Travel writers soak in Glenwood, other valley destinations | AspenTimes.com

Travel writers soak in Glenwood, other valley destinations

John StroudPost IndependentAspen, CO Colorado

Jury Jerome/Post IndependentGlenwood Springs hosted a tour for six travel writers for magazines and online travel blogs on Monday and Tuesday. The tour was focused on water, and included a session Tuesday morning at the Hot Springs Pool for a group lesson in stand-up paddling from Charlie McArthur, front, a professional stand-up paddle board surfer. His students included, from left, Jade Broadus of Vagabond3.com, Peter Carey of TheCareyAdventures.com, Teresa Plowright of About.com, Carly Grimes of the Colorado Tourism Office and Anna Parry of MMG Mardikis, a New York-based travel and tourism public relation agency.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Travel writer Cameron Martindell admits he felt a little like a kid at the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park on Monday, running from ride to ride and not wanting to go when it was time to get ready for dinner.”We got to ride the swing and the alpine coaster … I’m really excited to come back sometime and do the wild cave tour,” said Martindell, who has hosted his own travel and adventure-oriented website, OffYonder.com, for the past 15 years.More recently, Martindell became assistant editor of Colorado-based Elevation Outdoors magazine, which sent him on this week’s Colorado Tourism Office summer press tour.The tour invited six travel journalists to experience the various attractions up and down the Roaring Fork Valley, with a special emphasis on water.”We thought it would be fun to focus on H20 this summer, after the epic snowfall this past winter and the high runoff this spring,” said Carly Grimes, public relations representative for the Colorado Tourism Office.”There are so many interesting things to focus on related to water in the Roaring Fork Valley, and of course Glenwood Springs is unique for the fact that it has the largest hot springs pool in the world,” she said.The tour began over the weekend in Aspen and Carbondale, where participants dined at local eateries, took in the Sheryl Crow concert, had kayak lessons, soaked in the new Avalanche Ranch hot springs and ate dinner at Six89 Restaurant.Monday’s itinerary included a guided fly-fishing trip with Alpine Angling, an afternoon at Glenwood Caverns, dinner at The Pullman and an evening soak in the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool.Tuesday morning, it was back in the Hot Springs Pool for stand-up paddling lessons with Charlie MacArthur of Aspen Kayak and Stand-Up Paddling Academy.”We wanted to go to the whitewater park or somewhere else along the river, but the water is still too high,” Grimes said. “We definitely wanted the group to meet Charlie, because he’s known all around.”MacArthur also led the group in the Sunday kayak lessons.Watching his fellow journalists trying to keep their balance on the stand-up paddle boards in the pool, Martindell took a moment to send off a quick “Tweet,” social media speak for sending a message via his Twitter account.”All along the tour I’ve found I just needed to take a moment of hesitation to take it all in,” he said.While OffYonder.com is dedicated more to mountaineering adventures around the world, his new job has given him a chance to learn more about what Colorado has to offer in the way of tourism.”I just started with Elevation Outdoors in April, so a lot of this is education for me to find out what we have right here in Colorado,” Martindell said.Grimes said the press tour this summer placed a greater emphasis on Internet bloggers who write about travel destinations.”We wanted to choose a well-rounded group that included social media as well as newspaper and magazine writers,” she said.The Tourism Office organizes two press trips each year, one in the winter and one in the summer.Vicky Nash of Glenwood Springs-based Resort Trends Marketing helped organize the Glenwood Springs leg of the tour.”We try to get as many media fams (short for familiarity tour) as possible, and we always want to participate with the Colorado Tourism Office when possible,” she said. “Especially if we fit the theme, of course we want to be a part of it.”Following the stand-up paddling lessons Tuesday, it was off for a tour of Glenwood’s whitewater park, lunch at the new No Name Bar & Grill and a ride on the Glenwood Canyon Resort zipline across the Colorado River.After that, it was back up to Snowmass Village Wednesday for more adventures, including a half day raft trip with Blazing Adventures and an evening at the Snowmass Rodeo.jstroud@postindependent.com

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