Power Move: Glenwood Springs Among First in Nation to Use 100 Percent Renewable Electricity

On June 1, 2019, Glenwood Springs, a town best known for its geothermal amenities, became the second city in Colorado and the seventh in the U.S. to flip the switch and transition to using 100 percent renewable electricity.

This hot springs town in the Colorado mountains is one of just a handful in the country that has achieved the goal of sourcing 100 percent its electricity from wind, solar or hydroelectric power. Beginning in June, Glenwood Springs will purchase all its electricity from clean energy sources. It is primarily wind-generated electricity provided by Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (MEAN), the city’s wholesale power supplier at no increased cost to end users, a perk that sealed the deal and benefits the town’s residents, business owners and visitors alike.

Sustainable ideals expected to favorably impact tourism

“This is good news for Glenwood Springs,” Director of Colorado Tourism Office, Kathy Ritter, said. “Travelers can come here and feel good about not affecting the carbon footprint by staying in a hotel, eating at a restaurant and taking part in an attraction.” Ritter went on to say that for approximately 42 percent of travelers, sustainability practices are a factor in selecting a vacation destination. By choosing to go to 100 percent renewables, Glenwood Springs and by association, Colorado has gained a significant competitive advantage in the tourism marketplace.

A next step for an already eco-conscious resort community

Indeed, the city’s switch to all renewable gives Glenwood Springs attractions the green light to tout their increased eco-friendly status. “Our resort community has always led the way in environmental activism,” Vice President of Tourism Marketing for Glenwood Springs, Lisa Langer, said. “Our hot springs attractions use the geothermal heat and recycle BTUs to reduce their energy consumption. A significant number of our hotels and restaurants are on-board with using energy-efficient appliances and LED lighting. Going 100 percent renewable was the next step forward for us as a sustainable resort community, and it’s news we’re exceedingly proud to share with visitors.”

Steve Beckley, who, along with his wife Jeanne, owns Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, couldn’t agree more. “Our business is centered on nature-based adventure, so protecting the environment and natural resources has been our primary goal since we gave our first cave tour in May 1999,” Beckley explained. “We are really pleased to be one of the first theme parks in the U.S. to have all of its electricity provided from renewable sources. Sustainable tourism is an important issue these days, and this move is a huge step in the right direction for Glenwood Springs as a whole.”

A history of environmental innovation

In a sense, the use of 100 percent renewables is a return to Glenwood Springs roots as a forerunner in innovation. Few people know that Glenwood Springs was one of the first places in the U.S., even before New York City, to have electric lights powered by the hydroelectric dam in Glenwood Canyon. Acknowledging the importance of keeping sustainable ideals at the forefront of Colorado travel and tourism, “This is a historic moment for Glenwood Springs,” Ritter said.

Learn more and plan your vacation to Glenwood Springs, an environmentally-friendly, sustainable Colorado visitor destination.