Spring has Sprung!

It’s official! With Friday, March 20th marking the first day of spring, it’s time to trade in the long underwear for T-shirts and the beanies for ballcaps. After some snowy weather in February, Glenwood Springs, CO has been experiencing an unseasonably dry and warm March, so locals and visitors alike can take in all that Glenwood has to offer while also working on their summer tan.

This week, Glenwood schools (and many around the country) are out for spring break and Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is the place to be for spring break fun! There’s lots to do at the park, so here’s a guide for getting the best out of a breezy, sunny, perfect spring day on top of the world at Glenwood Caverns!

Start your day by taking the scenic tram up to the top and enjoying the panoramic views. Look to the southeast for a fabulous view of snowcapped Mt. Sopris! Relax, enjoy the scenery, and get ready for the adventures ahead.

Once at the top, get your energy out by taking a few thrill rides! Head to the Alpine Coaster to race down 3,400 feet around curves and through the wilderness, all at your own speed. Didn’t get enough? Not to worry! If you bought a Funday Pass, you can take unlimited turns on this addictive coaster.

While you’re in the mood for speed, take a turn on the Soaring Eagle Zip Ride! You (and a friend) can soar 625 feet down the mountain on this new and improved zip ride, also for unlimited turns with the Funday Pass.

Now that you’ve had an adrenaline fix, cruise over to the caves for a walking cave tour. You can pick between the Historic Fairy Caves Tour or the King’s Row Tour, both of which offer a ton of features such as cave bacon, stalagmites and stalactites led by knowledgeable, friendly guides (who will be more than happy to show you exactly what cave bacon is).

When the tour is over, chances are you’ve worked up an appetite! It’s the perfect time to head over to the Lookout Grille and, in the warm spring weather, sit out on the deck and soak up the sunshine and great views. The Lookout Grille menu has something for the whole family, so you can enjoy a burger, wrap, salad or sandwich (accompanied by a cold beer or glass of wine if you’d like) while the kids happily munch on chicken tenders or mac and cheese. Relax, refresh and recharge for the afternoon ahead!

Now that you’re fuelled up, it’s time to battle each other in a game of laser tag! In an Old West setting (and the latest in wireless laser technology), settle once and for all who is the quickest draw and the lightest on their feet…but really, everyone wins when it’s this much fun!

After an epic laser tag battle, cool down in the 4D Motion Theater and take in one of the four movies playing currently. You’ve heard of 3D…but 4D takes it to a whole new level. You’ll feel like you are in the movie!

The day is winding down, but there’s still plenty of time to take a few more laps on the alpine coaster and zip ride. The late afternoon sun will feel great on your face as you fly through the sky on the zipline. Ok, it’s time to go…one more time on the alpine coaster! Alright, now it’s really time to leave…

Take the tram back down and talk about your favorite parts of the day. Arrive back at the base, tired but happy, and head to the car knowing that you got the most out of your spring day at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park! See our Hours and Tickets page for pricing and more information.

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10 Reasons Why Glenwood Springs
Is the Winter Weather Place to Be

With snow on the ground and a winter weather advisory in place until Monday, winter seems to have made a comeback! After a warm and dry spell through much of January and February, it seemed like winter had been cancelled. Well, for the time being it’s back, and whether you love to see the white stuff falling again or wish we could just fast forward to summer already, we thought it would be a good time for a refresher on why Glenwood Springs, CO is the best place to be for the snowy season!

1. Bundling up and zooming down the alpine coaster at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park through the snowy trees and around the curves–a high speed winter wonderland!

2. Soaking in the Hot Springs Pool. With warm water, rising steam and fewer crowds, the pool couldn’t be a more relaxing way to pass a chilly day or evening.

3. Getting a few face shots at Sunlight Mountain Resort, for about half the price of one of the mega-resorts.

4. Seeing the lights of the Hotel Colorado and downtown Glenwood Springs makes the whole town feel magical!

5. Taking the scenic tram to the top of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and seeing the whole valley, blanketed in snow, in all it’s glory!

