Bennet Invites Glenwood Springs Small Business Owner As Virtual Guest to President Biden’s State of the Union Address

Ken Murphy’s Outdoor Recreation Business and Restaurant Have Been Affected By COVID-19, Mudslides, Wildfires In Colorado

Washington, D.C.— Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet invited Ken Murphy –– co-owner of H2O Ventures in Glenwood Springs, Colorado –– as his virtual guest to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address to Congress on Tuesday. Murphy manages the Hanging Lake hiking permit reservation system for the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), which has been affected by closures due to wildfires and mudslides fueled by climate change. He also owns Local on Cooper, a restaurant in Glenwood Springs, and Adventure Outdoors, a one-stop adventure outfitter on the West Slope.

“Small businesses like Ken Murphy’s are the lifeblood of Colorado’s economy, and over the last several years, they’ve faced tremendous challenges. It would be hard to think of anyone more affected by disasters fueled by climate change, increased cost of living, and the challenges that came with running a small business during a pandemic. Through it all, Ken has remained resilient, flexible and optimistic,” said Bennet. “Tonight, Ken and all Coloradans deserve to hear from President Biden about his plans to address these challenges, including how we can return to normalcy, fortify our economy, bring costs down for families, and combat the growing climate threat.” 

Murphy has lived in Colorado since he immigrated to the United States from Ireland over twenty years ago. After the Grizzly Creek Fire tore through Glenwood Springs in 2020, it has been tough for recreation areas like Hanging Lake, which Murphy helps manage, to recover. Last summer, burn scars resulting from the Grizzly Creek Fire and monsoon rains caused mudslides to make conditions even worse for the outdoor recreation industry in Glenwood Springs. But now, thanks to support from USFS, the Colorado Department of Transportation, and collaboration between all levels of government and private businesses, Murphy is pleased to see Hanging Lake on track to open soon.