Steamboat Springs absorbs I-70 detour traffic, Glenwood Canyon businesses take hit

Local News

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) — Off and on several weeks now, traffic has been detoured from Interstate 70 through Steamboat Springs because of mudslides in the Glenwood Canyon area.

The Colorado Department of Transportation asked drivers to stay updated on the suggested alternate routes for when that portion of the highway closes. The main alternate route is through Steamboat Springs, where locals there say the traffic has increased drastically over the last few weeks.

“We have people who aren’t coming here. They are trying to get on to their vacation in other places. They have to have a huge reroute to come up and come this way,” Kathy Diemer, the owner of Johnny B Good’s Diner in Steamboat Springs, said.

Diemer said since the detour has been enforced, Highway 40 — which turns into Lincoln Avenue in the downtown area — is packed. She said there is several freight trucks coming through hourly, causing a lot of noise and mess.

“Nobody is using their sidewalk seating when the reroutes happen, because it pretty loud and dirty,” Diemer said.

But she said despite the noise, the increased foot traffic from coming to businesses is making it all worth it.

“Its really hopping here,” Diemer said.

She said she feels for the business owners in Glenwood Springs who are being affected by the on and off closures on I-70.

“First they dealt with the fires, and now they are dealing with this. This is a lot for one town to take,” Diemer said.

FOX31 reached out to the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association. They said that because of the mudslides, adventure businesses like rafting and biking tours are having to make cancellations.

“There are impacts. We are working through it. It’s a resilient community,” Suzanne Emery, with the Glenwood Cavern and Iron Mountain Hot Springs, said.

Emery said they have seen cancellations at local hotels because of people not being able to make their trip, but she said hotels are rebooking quick.

“One of the biggest impacts is questions we get from guests. They are wondering if they can still get here,” Emery said.

CDOT wants commuters to check with COtrip for alternate route updates and avoid apps like Google Maps and Waze, which often route drivers on inaccessible or local mountain roads.

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