6. Hiking up to Hanging Lake to view it in a new light–during the winter, the lake is a beautiful sight with frozen waterfalls, untouched snow, turquoise water and a quiet tranquillity (especially because there are so many less visitors than during the summer)!

7. Getting out your pent-up energy from being cooped up inside by battling your friends in laser tag at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.

8. Taking it easy after playing in the snow by watching a live show at the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue.

9. Digging into a warm meal at one of Glenwood’s many delicious eateries, including the Lookout Grille at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. With a family-friendly menu, great prices and stunning views, it’s the perfect spot to relax and take in the winter scenery!

10. Enjoying living in or visiting a close-knit community that likes to play hard and is proud to be called The Most Fun Town in America. There’s so much to do in Glenwood Springs, you’ll have a great time no matter what season it is!

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Get the most out of a warm winter with the Friday Afternoon Club!

There may not be much snow to ski on right now but, luckily, at Glenwood Caverns there’s so much more to do! And with unusually warm winter temperatures in Glenwood Springs, CO and beyond, it’s the perfect time to start your weekend right by heading to the Friday Afternoon Club at Glenwood Caverns! The winter FAC has been in full swing since January and is the ideal spot to enjoy the sunset and hear some great music.

This Friday’s performance features Painters Stage, a local group playing a mix of eclectic and light-hearted tunes. Painters Stage is fronted by Kristof and Noemi Kosmowski, married artists and musicians who escaped from communist Poland with their young children in the 1980s. They now reside in Glenwood Springs and continue to create artwork and music. The couple has helped to beautify the city by collaborating with the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts to paint utility boxes and other surfaces around town. Their biggest project was a mural of running horses located beneath the downtown railroad bridge. Painters Stage incorporates some of the Kosmowski’s Polish heritage into their music to create a beautiful and unique sound.

The February 20 FAC showcases longtime local Chris Bank, who has worked as the Roaring Fork School District band director and as the in-school director for Jazz Aspen Snowmass. Bank has been a part of in-house bands all around Aspen, including the St. Regis, Syzygy, and the Little Nell Hotel. Bank has performed with world-renowned musicians including Kenny Loggins, The Temptations, John Denver, and many more.

The final FAC on February 27 features Suzzanne Paris, a sultry-voiced songstress who plays a mix of rock, pop soul and the blues. Paris has released two records and played music alongside an assortment of renowned talent including Richie Havens and Michael Bolton. This busy musician splits her time between Colorado and California, so don’t miss your chance to see her mountain-top at the Glenwood Caverns!

Besides a stellar musical lineup, the Friday Afternoon Club offers food and drink specials. It’s fun for the whole family! For more information, visit the Friday Afternoon Club page.

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2014: Oh, what a year!

Glenwood Canyon Flyer at Glenwood Springs Colorado

Soaring high above the Colorado River on the Glenwood Canyon Flyer

Since 2015 has just been around for a few days, we thought we’d look back at the highlights of 2014. What a year it was up here on Iron Mountain in Glenwood Springs, Colorado!

Our sixth season of Music on the Mountain kicked off with a twist and shout on May 23 with Beatles tribute band Doctor Robert. This was the second season opener for the band and, like last year, they had the audience on their feet and singing along.

The new Glenwood Canyon Flyer opened on May 23 as well. The ride, which was constructed in Venice, Italy, is perched on the edge of Glenwood Canyon, right between the Giant Canyon Swing and the Cliffhanger Roller Coaster.  Our guests loved flying out 1,400 feet over the Colorado River and gave it rave reviews.

Soaring Eagle Zip Ride at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

Wheee! Enjoying the Soaring Eagle Zip Ride

The Soaring Eagle Zip Ride was completely redesigned. It begins at the same spot as in the past, but nearly everything else about it is new. Guests now board at ground level near the Alpine Coaster — there are no longer any stairs to climb — and are then carried backwards, 600 feet up the mountain. At the top, they reverse direction for a thrilling zip ride back down to the ground.

