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When mudslides close I-70, flocks of visitors head to the small town of Craig. Is it ready?

Can the city handle the influx and see a micro business boom in return?

Mudslides from the Grizzly Creek burn scar closed I-70 in Glenwood Canyon on June 26 and 27, 2021 (CDOT)

By Cuyler Meade, Craig Press

Interstate 70 is more than 60 miles south of Craig across rugged terrain.

But when the east-west thoroughfare that bisects the state is shut down due to mudslides in Glenwood Canyon, the impact is felt close to home.


Craig residents couldn’t help but notice the increased traffic Wednesday, but even on lighter days, businesses take note of the uptick in out-of-town guests.

“Some of them are mad as hell because it’s 150 miles out of their way,” said Dennis Otis, owner of Cool Water Grille, another prominent restaurant facing the highway. “We pick up some lunches — (Thursday) morning I picked up a couple breakfasts, but it’s not as much as the guys who do dinners.”

It begs the question: Is Craig ready for this sort of thing when it happens? Can the city provide sustenance to the unfamiliar faces passing through — and see a micro business boom in return?

Read more on Craig Daily Press.

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