Glenwood Caverns hosts annual convention of cavers next week
September 21, 2018
Cavers from all over the United States will converge in Glenwood Springs next week, as Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park hosts the 53rd annual National Caves Association Convention from Monday to Friday.
"This is a once in a lifetime thing," said Caverns General Manager Nancy Heard. "We are just thrilled, it's an amazing opportunity and proud moment for our park owners Steve and Jeanne Beckley."
Bob Holt, executive director of the National Caves Association, said this year's convention is expected to bring one of the largest turnouts in some time, with 150 registered participants in the event.
"A lot of members are bringing in their children because of the outdoor activities the Caverns theme park provides," Holt said.
Glenwood Caverns was one of the first association members to add a theme park and outdoor ancillary activities to their cave attractions.
"The Caverns have set the bar, a lot of the membership have set their wish list to be more like them," Holt said.
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The convention starts Monday with a vendor show at 10 a.m. in the Roosevelt Room at the Hotel Colorado. There will be an opening reception at Iron Mountain Hot Springs from 6 to 8 p.m.
Forty-four caves, 16 states and Bermuda will be represented at this year's convention.
"We are thrilled to have an elite group of cave owners from across the country right in our own backyard," Heard said.
A few of the convention highlights include keynote speaker Mike Kaplan, president and CEO of Aspen Skiing Co., roundtable discussions for members and many guest speakers.
On Wednesday, the Caverns is having a ride vendor show, featuring six different vendors that designed and built rides and attractions in the park.
Heard will speak on ride safety during a breakout session Thursday. Besides her duties as park general manager, Heard is an instructor and senior ride inspector with the National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials.
The convention will wrap up with a dinner banquet in the Hotel Colorado's Devereux Ballroom with a Roaring '20s theme with local entertainment.
"We are looking forward to showcasing the caves," Heard said.