Glenwood whitewater makes waves |

Glenwood whitewater makes waves

Pete Fowler
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
Chad Spangler Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” The Glenwood Springs Whitewater Park is making waves on a national scale, earning mention in National Geographic Adventure magazine.

A plug for the whitewater park appears in the September issue of the magazine, already in distribution, in a feature titled “Next Weekend: Instant Adventures.”

“Thanks to a new million dollar whitewater park, paddlers are guaranteed a standing wave in the heart of town almost any day of the year. ‘Super sick’ is how kayakers are extolling Glenwood Springs Whitewater Park’s main feature, an eight foot high crest,” the magazine says. “It’s a brilliant venue for anyone’s arsenal of playboating tricks, be they spins, blunts or McNasties.”

Jason Carey, whose company, River Restoration, designed the park, called the national press “fantastic.”

The park, constructed last winter, generated a buzz when flows on the Colorado River began rising in the spring.

Local whitewater park enthusiasts worked for about seven years to build the $888,838 park and fans say the park boasts one of the best standing waves anywhere.

Carey said he believes the park has appeared in all the kayaking magazines, but National Geographic Adventure is probably the largest publication too cast its eye on the park yet. The magazine’s website says it has more than 1.7 million readers, and it had a paid circulation of 506,835 in 2005.

The park could get a lot more attention next year. The U.S. Freestyle Kayaking Association announced in April that the Glenwood park would host the 2009 U.S. Kayak Freestyle Team Trials. The trials determine who goes to the 2009 world championships.

“It’ll be the biggest kayaking event in the nation,” Carey said.

The park is also expected to help promote tourism in Glenwood Springs. Carey said his company has talked to the mayor of Reno, Nev., about a whitewater park there.

“He figures it gives his city a half-million a year in free advertising because it generates so much press,” Carey said.

Carey said Glenwood’s whitewater park is unique because it’s one of the few parks around that creates an actual wave on which boaters, and even surfers, can hydroplane. Most parks feature a hole, rather than a wave. The holes are caused by a “pour-over” of water rather than constricting the river to bring the water’s speed up, Carey said.

“The ultimate goal and the reason that Glenwood was awarded the nationals and no other town in Colorado was is because it does create a wave,” Carey said. “The waves are really rare, but that’s the ultimate goal of freestyle kayaking.”

He said kayakers can do lots more tricks on a wave compared to a hole.

The whitewater park isn’t the only local attraction in the latest issue of National Geographic Adventure. The town of Carbondale made the cover of the magazine and was among the top picks in a section titled “Where to Live and Play Now: The 50 Next Great Towns.”

Regarding Carbondale, its environmentalism and its great nearby recreational opportunities, the magazine says: “It’s forging its own identity as a self-sustaining base for Patagonia-clad Ph.Ds happy to stay close to home in the White River National Forest.”

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