Crystal River Jeep Tours in Marble, Colorado.
Note to Reader:
So, kind of cool, I became friends on Facebook with Glenn Smith, the owner of Crystal River Jeep tours. On Facebook, we arranged to do a tour exchange a couple years ago, so this Grading/Review is based on the trip we took with him because of the exchange. This business has a long history in Marble as it was established in 1950, making it probably one of the oldest tour operations still in operation. Now on to the review/grading!
Glenn’s (AKA Smitty) wife Patsy, who is just a sweet lady, makes the reservations, greets folks and squares them away. I haven’t talked with her on the phone but I would have to imagine she does a good job. They share space in Marble with a Marble Artsy Fartsy shop (The Marble Gallery) with lots of cool marble sculptures to keep you amazed before the trip is ready, which appears to be a great fit for them. So, as long as Patsy puts up with Smitty and runs the office, they deserve a score of 9 anyway!
I did hear Smitty tell us about some various things he has done for folks so I got the impression they can be flexible. In fact, they offer on their web site what they call ‘other services’ at $25 and hour, so I guess they get a 10 for this category.
As you can see, they actually have Jeep as part of their name and all their rigs are actually Heeps, (sorry I meant to say Jeeps 😉 . The herd of Jeeps are quite a unique collection from old school fully restoredaAntiques to new 4 door Wranglers. The newest addition is a 1982 Jeep Scrambler, also known as a CJ8, that actually has lived out its whole life in the Marble area. So they do rank pretty high in coolness department, especially if you are a Jeep fan. I also like a company who names their rigs, like Fiji, the rig that joined the family when they lived in Fiji, and Nellie Bell, a 1954 CJ3B, one of the old working antiques. The rigs have a home in a shed not far from their office where they store and maintain them. The impression I get from Smitty is he is very anal about keeping up on these old rigs, but they are old and they are Jeeps, and they are a bit cramped to sit in, so I am only going to give him a 8 for this category.
I did get a chance to get real personal with most of the guides as I spent the day giving them a tour in the San Juans and I liked them all. They all enjoy what they do, in fact Chuck has gotten into this so deeply he is now the curator for Marble’s little museum. Smitty was our guide of course, and I actually got to witness how he handled himself in a bit of an unexpected emergency. He was able to keep his cool and worked it out. I have heard one of them on a YouTube video dealing with the customers, and I am not sure who it was as it never showed his face, yet I suspect it was Steve, and he seemed to have a great dialogue with them. I do like how they have a page on their web site talking about all the guides, showing that they are proud of who they have working for them. I am also and I am going to give them a 9!
They are just as professional as I like to see in guides, take a look at them, they all look like characters yet are good at what they do and bring them all back safe and happy- 9
Marble is a cool spot and they do have the Crystal Mill, probably the most photographed structure in Colorado. I was a little disappointed in the lack of other old mining structures still standing and we never broke timberline, which I am so used to in the San Juans, so I am giving them a 8 for subject matter.
When I first went to the site I was a little disappointed. For one their address is a little strange: smithfamilycolorado.com. Really, you couldn’t have used crystalriverjeeptours.com, as it doesn’t look like it is being used? It is also a little old fashioned looking or should I say unprofessional. There was also a ‘contact me’ form that doesn’t work, but at least they tell you about it 😉 But as I dug around on it, I actually started to enjoy it. They have put a lot of great content into it and have a lot of interesting photos and links to pertinent info. I will give them a 7 for effort!
So the score for Crystal River Jeep Tours in Marble Colorado is 8.6! Not bad, I must say! Don’t forget to go and LIKE them on Facebook.
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