Estes Park Visitors Center Sees Record Visitors
In its first full year of operation, the Visitor Center staff and the Ambassadors greeted 232,169 people. By comparison, just five years later in 2011, more than 400,000 visitors walked through the facility’s doors to ask questions and get information about local lodges, shops, restaurants and activities. That is nearly a 58 percent increase. This growth trend has continued in the first five months of 2012, with a 5.43 percent increase in visits when compared to the same time frame last year. Over Memorial Day weekend 2012, visitor traffic was up about 24 percent over the 2011 holiday weekend.
This steady increase in visitors requires a staff of well-trained and dedicated individuals. The Visitor Center’s year-round staff is comprised of two full-time and two part-time employees. From March through November, two temporary part-time staff members are added. And finally, three part-time and one full-time seasonal employee join the team for the peak summer season. This year a seasonal shuttle coordinator has been added to manage the Town’s popular free shuttle system.
In addition, there’s another important group contributing vast amounts of energy to the Visitor Center’s success: The Ambassadors. In the summer months there are approximately 75 individuals on the Ambassadors’ roster. They contributed 6,063 volunteer hours to the Visitor Center in 2011. In fact, the Ambassadors were selected to receive the Town’s 2012 Pride Award for Volunteer Group of the Year because of their extensive efforts.
Training is ongoing for this energetic group of volunteers. They meet once a month; attend a comprehensive pre-season training session; and spend several days touring area lodging facilities and retail stores prior to the beginning of the summer season.
The Visitor Center is open 360 days a year, closing only on New Year’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Now through September 30, the doors are open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Sundays. The remainder of the year, the Visitor Center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. For more information about the Estes Park Visitor Center visit www.estes.org/VisitorServices.