Cowboy Camp at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

Kicking back and enjoying the music at the Cowboy Camp

We added live music to our schedule every day during the summer, along with more entertainers to keep you smiling during your visits to the park. Alongside the Nature Trail, which leads to the Cliffhanger Roller Coaster and the Glenwood Canyon Flyer, the new Cowboy Camp provided a perfect spot to sit down, kick back for a while and enjoy live Western music. In the plaza area just outside the General Store, the Harmony Sisters made guests laugh, dance and sing with their funny and engaging musical shows.

Doc Holliday and Kid Curry lookalikes were back this year to stir up some trouble and pose for photos in the plaza. Our own Bob Koper, who was the very first employee hired by our owners back in 1999, roamed the park as the Roving Rock Ranger, sharing his knowledge of geology and park trivia, mixed in with science tricks and optical illusions. Our new Blacksmith Shop, complete with a working coal-fired forge and anvil shop, was a hit with guests of all ages.

We enjoyed national attention when the crew from The Travel Channel’s popular series, Hotel Impossible, came up to the park for a visit. Host Anthony Melchiorri toured the caves with Steve Beckley and local hotel owner Josie Fit, and even faced his fear of heights by riding the Giant Canyon Swing!

Glenwood Caverns Locals Choice 2014

Bob Stepniewski and Shiela Kendall accepted our Locals' Choice Awards

In June, we were thrilled to receive three Locals’ Choice Gold Awards — Best Local Attraction, Best Place to View a Sunset and Best Music Venue — and a Bronze Award for Best Local Event for Music on the Mountain. What an honor! To show our appreciation for our loyal locals, we kicked off Friday Afternoon Club on the Mountain, with free tram rides and live music during July and August.

Iron Mountain Hot Springs Groundbreaking Glenwood C0 sm

Breaking ground for the new Iron Mountain Hot Springs

Our owners, Steve and Jeanne Beckley, along with Mogli and Coop Cooper, announced plans to redevelop the historic Iron Mountain Hot Springs on the bank of the Colorado River in August. The plans received unanimous approval to proceed from the City of Glenwood Springs on Oct. 16 and a groundbreaking ceremony a few days later received media coverage across the country. The Iron Mountain Hot Springs will be operated by Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and is expected to open summer of 2015.

We enjoyed even more national attention on August 29, when USA Today and Park World editor Paul Ruben named our Alpine Coaster as one of the 10 Best Roller Coaster Rides of Your Life!

Music on the Mountain wrapped up a record-breaking year in September. The community donated 12,427 cans for the LIFT-UP community food pantry during 2014, exceeding our goal of 10,000 cans by almost 25 percent. The total since the series started in 2009 is 43,598. We are so fortunate to live and work in such a caring, supportive community.

Glenwood Caverns Glenwood Springs CO Winter on the Mountain

Winter on the Mountain at Glenwood Caverns

On November 1, which is typically a pretty quiet time in Glenwood Springs, we kicked off the first Winter on the Mountain. Our guests have enjoyed a dazzling display of more than a half million lights, a warming hut, fire pits, a new 4D movie and lighted, nighttime rides on the Alpine Coaster and Soaring Eagle Zip Ride, visits from Santa and local caroling groups and a giant Christmas tree with a light show choreographed to music. Winter on the Mountain continues through March 1.

Glenwood Caverns Glenwood Springs CO Management Team

Steve Beckly, owner; Nancy Heard, general manager; Heather Austin, sales and marketing manager; Bret Pfost, assistant general manage

Internally, we had also had an exciting year. Tessa Ebert, a 2014 graduate of Glenwood Springs High School, was the recipient of this year’s employee scholarship. To help us accommodate our growth on the mountain and at the Iron Mountain Hot Springs, Nancy Heard was named general manager, several of our supervisors were promoted to manager, Heather Austin joined our team as sales and marketing manager, and Bret Pfost, who spent the last 30 years as a senior leader at Disney Parks and Resorts, came on board as assistant general manager of the park and the hot springs.

Thank you for helping us make 2014 one of our best years ever. We wish you and your family a happy, healthy and joyful 2015.

