Grand County economy gets only slight boost from Memorial Day weekend
May 29, 2008
Area businesses and chambers of commerce blame the winter weather, poor economy and pain at the gas pump for a slow holiday weekend.
Fraser’s Crooked Creek Salon Owner Davis Pratt said Memorial Day weekend was slow.
“(Business) was down a little bit,” he said. “We had a little bump but it wasn’t as good as it was last year.”
In addition, he said the “cruddy” weather and snow didn’t draw people to the valley.
Business was up from previous weeks while it was down from previous years, Pratt added.
“Memorial Day is kind of the start of the summer,” he said, adding that it’s not a huge weekend. “I didn’t expect too much and we didn’t get much.”
Granby Chamber of Commerce President Sharon Brenner said the town didn’t have a lot of business over Memorial Day weekend.
“It was slower than last year but not by a lot,” she said. “I don’t think (business) was drastically down. It was just something to worry about … We’re going to have to pay attention to it and get people to travel up here.
“You had more people wanting to camp that couldn’t. People were spending less.”
Brenne said some of the campsites by the lake aren’t open yet, because of trees cut down for pine beetle mitigation.
“What they had were full,” she said. “The private camp grounds were open and they were busy, busy.”
Instead of eating out, she said people brought their meals with them.
Camping and retail was good compared to the business restaurants and lodging received, she added.
Brenner said the decrease of tourists and spending is due to the poor economy and high gas prices. The area benefits from its closeness to Denver. In addition, the area will soon profit from the spending of international travelers who come to see the Rocky Mountain National Park, she added.
Grand Lake Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Brad Taylor said business was also affected because Trail Ridge Road was closed.
“The road being closed did not help.”
Grand Lake Black Bear Lodge co-owner Randye Brockmeier said the cold weather didn’t bring many visitors to the area. However, she said business should start to pick up soon.
“Once Memorial (Day) comes it just kind of takes-off for the season,” she added.
The lodge had about 20 visitors during the weekend.
The “rainy” weather didn’t attract many visitors along with increased gas prices, said Maria Chavez, Winter Park-Fraser Valley Chamber of Commerce membership services director.
“We do our best to get people up here,” Chavez said. “Once the heat hits, Denver people will come to altitude to have a cool summer.”