As Glenwood Springs switches from fossil fuel to wind-generated electricity, Glenwood Hot Springs Resort, which has always been an environmental trailblazer, is now one of Colorado’s most eco-friendly visitor destinations.
On June 1, 2019, the City of Glenwood Springs officially made the switch to clean-energy electricity, using 100 percent wind-generated power. The move puts Glenwood Springs in an elite group of eco-conscious cities, making it the second city in Colorado and the seventh in the nation to be completely powered by wind, solar or hydro sources.
A sustainable travel destination
“For Glenwood Hot Springs Resort, the city’s decision to purchase renewably-sourced energy, means visitors can be confident that when they visit the pool, the spa, the lodge or the club at Glenwood Hot Springs, they are actively engaging in and supporting green tourism,” Glenwood Hot Springs Director of Operations, Kevin Flohr said. According to a news release, Glenwood’s transition to renewable energy will save the environment 77,156 tons of CO2 emission.
A history of environmental advocacy
The newest designation as 100 percent renewable is just the latest environmental accolade for the world-famous hot springs attraction. Setting the standard for stewardship has been a long-standing priority for the resort which has been utilizing geothermal energy for decades to reduce its energy consumption and carbon footprint.
For more than 50 years, Glenwood Hot Springs Resort has been a leader in conservation and environmental activism. The bathhouse, including the pool lobby and retail shop floors, have been heated using the geothermal output from the source spring since the 1970s. Over the years, the trend continued and as technology improved the resort continued to embrace ecological ideals. In fact, at the time it was built in the 1980s, the Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge was considered the largest geothermally heated building in Colorado. With more innovations over the years, in 2013, TripAdvisor named the Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge a Green Leader for its sustainable practices.
Leading by example
In addition to using excess geothermal BTUs to preheat water for showers and laundry, the resort also harnesses the natural heat of the hot springs to keep the enormous pool deck and many sidewalks snow-free in winter. Glenwood Hot Springs Resort has systematically replaced incandescent light fixtures property-wide with LED bulbs, swapped aging appliances and air conditioners for more efficient models that reduce reliance on natural gas and electricity, implemented a towel recycling program at the Lodge, pursued low-chemical gardening techniques in landscaping and ground maintenance and put together an employee-led Green Team to enhance resort-wide recycling programs and bring new ideas to management.
Most recently, an employee at the Lodge connected the resort with a program called Clean the World, a non-profit organization that educates about the importance of handwashing. As the housekeeping staff cleans each guest room, they collect the discarded soaps left behind. Rather than toss them, the soaps are processed and sent to parts of the world where they improve the lives of people susceptible to hygiene-related illnesses.
The future looks bright
“Acting as environmental stewards is an integral part of our identity,” Flohr said. “Moving to 100 percent renewables is exciting for us as a resort. It’s a big step, but it’s still just a step. As we have for decades, we will continue to implement and advocate for green initiatives and best practices.
Learn more about Glenwood Hot Springs and make plans to visit one of Colorado’s most eco-friendly resort destinations soon!