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Road closures causing slowdown for Glenwood businesses already suffering from pandemic impacts

Things have been a bit quiet at Treadz and elsewhere in downtown Glenwood Springs with Interstate 70 and other alternate routes closed.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

First the lockdown, now the fire.

2020 hasn’t been the greatest year for local businesses.

With the Grizzly Creek Fire effectively closing Glenwood Canyon, Amtrak is busing passengers through Wyoming and drivers from the east face a long detour to get to Glenwood Springs.

That simply leaves less people downtown.

“It’s like a ghost town here,” William Sikorski, who works at Treadz shoe and clothing store at 812 Grand Ave., said Thursday. “We’re seeing a tremendous slowdown.”

“Foot traffic is completely stopped. If you look on the sidewalk, there’s usually people having a beer at Casey’s or an ice cream, but there’s nobody moving around,” said Shelby Masse, shop associate and guide at Hookers fishing store, 719 Grand Ave. 

“It is quiet down here for sure,” said Diana Adkisson, general manager of Casey Brewing Taproom at 711 Grand Ave. She said most of the taproom’s business is from tourists.

Hookers has been able to run guided fishing trips on the Colorado River to the west this week, but, “We have clients who aren’t sure they can make their trips. A lot of our business is people from Texas, but we’re not sure they can get here. We haven’t had to cancel trips yet, though,” Masse said.

“It’s actually super slow today, which is out of the norm for us. We’ve been pretty busy the last couple of weeks,” said Kaylie Ortiz, sales associate at Dancing Bear Trading Post gift shop at 727 Grand Ave. “There aren’t as many people downtown. I usually weave around people coming into the store, but it was a straight shot in today.”

Tricia Pittman, longtime owner of Fine Things Jewelry and Collectables at 309 Eighth St., said she usually has good business from people getting off the train, but not this week. She also said that Thursday morning there were a lot of parking spaces downtown, a sure indication that there are less people wandering around. 

“I haven’t even had a lot of people in here to ask why. Their vacation money ran out and they have to pay for hotels, I’ve heard that a couple of times,” Pittman said. “I don’t how much more we can be shut down.”

There may even be an ice cream shortage.

“We’re a little worried because our ice cream delivery can’t get in here on time. I’m not sure where that will put us after the weekend,” said Anna Campanello, co-owner with boyfriend Evan Miller of Chocolate Moose Ice Cream Parlor at 710 Grand Ave. and Kaleidoscoops at 1105 Grand Ave. “We are definitely seeing a drop in business. … Luckily, down at Kaleidoscoops our locals really keep us going, but at Chocolate Moose we rely more on people visiting, and when people aren’t downtown then we definitely see a drop.”

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park closed Thursday for mitigation due to the Grizzly Creek Fire, according to a press release. The 20-person San Juan Interagency Hotshot Crew out of Durango is on the mountain to assess risk and protect the park. It is unknown when the park will reopen, the release said.

cwertheim@postindependent.com


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