Shop Owners Hoping Manitou Ave. Reopening Ushers In Customers

Residents in Manitou Springs are breathing a sigh of relief after Manitou Avenue reopened Monday evening.

Business owners and residents are now hoping this will usher in much-needed crowds of people Tuesday.

Manitou Avenue was closed all day Sunday and most of Monday as crews worked to clear debris, water and gravel from the roads following this latest round of flooding. While there were detours to get into the city, many did not use them, leaving Manitou Springs pretty quiet.

"With that road being closed, no one thinks Manitou was open," one woman told 11 News. "We had a lot of people calling off and on all night, asking if we were open...a lot of people don't show up because they don't know the back ways."

Emphasizing her point, one customer dining in Manitou Springs Monday night told 11 News reporter Mecca Rayne that he was shocked when a local restaurant told him they were indeed up and running.

"I called The Loop...and they said, 'Yeah, we're open.' And I said, 'You're kidding! They said Manitou is closed.' [The restaurant] said, 'Well, you need to come in the back way.'"

For those who make a living running the shops and restaurants that line the streets of Manitou Springs, the seemingly endless rounds of flooding have been particularly brutal.

"For us, it's in the thousands of dollars. It's a big deal," Manny Vasquez, owner of the Goldminer's candy shop, told 11 News earlier this summer about the hit he took after flooding forced his shop to close for almost a week.

After the most recent round of flooding, one shop owner told 11 News her gross sales for Sunday and Monday was $15.

The popular tourist destination typically sees it biggest business in the summer months--months that were mostly spent in a cycle of rain and clean up.

Statewide, those that make their living off of tourism worry that the devastating images broadcast across the country will deter people from vacationing in Colorado. Closer to home, shop owners in Manitou Springs hope Manitou Avenue's reopening will remind people that the community is open for business.

And are hoping that fall brings with it more favorable weather.