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Glenwood Springs businesses impacted by I-70 closures caused by mudslides

Glenwood Springs
Posted at 3:34 PM, Jul 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-31 19:26:14-04

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. -- The Colorado Department of Transportation expects Interstate 70 within Glenwood Canyon will remain closed until at least Monday as crews battle the weather to clear mud and debris from the road following multiple mudslides.

The closures aren't just affecting travelers, though. In Glenwood Springs, businesses that rely on tourism are also impacted, although some customers are finding their way in.

"[Friday] night, we had maybe five tables at our dinner rush," Village Inn assistant general manager April Bak said Saturday.

The restaurant is a staple in the city, often with wait times lasting more than a few hours on the weekends.

"[Saturday] morning, we haven't had to wait at all. And in fact, as you've seen inside, we've got multiple empty tables," she said.

Her employees are bearing the brunt of it. A drop in customers means a drop in tips.

"Especially with COVID, the way things have been, people don't have savings like they did before. We're all depending on a regular paycheck. You can't go three or four days without making the amount of money that you're used to making," Bak said.

But at Murphy Brown, a clothing and accessories store in downtown Glenwood Springs, business is steady.

"It's interesting because I thought it might impact our sales and it really hasn't," employee Susan Anderson said.

Locals and tourists have been walking through the store's doors in the past two days, despite the weather and closures.

"We've had people from both Denver, Colorado Springs, Grand Junction and so on and so forth," Anderson said.

But with more rain in the forecast, and an extended I-70 closure in place, she hopes people can still find their way in.

"I certainly would say look at your alternatives, and, hopefully, you can come but be safe," she said.

The detours may add an additional hour or two to your trip, but these businesses, still recovering from the pandemic, would say it's worth it.