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Royal Gorge tourism season gets rolling Saturday

Published On: Mar 07 2014 07:32:26 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 07 2014 07:45:26 PM CST

The first big ticket draw of the tourism season opens in Canon City Saturday.

CANON CITY, Colo. -

The tourism season in Fremont County will begin with a train whistle Saturday.

That whistle could be the sound of relief for the tourism industry. So far this winter, visitor numbers have been been lackluster without a big-ticket draw like the train rolling.

The area is also still reeling from last summer's wildfire at the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park. It's currently rebuilding and is closed.

Without a big draw, businesses such as restaurants, hotels and other tourism businesses suffer, but there is hope around the corner.

"It is pretty hopeful for spring break. We've definitely seen an increase for the last few weeks of March," said Heidi Anderson of Royal Gorge Rafting and Zip Line Tours.

Reservation numbers are also encouraging for the railroad company.

Micah Cantley with the Royal Gorge Route Railroad said the entire region could use a strong year.

"Last year puts the pressure on us," said Cantley. "The fire took its toll on the county and region as a whole and everybody is hurting from that."

Cantley said the company is excited about new pricing for this year's dining service.

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