Glenwood Caverns ready to swing into summer
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park has added a new summer attraction guaranteed to increase the fun level for thrill seekers.The park’s newest attraction, called the Giant Canyon Swing, hoists passengers over the rim of the Glenwood Canyon, 1,300 feet above the Colorado River, at nearly 50 miles per hour.And it’s got Glenwood Caverns owner Steve Beckley excited to open it up to the public this Saturday.”We’re pretty excited about it,” Beckley said. “We’ve stepped into the next realm with this first-class professional ride.”The swing is an upgrade from the park’s Swing Shot, which swung two passengers over the canyon’s edge. The new swing is a similar ride to the Swing Shot, but it’s a shorter, more intense ride, according to Beckley. The ride lasts about 60 seconds.”It’s much more of an adrenaline rush than the previous swing. It literally takes your breath away,” Beckley said.However, Beckley could only speculate, not having ridden the swing himself as of Thursday.”It’s just not my kind of ride,” Beckley admitted.But according to Wade Beattie, an employee of the Glenwood Caverns since 2003, it’s one of the most exhilarating rides he’s ever experienced.”I’ve been all over the country testing different rides, and this swing is definitely one of the biggest rushes I’ve experienced,” Beattie said. “There’s nothing like it in this part of the state.”The upgraded Giant Canyon Swing is different from the previous Swing Shot in that it’s pneumatically-powered and seats up to four passengers.Also, since the swing’s arms are rigid – rather than cables, like the old swing – it lifts riders to an inverted position, Beckley said.This is the latest attraction the Caverns has added in the past few years. In 2009, they added three new attractions including the Hole in the Wall 4-D ride theater, which combines 3D high-definition films with moving seats, bursts of wind, fragrances, and even a water feature; the OK Corral Laser Tag Arena; and a Speleobox Cave Simulator.This is the park’s 11th year in business, and the addition of these rides in the past year has allowed the park to be open year-round, instead of being closed during the winter months.The new Giant Canyon Swing will cost $9 plus the cost of the tram ride to the park. Or, visitors can purchase the park’s day pass, which is $39 for adults and $35 for kids 3-12 years old, and includes a ride on the Iron Mountain Tramway and park admission. In addition, the day pass includes unlimited access to the park’s alpine coaster, Giant Canyon Swing, 4D Ride Theater, Laser Tag arena, Bungee Trampolines, and several other attractions. Guests can add a 70-minute guided Cave Tour for just $5 more. Annual tram passes are available for $25. Group discounts are available.The swing was built by S&S Amusement Rides, who also built the Big Shot on the roof of the Stratosphere in Las Vegas. Guests must be at least 48 inches tall to ride the new swing.The park is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Longer summer hours will begin May 28, when the park will stay open until 8 p.m. with the summer kick-off party. The party is a benefit for LIFT-UP food pantry and will include live music. By bringing a nonperishable canned food item to the summer kick-off party visitors will receive a free tram ride to the park.For more information, visit http://www.GlenwoodCaverns.com or call (970) 945-4228, ext. 0.