KEYSTONE, Colo. (KDVR) — Some businesses that rely on tourism in mountain towns are feeling the impact of Colorado’s wildfires.
“The smoke just wafts over,” Barbara Blanchard of the New Moon Cafe in Keystone said. “[Friday] It was a toxic smell. Everyone shut their windows and went inside.”
Blanchard says she had to close her cafe early on Friday and opened late on Saturday due to the smoke.
“There’s soot all over the patio furniture,” Blanchard said. “It’s just another setback.”
Blanchard says closing over the weekends is dire for businesses in the Keystone area during the summer, especially in the midst of COVID-19.
“It’s big because weekends are the only time we’re busy,” Blanchard said. “We’re down [the cafe] 75 to 80% of where we usually are… It’s been a rough summer with the pandemic and now the fires are certainly not helping.”
As CDOT urges drivers to avoid Interstate 70 and traveling in the high country, Blanchard worries for everyone’s safety.