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Catching up with Santa Claus: “It’s the most rewarding job”

With Christmas less than two weeks away, we thought it would be a good time to check in with Santa Claus, who must be busy as a bee these days. On weekends during Winter on the Mountain, he can be found in the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park warming hut, chatting with his fans and hearing Christmas requests (this year Legos are all the rage, as well as anything related to the movie Frozen). We found Santa taking a well-deserved break, and he agreed to share some insight on what it’s like to be the most popular man around Glenwood Springs (and everywhere else) this time of the year.

Santa Claus and a visitor, engaged in deep conversation in the warming hut at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

Santa and Mrs. Claus (sometimes referred to as Randy and Sandy Schriever) run a serious operation. “There’s much more to it than putting on a red suit and sitting in a chair,” says Mr. Claus. “When I talk to a child, I do more than just take a photo and ask what they want. I like to talk to them about how it’s important to do well in school, do your chores, brush your teeth, and be nice to your brothers and sisters because they will be your best friends someday.”

Mrs. Claus is responsible for working the line, getting some key tidbits of information about the kids, and then relaying it back to Santa so by the time a child sits on his lap, he’ll usually know their name and a few things about them. “The kids are blown away; they ask ‘How did you know my name?!’” Mrs. Claus also keeps the line organized and entertains the kids in line, a very important job, especially when it’s busy!

“The best thing is the Elf on a Shelf,” says Santa, speaking about the popular kid’s toy, an elf that watches over the child during the day and reports back to Santa each night. “I like to find out the name of their elf beforehand, and tell them the elf came to see me, and where he might be hiding the next day (with some teamwork from parents). I’ve had parents call me to tell me that their child really became a believer, and that they were so happy because they got to have their kid be a kid for one more year.”

Santa has had all manners of requests over the years; some funny, and some heartbreaking. “Sometimes kids ask if they can keep one of my reindeer as a pet,” laughs Santa, “or a horse or pony or some other animal that probably won’t be the easiest present to get.” Santa Claus often gets requests for the child’s parents to get back together, or to return from serving overseas in the military. “Once, a mom let me know that her husband had been killed in active duty, and she hadn’t told their daughter yet. The girl’s request to me was that her father come home. In those situations, it’s really important to say the right thing.”

For help with handling such situations, Santa goes to school. Organizations like “School for Santa” and “Professional Santa Claus” offer intensive trainings that help Santa deal with serious moments, as well as the legalities and general dos and don’ts of dealing with children. There is even a cruise that Santa goes on, where he is joined by hundreds of his brethren from all over the world to swap stories and help each other become the best Santas they can be.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus got their start about 20 years ago, volunteering for a church group. It went so well that other church groups, schools and hospitals started sending requests for their time, which they donated happily. It wasn’t until a few years ago that someone suggested Mr. and Mrs. Claus start working for money, which they realized they could use to buy stuffed animals for children in the hospital. For the Clauses, hospital visits are truly special. “There’s a quote that says ‘there is nothing better in the world than the laugh of a child.’ Sometimes I visit a child in the hospital who has a serious illness and may not have very long to live. But when they see Santa, there is a gleam in their eye and for a few minutes, there’s no illness, no worry, no problems. Putting a smile on their face is the best thing in the world.”

Santa Claus is also involved with TalkToSanta.com, where kids can call Santa from home and video chat with him live. It’s perfect for children who may have mobility issues, or for kids who just can’t get enough. “One child had seen me a few weeks ago at Glenwood Caverns, and called from the website because he just had more to talk to me about!”

“It’s a very fun, rewarding, and exciting month and a half,” says Santa. “We take it very seriously, and we love what we do. We’ve met a lot of wonderful people and good children.”

For Santa’s schedule at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, visit http://glenwoodcaverns.com/winter-on-mountain.html and scroll down to “Santa for the Kids.”

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Winter on the Mountain Kickoff: Angels, Santa Claus, and so much more!

On Friday, November 21st, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park officially kicked off Winter at the Mountain! With roaming angel carolers (The Harmony Sisters), the Coca-Cola bear on hand to give out stuffed bears, and Santa Claus himself (along with Mrs. Claus), it was a fun night for all who made the journey from Glenwood Springs or beyond.

