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Colorado mountain towns preparing for 4th of July tourists; travelers should prepare for traffic

idaho springs fourth of july prep.jpg
Posted at 11:11 PM, Jul 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-03 02:00:48-04

IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. — With very few people dining out on a Thursday evening in Idaho Springs, it seems to be the calm before the tourism storm.

"We are still expected to be crazy busy the whole weekend," says Beau Jo's Assistant Manager Nicole Moyer.

As travelers from Denver head to the mountains on the Fourth of July weekend, Idaho Springs tends to be the first stop.

"Fourth of July weekend, we are going to be busy even with the COVID. There’s still going to be people coming to the mountains," says Randy Watson, owner of The Frothy Cup.

Watson expects the same amount of tourists this year compared to years past, despite a pandemic.

"If we get the volume of people I’m expecting for Fourth of July it just puts the onus on us to make sure we’re keeping things clean, sanitizing tables, reminding people to be considerate of other people," Watson said.

Across the street, Beau Jo's is bracing for the crowd but because of COVID-19, seating will be limited.

"This year if we could do 3/4 (last year's sales) that would be great, we’re hoping for at least half, we think we can do that," Moyer said.

Of course on a busy holiday weekend, it's the destination, not the journey we look forward to.

"Traffic in the mountains and the range are back up to regular levels compared to this time last year," CDOT spokesperson Elise Thatcher said.

Thatcher says Thursday night, Friday morning and all day Sunday are travel times to avoid.