Winter Festival Deemed Successful
An estimated 950 people participated in the event at Bond Park which included two chili cook-offs and wine & beer tasting, she said. Even more people took advantage of the horse & carriage rides, massage specials, viewed the stars at the Observatory or enjoyed the nightlife at one of the entertainment venues throughout town. Over 1,000 people also participated at the Winter Trails event in RMNP on Saturday.
“This was a true joint effort among all the tourism related associations in town,” she said. “The LMD rallied the associations to start meeting and communicating…. and this was an outgrowth of our brainstorming,” she added. The associations included, The Estes Park Wedding Assoc., Bed & Breakfast Association, Estes Area Lodging Association, Downtown Merchants, Estes Valley Partners for Commerce and the Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Hunters Chophouse won Bragging Rights for the Best Chili in Estes Park during Sunday’s restaurant chili cookoff. Marys Lake Lodge came in second in the contest and the Stanley Hotel’s entry took third place.
In the Scavenger Hunt, three participants claimed the prize elks which were worth over $1,000 each in rewards consisting of free lodging, restaurant certificates and retail gifts. The three winners were all from out of town and arrived as early as 8:30 a.m. on Friday to begin the much anticipated activity.
“We had visitors from Nebraska, Illinois and Kansas tell us they came specifically for the festival, and others who had such a good day, decided to spend the night. “Our goal is to celebrate our winter season and get the word out to visitors of the wonderful activities that Estes Park has to offer. This was a great beginning,” Blanchard said. “Thank you to all who made this festival such a success!” We have already received emails from in town and out of town attendees who shared their enjoyment of the festival and their plans to return next year. Feel free to send your pictures and comments to the Estes Park Winter Festival Facebook page.