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Experts attempt to counteract negative impacts of wildfires on tourism

By Rachael Plath, Good Morning Colorado Meteorologist/Reporter,
Published On: Jun 24 2013 04:48:10 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 25 2013 08:14:49 PM CDT

Recent wildfires are believed to have reduced the amount of tourist traffic into the state of Colorado. Now, experts are making plans to counteract the negative attention the wildfires have attracted.

The wildfires plaguing Colorado are not just destructive when it comes to property and landscape; they are hitting the tourism industry too.

“In terms of making it look like the city isn’t here, isn’t open, isn’t beautiful, that can be a challenge for us,” said Chelsy Murphy, director of communication for the Colorado Springs Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

Experts said it is important to educate people, and show them that Colorado still has plenty to offer. “The biggest plan we have now is we have to prove that Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region is not on fire.  We’re here and we’re having a great time,” said Ryan Cole, executive director of Pikes Peak Country Attractions.

Murphy and Cole said the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will be a great opportunity to show the world that Colorado still has plenty to offer, and will be a great way to internationally focus a positive spotlight on Colorado.

Experts say they are staying hopeful that tourism will recover, but understanding that there will be slow weekend throughout this summer.

“I think we can continue to have, not as great of a season as 2011 per say, but we can continue to work on rebuilding this season,” said Cole.