Santa Claus received lots of little visitors in the warming hut, and took time to chat with each child about their Christmas wishes. Kids sipped hot chocolate afterwards, and some parents opted to order their hot drink spiked! To view a schedule of Santa’s upcoming appearances, click here and scroll down to “Santa for the Kids.”

The giant Christmas tree put on a choreographed light and music show every thirty minutes—something truly special to behold. The impressive light display that seems to “dance” along with the Christmas music is not to be missed!

The Lookout Grille served up family-style entrees, a new concept at the park. Evening diners can order from a select menu of entrees that include unlimited sides of sweet potato casserole, seasonal fritters, and more. “It’s a different offering for the winter, to add to the whole experience. We thought it was a fun, new idea, and we’ve had a good reaction to the food so far,” says Shiela Kendall, special events manager at the park. “It’s about family bonding, which is what the holidays are all about!” To view the dinner family-style menu, click here.

The Alpine Coaster is even more fun when it's all lit up at night!

The Glenwood Caverns lighting team worked countless hours to light up the park, from the base of the tram to the sides of the tracks on the Alpine Coaster and everywhere in between. With 500,000 lights and a fresh coat of snow, the park truly felt like a winter wonderland.

Caroling angels The Harmony Sisters serenaded park visitors with holiday classics and good cheer.

For those feeling a little chilly on the tram ride up or down the mountain, the trams are stocked with cozy fleece blankets, and tram-goers can marvel at the views of the lights of the city of Glenwood Springs.

Winter on the Mountain will be open from 10am to 9pm all Thanksgiving week, except for Thanksgiving Day. Bring the whole family and check out the dazzling light displays and fun activities for yourself!

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Light It Up!

What’s the biggest challenge of hanging up 500,000 lights in the middle of a busy park on the side of a mountain? Pretty much…everything!

Mr. and Mrs. Claus in front of one of the dazzling light displays featured on Winter on the Mountain

“Really, the hardest part has been just hanging them on a mountain. It’s not nice terrain like in town or at Disneyland. I was literally just sliding down a mountain a few minutes ago!” laughs Charmian Featherstone, the lighting director in charge of the endeavor to bathe Glenwood Caverns in light.

“We’ve been hard at it since September,” says Featherstone. The lights are part of the new Winter on the Mountain, which also features a giant animated Christmas tree, holiday Santa, family-style dining, s’mores and hot chocolate, and much more. Visitors will be able to zoom down lighted rides (Alpine Coaster and Soaring Eagle Zip Ride) at night and explore the Kings Row Cave Tour with holiday lighting.

The lighting crew, which includes about seven people, has been working while harnessed in and using lifts on the mountain slope. Lifts are typically used on flat surfaces, and using them on the mountain has made the crew’s work more interesting, to say the least. Using harnesses has also presented challenges. “We’re hanging off buildings and trees. When the wind blows, it’s a little scary. We watch the weather a lot to see what we can and can’t do that day.” The crew has also had to take into account future weather patterns, such as how much snow would cover up a certain display.

“We’ve learned so much from this project. We’re constantly thinking about weather, mathematics, color schemes, electricity, and design. We make a design of each building first, and practice in the dark to find the effect that we’re looking for.”

The Glenwood Caverns stage, just one of many buildings to be wrapped in lights as part of Winter on the Mountain

The lights themselves are a mixture of LED and incandescent bulbs. There are two different shades of white, and also red, green and blue. The display is so impressive that the lighting crew has seen a couple of small airplanes switch direction to come check out the view.

“The trees have been my favorite part to light,” Featherstone says. Trees both at the tram base and up top will be lit up, in addition to the giant Christmas tree.

“When you’re up here at night and see them lit up, then the fun kicks in. You say, ‘wow, we did it. It’s working!’

‘It’s great to see our employees’ sense of accomplishment; to see and feel it, since they don’t really get the effect during the day. We can’t wait for the public to join us to see the lights!”

Winter on the Mountain is open Friday through Sunday, from 10am to 9pm. For the full effect of the dazzling lights, it’s best to come after dark. For more information, visit Winter on the Mountain.

