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Manitou rolls on despite flooding

By Jay Polk , Weekend Meteorologist/Reporter, jay.polk@krdo.com
Published On: Jul 18 2013 08:03:15 PM CDT

Tourists are coming and businesses are open despite floods and fires.

MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo July 15th, 2013 -

The heavy rains that fell Sunday night caused a lot of flooding, but not in Manitou Springs.

The town was hit hard two weeks ago and the danger from flooding will continue for years to come.

But has it hampered tourism?

Michael Cornejo was busy at lunchtime on Monday.  His shop, A Spice of Life, has been in Manitou for 20 years.  For him, this is home.

"I was born and raised in Colorado," he said.

Cornejo may be a native, but his customers are a mix of people from near and far.  Lately, they've been asking about more than just the items on the menu.

"They do ask about it," he said.

He's talking about the floods and fires.  For a little more than a year, it's seemed like a dark cloud has hung over this town.

Manitiou Springs is known as a great place to bring families in the summer, but with two fires and a flood in less than 13 months, some people are starting to ask if it's safe to come here.

When they have questions like that the place they usually go to is the Visitor's Center, where the people behind the counter are fielding inquiries.

Marcy Morrison, the Acting COO of the Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce, Visitors Bureau and Office of Economic Development said, "They have heard about the fires, they have heard about the mudslides and they want to know if they can go to the attractions."

While the attractions are open, the natural disasters have affected the tourist trade in Manitou Springs, a place that is heavily reliant on the number of people that walk its streets.

"Compared to 2011, when there were no weather incidents, the numbers are down," said Morrison.

But the fires and floods didn't deter the Eysters, a couple from New Braunfels, Texas.  No matter what happens, Colorado offers one thing this time of the year that Texas can't match.

"It's just so nice to get away from the triple-digit-temperatures...and the 90 percent humidity," said Leah Eyster.

Tourism officials are hoping that more people like the Eysters continue to fill up these streets - and cash registers - this summer.

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