Although the Garden of the Gods, the Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway and historic Manitou Springs are all once again open, the lingering economic effects of the Waldo Canyon Fire continue to hurt businesses here.
In Manitou, sidewalk traffic jams are common this time of year.
"They are full. I mean, people have to walk around each other to get by," said Maxine Astemborski, manager of Santa Fe Springs Gift Shop in Manitou and lifelong Colorado Springs resident. "Now, it looks like February or March out there."
It is a shame, said Clayton Halbert who is visiting from Texas. He and his family almost canceled their trip because of the fire.
"We are running about half of our normal capacity for this time of year," said Spencer Wren, general manager of the Manitou and Pikes Peak Railway Company.
The railway usually has 2,200 visitors a day around the Fourth of July. Monday, Wren said they would be lucky to get 1,000.
"There are a lot of businesses that would love to have support from Denver and the Front Range," he said. "That would be awesome."
A group of women shopping in Manitou's main shopping district rode their Harleys in from Arizona, but admit, they had second thoughts because of smoke.
"You just tend to ride through it and hope it is not forever," said one of the visitors. "Sometimes a wet handkerchief helps. Otherwise, you breathe in and there are no filters to absorb all the smoke particles."
"We usually come up here in the summer, and it is 75 degrees during the day, 45 degrees at night," said Mike Halbert, with his brother from Texas. "But yesterday in Colorado Springs it was 101 degrees. It is just abnormal everywhere."
For now, shops and stores will take what little business they can get.
We are hoping people will come back," said Astemborski.
"I guess we are just fortunate," said Astemborski. "It could have been much worse, Manitou could have been gone. I am very old, so I saw the flood in 1965, and that was very bad. I have seen a couple of tornadoes, but this is the first time I have seen a fire up close."
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