Right now, there are still about 4,500 Fort Carson soldiers serving overseas. Many of them were supposed to return home in the fall, but their tours are now extended 3 months. This change will affect many businesses and the housing market.
Troops pump about $1billion into our local economy every year. Now with soldiers being deployed longer, the economy will lose more than $50 million.
"Financially, when they leave, our business goes down," Lindsay Moore says. She works at Black Bear Coffee, near Fort Carson. She says more than half of her business is those in uniform.
Troops got word from the Pentagon Wednesday they'll stay overseas for 3 months longer, extending their tours of duty from 12 months to 15. "We're talking tens of millions of dollars that’ll be felt by businesses closer to Fort Carson," Mike Kazmierski with the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) says. He adds while the economy will feel the loss now, it will bounce back when soldiers return.
"We thought about advertising at Fort Carson to get people who are still there to come over," Moore says. While the coffee shop is hurting financially, those who work at the coffee shop are also hurt emotionally when anything happens to the troops. "We had a soldier named Jack who would come in 2 times a day. When he left, we through a goodbye party for him. We love the guys," Moore says.
This summer, a few thousand soldiers from Fort Hood are expected to move to Fort Carson. Kazmierski says those troops will help boost the economy.