Tourism

Durango & Silverton
Joe Ross / CC BY-SA 2.0

Hotels and a tourist railroad in southwest Colorado are reporting stronger numbers this season after a wildfire slowed tourism and spending last summer.

The Durango Herald reported Sunday that ridership on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is so far even with 2017 numbers.

A 2017 “flash drought” on the northern Great Plains led to massive wildfires, millions of dollars in lost tourism revenue and $2.6 billion in agricultural losses, according to a new federal report released Thursday.

Memorial Day weekend kicked off the summer season for national parks in the Mountain West. And according to new data, 2018 was good year for the country and the region.

Horseshoe Bend
Shepard4711 / CC BY 2.0

Parking at a spot near the edge of an Arizona canyon where the Colorado River makes a sharp U-turn now comes at a cost. You can blame that mostly on social media.

Countless posts have celebrated the wonder of Horseshoe Bend, where the bluish-green river takes a 270-degree turn just outside the town of Page, near the Utah border.

At least two states in the Mountain West have opened ski resorts early due to healthy dumps of snow. Many more are scheduled to open next week. This could be a good sign for our region’s economy this winter.

Ashley Jefcoat / KUNC

Brant Porter, the supervisory ranger at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, is contending with a very Colorado kind of problem: people, a lot more of them than in years past.

So far this year, the park has attracted 55 percent more visitors compared to the same period a year ago. The park isn't alone. That trend is taking place at most of the state's national parks, monuments, historic sites and other areas.

Stacy Nick / KUNC

When Art Comes to Town: This story is the first in a series as KUNC arts and culture reporter Stacy Nick explores the impact art has on Colorado communities — and the impact those communities have on the art that comes out of them.

Every January for the last 10 years, Claire Beedall and her family have traveled from England to vacation in Breckenridge.

“We come out skiing here normally, but we try and coincide it with the snow sculptures,” Beedall said, referencing the Breckenridge International Snow Sculpting Competition.

Now in its 28th year, the event is an ingrained part of the mountain town’s identity -- almost as much as its slopes.

White River National Forest

One Colorado landmark is so popular that fistfights break out in the parking lot and traffic can back up onto I-70 in Glenwood Canyon.

All to make the mile and half trek to Hanging Lake.

Visitation to the iconic lake has doubled in the last five years and visitors frequently flout the rules. They traipse off platforms and into the lake's fragile ecosystem and leave behind trash, graffiti and even human waste. For years some Forest Service officials have said visitation to the area needs to be curtailed to save it from being overrun. A new plan out Tuesday aims to do just that.

New Colorado Sports Complex May Boost Rural Tourism

Jun 1, 2017
Rocky Mountain Sports Park

A $225 million sports complex is expected to be built in the Northern Colorado town of Windsor, about an hour and a half drive north of Denver.

As planned, the Rocky Mountain Sports Park would be home to 60 baseball fields and a 10,000 seat stadium, in the hopes of attracting a minor league baseball team.

Luke Runyon / KUNC

It’s clear that residents and visitors love Colorado’s incredible outdoor spaces. Recreation is great for the state’s economy, but it can be a double-edged sword when too many people come to enjoy Colorado’s most cherished places.

 

KUNC News explored the challenges of keeping places open and encouraging visitation while at the same time protecting the fragile beauty of our favorite spots in the series Loved To Death.

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