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Missing Link Band celebrates change at the last 2014 Music on the Mountain concert

This Saturday, September 20th marks the last Music on the Mountain concert of 2014. It’s become something of a tradition for The Missing Link Band to close out the concert series, and the band will return again to play the last show. It will be a special show for a variety of reasons.

The Missing Link Band will debut new additions to the band and say farewell to a longtime member on Saturday, Sept. 21 for the last free Music on the Mountain concert of 2014

It’s been a year of big changes for the band, whose bass player, Paul Barker, moved to Florida to be closer to family. “We spent the last six months trying to fill his shoes, and it wasn’t easy,” says Nick Kuhlmann, the band’s drummer and sound engineer. They finally found Doug Whitney, who hails from Marble, to fill the roll. “He’s shown a lot of capabilities,” Kuhlmann says.

Paul Barker is returning from Florida to perform at Music on the Mountain on Saturday. “The show is going to be a farewell to Paul,” says Kuhlmann. “He’s an original founding member, we’ve been playing together for over 14 years. He’s more than a band member; he’s a brother.”

The show will also be the introduction of Doug Whitney to the band’s fans. “Glenwood Caverns is our biggest show,” Kuhlmann points out. “It’s really the proper venue to introduce Doug and let him know what he’s in for!”

There are other new additions to the band, too. Glenwood Caverns’ own Restaurant & Retail Manager, Bob Stepniewski, has joined the band on percussion. Additionally, Louie Girardot of the popular local band Louie and the Lizards is the band’s new keyboard player. “We were going to hire him as the bass player until we found out how good he was on keyboard. He really rounds out the sound,” says Kuhlmann.

“I like to call it the evolution of The Missing Link Band. We’re going to keep playing the same music. People love our diversity, that’s the main compliment we get. With the additional percussion and keys, we’re going to be able to go to places we haven’t gone before. We can cover parts now for material we’ve always wanted to play. But we’re still all about the stuff that would make my mom dance, as I like to say. That’s what is the most important–to keep playing music that everyone can enjoy.”

Kuhlmann encourages everyone to come out to the show to have fun, enjoy the new, fuller sound and say goodbye to Paul Barker. “Having Paul be leaving feels a bit like having my right arm cut off. But we wish him well, and as Paul would tell you–it’s not goodbye, it’s just til’ next time.”

Bring at least one can of food to donate for a free tram ride to the top! We are still trying to reach our goal of 10,000 cans donated to Lift Up, and we need all the help we can get! Even after the music stops, Glenwood Caverns will continue to collect cans at the base of the tram until the end of the month (although you will no longer get a free tram ride for donating after this Saturday). Visit Music on the Mountain for more information.

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Let Them Roar: “American musical melting pot” returns to Music on the Mountain stage

There’s only a couple Music on the Mountain concerts left! With autumn colors already appearing on the hillsides and the crisp, vibrant feel of fall in the air, it couldn’t be a better time to head up to Glenwood Caverns this Saturday. Carbondale-based favorites Let Them Roar will be performing, and this fun-loving group is the perfect band for September dancing, relaxation and fun!

Let Them Roar (previously known as All the Pretty Horses) has been together since 2010; they originally formed around exploring the music of Bob Dylan. They were influenced by a variety of sources, including legendary country singer George Jones and jazz guitarist Bill Frisell. Their diverse influences led to a sound that the band describes as an “American musical melting pot.”

Don’t miss Let Them Roar at the free Music on the Mountain concert this Saturday, September 13

Let Them Roar made their debut at Music in the Mountain in 2013, and they took the stage by storm with their unique blend of country rock, rock, jazz and bluegrass. The group is comprised of Olivia Pevec (vocals), Mateo Sandate (guitar), Ashton Taufer (bass), Aaron Taylor (drums), Frank Martin (guitar, mandolin, lap steel, vocals) and Sophia Clark (vocals).

The band performs all around the valley; this year they appeared at Mountain Fair in Carbondale and Strawberry Days in Glenwood Springs. They regularly rock out at local hot spots like Steve’s Guitars and Phat Thai.

