutic spa services. Yampah Spa and Vapor Caves are the only known natural vapor caves in North America.
About Glenwood Springs
For more information and to plan a visit please see visitglenwood.com. Glenwood Springs is located between Aspen and Vail, Colorado, 160 miles (257 kilometers) west of Denver or 90 miles (145 kilometers) east of Grand Junction on Interstate 70 off exit 116. An online Media Room is available at visitglenwood.com/media. B-roll video footage is available upon request.
To learn more and make Glenwood Springs vacation plans, please visit visitglenwood.com.