Business owners, residents worry about long-lasting economic impact of Colo. Springs wildfire

3:41 PM, Jul 8, 2012   |    comments
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MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - Crews now have the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history 98 percent contained.

But as they close in on full containment of a blaze that forced more than 30,000 people from their homes in and around Colorado Springs, concerns are rising about the effect the destruction will have on the area's economy.

The Denver Post reports early estimates place the property damage well in excess of $110 million. But Fred Crowley, an economics professor at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, says the total economic impact will be far greater.

Hotel owners say business is down and restaurant and tourist shops are seeing little foot traffic.

Meanwhile, Michele Starling with Pikes Peak Country Attractions says 10 major tourist destinations lost money when they were forced to close during the height of the fire, which scorched more than 18,000 acres.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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