According to Jennifer Loshaw, executive director of Ouray Chamber Resort Association, over 25,000 visitors received direct information from visitor center staff last year, and that at times the large numbers of visitors were simply too many for staff to handle.
“We can use as many people as we can get or at least one volunteer a day, seven days a week,” Loshaw said in an interview last week. She said four-hour volunteer shifts are mostly needed during the middle of the day, from around 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., when regular visitor “rushes” occur. During slow times, volunteers could give staff an opportunity to take a lunch-hour break.
“What I have found complicated in the summer is that the office never really gets quiet. Taking a lunch break is hard,” said Loshaw, adding that volunteering for even an hour would be appreciated.
Volunteers interested in working at the center would give information from behind the Ouray Trails Group/Forest Service booth in the lobby. Having people knowledgeable of the area’s hiking and jeeping trails would be a valuable asset for visitors.
“We are looking for people who can tell visitors what is it is like to hike certain trails, when the monsoons come in and basically make sure people don’t get in over their heads,” Loshaw said. “Match them with trails that will bring them a good and safe experience. Most of the questions will be, ‘Where can I hike? Where can I jeep? Where should I eat and what else is there to do around here?’ Basically, they just need to point them in the right direction.”
The visitor center will be hosting a series of training sessions on Fridays, 10 a.m.-noon, that basically shows volunteers were items such as maps can be found at the booth. Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Loshaw at 970/325-4746.