Visitors rethink traveling to Colorado’s mountains following avalanches

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DENVER — While the huge amount of snow falling in Colorado’s mountains is luring people from the Front Range and out of state, it has also brought unprecedented avalanche danger.

Many tourists have reconsidered visiting the mountains due to the avalanche threat.

Emma Burt saw the slides on the news at her home in Tennessee.

“It was national, yeah,” she said.

However, Burt’s plane ticket to Colorado was already booked and she says there was no turning back.

“The most snow I’ve seen in real life is probably a foot,” she said.

Burt’s cousin, Wendy Maness, was looking forward to changing that. However, she says massive avalanches may be more than she bargained for.

“I don’t particularly want to be one of those people on the news getting pulled out of the avalanche, so I’ve been a little hesitant.  We’re trying to find the safest place to go. I don’t think I-70 is a viable option,” Maness said.

Avalanche fears are keeping others away as well. Hotel managers were reluctant to speak with FOX31 and Channel 2 on camera, but several said they’ve seen more cancellations than usual this week.

Vacation rentals seem to be the exception.

“Cancelations have really been far and few in between, which we’re happy about. There is, though, definitely concern over heading into the mountains,” said Tiana Wales with Ski Country Resort.

Most were booked by out-of-state visitors months ago, although closures at some ski resorts have forced people to alter their plans.

“This is the first winter where I’ve hesitated to take off and go,” said Maness.

Whether you travel up to the mountains this weekend is up to you. However, one thing is for sure: it’ll be an adventure packed with powder.

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