FRUITA, Colorado (KREX) – Colorado National Monument is breaking records left and right when it comes to tourism stats. Arlene Jackson, head of interpretation at CNM, says more people who want to explore find our park.
“We had around 435,000 visitors last year,” says Arlene Jackson, interpreter.
More tourists at the memorial mean more people visit the gift shop. Colorado National Monument Association, the monument’s only non-profit group of friendsIt had record sales almost every month in 2021.
Between memberships and donations, Co-Executive Director Johanna van Waveren says 2021 will be her best sales year ever.
“By November, we had over $ 600,000 in sales in the bookstore, previously it was $ 200,000 less,” said Co-Executive Director Johanna van Waveren. âBecause we use local businesses and artists, we have been really successful in keeping things in stock for the people who come into the visitor center. This has been a year of unprecedented business for us, we have consistently achieved record sales. It was definitely hard to keep things on the shelf, but working with locals really helped us. “
“People like to come to the monument because it comes as a surprise to many of them,” says Jackson, overwhelmed by it. “
Any surprise is worth it for visitors from near and far, such as Veena Chakrasali. Her family arrived in Colorado before Christmas Eve.
âWe drove all the way from California because we didn’t want to miss all the scenic routes and we really want to feel it,â explains Monument Visitor Veena Chakrasali: âWe love the outdoors, so we’re here more to see and experience it ; Get a feel of Colorado. We have great souvenirs from every place we stopped. “
Record sales raise funds for interns, the Junior Park Ranger program and the restoration of the old amphitheater.
“I really hope that we can continue to do this: to fully fund an intern so that he can be accommodated there and be at the memorial for months to do something really important.” Work, explains van Waveren.
The record number of monument tourists also visits local shops, hotels, restaurants and wineries. So if the monument gets a boost, so will the entire Grand Valley.
If you are planning on visiting the Colorado National Monument in the near future, it is highly recommended that the staff inquire about road conditions in advance.