As I was reading The Denver Post this morning I learned the horrible effects the Waldo Canyon fire is having on the Colorado Springs tourist economy.
Julie Vance, whose family has owned the Americas Best Value Inn Villa Motel in Manitou Springs since 1984, is among those feeling the pinch.
The motel was evacuated — along with the rest of Manitou Springs — in the early hours of June 24.
That night, Vance had to give refunds to every guest. And she has been receiving cancellations ever since.
"Our property was empty in about 20 minutes that night," she said. "Our bank account took about 48 hours to empty."
Eighty percent of the reservations fell off the books through mid-July, she said, adding that she will have to take out a second mortgage on the property for cash to keep the operation going through the winter.
We took our kids to Colorado Springs on vacation in 1995 and had a blast: Rafting on the Arkansas River, Garden of the Gods, etc., etc. The story talks about how there are no lines now and parking at the attractions is easy.
So, if you are wanting to take a vacation this summer but haven't made plans, you might consider Colorado Springs. I know they would appreciate it.
If you are driving from the east, you can retrace the route of the Smiths and the Griswolds: Take U.S. 400 through Wichita, see the new Greensburg and their amazing recovery from the tornado, visit Dodge City, and go on to Colorado Springs. Just remember to add Holiday Road to your iTunes!