Beginning in late January up until the first stretch of December, Kjell Mitchell can be found pedaling one of his many bikes to his job as president and CEO of Glenwood Hot Springs Resort. The daily, 15-mile bike ride in mountainous Glenwood Springs may sound strenuous for many, but not for a man driven by equal parts enthusiasm and dedication during his 40-year career at the world’s largest hot springs pool accompanied by a lodge and spa.
“Finding your passion delivers a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. There is no other path if one sticks with it,” says Mitchell, who can’t imagine a career outside of Glenwood Hot Springs. In his four decades with the company, Mitchell has held positions in nearly all facets of the operation, including toting luggage as a bellhop and overseeing major renovation projects as general manager. He also was part of the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association board of directors for 16 years, the organization that named him Hotelier of the Year in 2010.
Of all his endeavors, Mitchell says one of his most memorable experiences was traveling to Beppu, Japan, for 10 days to represent the United States in the International Cultural Exchange on Hot Springs.
Although he’s capable of doing it all, Mitchell admits it has been a challenge learning to allow others to share the workload. “Being hands-on allows a leader to learn the nuts and bolts,” he says. “It allows a deeper appreciation of the efforts put forth by staff members to do their jobs … and it transformed me from doing it myself to accomplishing things through others.”
Depending on counterparts is crucial for a president and CEO whose days are filled with everything from corporate oversight and asset management to planning the future of Glenwood Hot Springs. “We look forward to continued stewardship of the healing waters of the hot springs, making people feel better, and leading our 129-year-old business into a better place,” he says.
Perhaps it’s the healing waters at Glenwood Hot Springs or maybe the daily bike ride, but it looks like the voyage for Kjell Mitchell is far from over as he has no foreseeable plans to retire. “The journey is a good ride filled with lots of highs while the lows are accepted for what they are, an occasional hiccup in the journey.”