Old Colorado City perseveres

       Despite a devastating regional fire for the second straight year - leaving a national impression that the area is unsafe - Old Colorado City leaders want to clarify that their historic locale is not only open for business, but may be keeping longer hours.

Flowers at street corners are an Old Colorado City summer tradition. These petunias at the southeast corner of 25th and Colorado Avenue are the work of the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, whose store is close by.
Westside Pioneer photo

       “We need people to know it's beautiful here, and there's lots of good stuff to do,” said Julie Fabrizio, president of the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA), which represents many of the businesses around Colorado Avenue between about 24th and 27th streets.
       To make Old Town more appealing to tourists as a whole, the OCCA is asking businesses that serve the public to stay open till 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, at least until mid-August. Tourists often like to stroll around after dinner, when it's still light out.
       “A lot of the people who stay open late say that from 7 to 8 p.m., it's amazing how much goes on,” Fabrizio said.
       Last summer, when the Waldo Canyon Fire was burning in the nearby hills and even closing Highway 24 and some attractions, most Westside businesses were affected, with numbers of tourists staying away. Fabrizio said the OCC reports she's heard since the recent Black Forest Fire have been mixed - some businesses not doing well, along with some doing OK.
       Dave Van Ness, OCCA's executive director, commented: “We need the support of the local population to weather this latest tragedy - come on out to OCC!”

Westside Pioneer article