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Many tourist related businesses took a beating last summer because of the drought and the 138,000 acre Hayman Fire. Now they hope mother nature will cooperate so they can have a better tourist season this year.
One business in particular, High Altitude Jeep Adventures, suffered doubly after 9/11 and again during the wildfire season of 2002. The company, owned by Jenifer Lawrence, usually gets the peak of its business in June. And last year, the high fire danger closed the Pike National Forest June 10th. That left Lawrence with 32 cancellations and a fight to keep her business going.
So, Lawrence took action. For every cancellation, she had customers write a leter saying they were cancelling because of the closure of the Pike National Forest. She then used the letters to apply for federal assistance. High Altitude Jeep Adventures was the first company in the Pikes Peak region to get a federal disaster loan.
That loan kept the company going another year.
Lawrence is hoping this summer will be better. She says the company has a lot of advance bookings for people coming to the state and the outlook is good.
If business does as well as she hopes this summer, Lawrence looks to expand her operation next year.