In December, Let Them Roar released an EP of their tunes, which you can listen to and purchase here. The August “Maroon Bells Bash Celebrating 50 Years of Wilderness” event saw the band performing alongside well-known indie folk bands Paper Bird and The Shook Twins. Overall, it’s been a pretty great year for the band!

Saturday’ show will also feature great deals on food and drink, with rides open until dusk. Bring at least one can of food to donate for a free tram ride to the top. We’re getting close to our goal of 10,000 cans (7,040 donated so far), and with two shows left every can really counts! Visit Music on the Mountain for more information. Hope to see you there!

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The Goodman Band makes their Music on the Mountain debut Saturday, Sept. 6

This weekend will be a double-dose of Music on the Mountain, with shows on Saturday and Sunday. First up on September 6th is The Goodman Band, a hard rockin’ trio based out of Grand Junction. The Goodman Band is comprised of Gerry Goodman (guitar and lead vocals), John Brown (bass guitar) and Darin Elwell (drums). The three of them produce a huge sound together, and we can’t wait to hear what they will bring to the Music on the Mountain stage for the first time! We asked Gerry Goodman for a little background on the band to get us even more pumped for the show.

NJ: What’s the “origin story” of The Goodman Band?
GG: Darin and I started playing together eight or nine years ago in Grand Junction. We were the “house band” for a bar called DJ’s Roadhouse. John joined us about four years ago and we’ve become quite a tight little unit.

NJ: Did you grow up playing music?
GG: I was three years old when I started taking guitar seriously. I actually have an old photo of me playing a plastic guitar when I was a year and a half old, it’s pretty funny! I was a young teenager when I finally got the courage to play in front of people and I was 17 when I started playing for a living.

NJ: Who were you influenced by?
GG: My musical influences are vast. I grew up listening to Elvis, Little Richard, Chuck Berry….all those guys from the 50′s. As soon as my dad brought home the first Beatles album (Meet The Beatles), it was game over! I’ve been a Beatles fan since ’64. I didn’t take much stock in the blues until I heard Johnny Winter and then Stevie Ray Vaughan. I fell in love with the blues and I started doing my homework to see who influenced Johnny and Stevie. I grew up on country music too: Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, and Glen Campbell.

NJ: What was one of your best times performing as a band?
GG: We got to open Rock Jam 2009 [in Grand Junction] on the Main Stage; that was fun and scary! We also opened Country Jam 2010 on the Main Stage as our Stevie Ray Vaughan Tribute Band (Texas Flood). Some of the bigger events here in Grand Junction are fun to play, like the Colorado Pork & Hops Challenge. We’ve had lots of fun gigs over the last nine years.

The Goodman Band brings good times and good tunes to the free show on Saturday

NJ: Where are your favorite places to play?
GG: Every winter we get to play in Aspen at a place called the Sundeck on top of Aspen Mountain. You get to meet people from all over the world there! The Black Nugget in Carbondale is always a blast, as is the Powderhorn Ski Resort.

NJ: What is the best part about playing professionally as a musician/band?
GG: The best part of being in a band is when we’re on stage and the three of us are hitting on all cylinders. We’ve played together for so long that we know what each other is thinking and what note or beat is coming next.

NJ: How do you try to connect with the audience when you play?
GG: When doing cover tunes, it helps to do songs the audience knows, that way they’re already halfway there as far as having fun. Some songs lend themselves to singing along with us; once you get them singing along, they feel like part of the show!

NJ: How would you best describe the sound of the band?
GG: We’ve been described as the fullest sounding three-piece band out there. I’ve learned to play rhythm and lead guitar simultaneously, much like all my favorite three-piece bands: Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, Cream, The Who, Nirvana, and so on. We over-play to fill in the holes in the music and it sounds pretty phat!

NJ: Anything else you would like people to know about The Goodman Band?
GG: The Goodman Band takes pride in being able to play nearly any kind of music, and quite authentically. We play everything from country to rockabilly to classic rock to blues to heavy metal to acoustic. We are proudly fearless. Come and check us out !

Bring at least one can of food to donate to Lift-Up for a free tram ride to the top. Help us reach our goal of 10,000 cans this year! For more information, visit Music on the Mountain.

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