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Glorieta is not closing, director says

GLORIETA, N.M. (BP)–Cue the PA system: “LifeWay Glorieta Conference Center is not closing.”

That’s the message Byron Hill wants to communicate in the midst of coming changes at the 56-year-old conference center near Santa Fe, N.M.

“There have been some rumors and erroneous reports out there that Glorieta is closing,” Hill, LifeWay’s executive director of conference centers, said.

“Nothing could be further from the truth. We are making changes that adjust the way we operate Glorieta, but nothing about our ministry or the mission will change,” Hill said. “We’ve been here for more than 50 years and we believe the changes we are making will position Glorieta for the next 50 years.”

Under the new model, Glorieta will continue to offer the same facilities and level of service from mid-May through September. From October through mid-May, only New Mexico Hall and Hall of States will be in operation with a focus on more effectively serving smaller off-season groups.

The only planned exception to the smaller groups will be Fuge Winter Camps, which will continue to be offered four times during the winter months.

“We are adjusting operations to better fit demand,” Hill said. “With a focus on smaller off-season events such as ministry staff and board retreats, our new operations plan will provide a more efficient model throughout the year.”

New Mexico Hall encompasses guest registration, the Chuck Wagon restaurant, Holy Grounds Coffee Shop, a bookstore, offices and meeting rooms. Hall of States, the newest upgrade at Glorieta, is a modern 60-room hotel built in 2006.

“Glorieta has touched countless lives for Christ throughout 56 years of ministry, yet it often operates at a loss,” Hill said. “Our goal in launching a new operational model is to ensure the long-term ministry impact of Glorieta, even in economic downturns.”

The plan will not impact the center’s newly launched summer camps, Camp Glorieta for Boys and Camp Glorieta for Girls. In fact, in 2010 Glorieta will expand its camp offerings with the introduction of family camps.

Glorieta has undergone major capital improvements in recent years. In addition to the newly built Hall of States, there has been renovation to Holcomb Auditorium and its adjacent meeting rooms, to all youth dormitories and to the Chaparral, Texas and Oklahoma hotels.

Glorieta sits on more than 2,200 acres in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and offers lodging, meeting and dining facilities to accommodate up to 2,000 guests. Since its founding, Glorieta has welcomed millions of visitors.
Chris Turner is a media relations manager at LifeWay Christian Resources.