Manitou Business Owners Hope For Solid Sales Over Holiday Weekend

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On Sunday afternoon the sidewalks in Manitou Springs were lined with tourists out shopping, but they cleared out quickly as the rain rolled in.

Business owners say the rainfall was a bit frustrating, as they are counting on this holiday weekend to help with sales. The previous flood forced some owners to close their doors for days--at the busiest time of the year.

Sculptor and painter, Marcia Hefti, was one of those business owners. After all her experiences this summer, she now has a unique flood gauge to help her know when to evacuate.

"When that rock is covered, we close shop and vamoose and usually by that time the sirens go off,” Hefti explained.

Her vantage point from the upstairs window allows her to see the rock and use it as a deciding factor. The last time Manitou Springs was hit with heavy rain, she says that rock was swallowed up as Fountain Creek came rushing into the basement.

"It totally swamped our downstairs and it came all the way up to almost the ceiling."

Many businesses have been hoping the Labor Day weekend will help boost sales. Folks packed the sidewalk on Sunday as they shopped, but stayed well aware of any potential threat.

“If it got bad we would probably run for cover into the arcade,” Julie Johnson said.

Although Hefti plans to keep her sand bags near just in case, she reflects on how many volunteers helped get her store back open.

"We had so many volunteers and they even stayed overnight over here in the church."

The majority of stores in Manitou Springs will be open Monday for the Labor Day holiday.