ESTES PARK, Colo. (CBS4) – It was welcomed news, but not a complete shock, to many businesses in Estes Park as Rocky Mountain National Park announced a phased reopening on May 27. The two-week notice allows businesses to prepare as they hope Coloradans will come visit.
“It’s very important we have an economic recovery, but at the same time we have to maintain and have to have a very health local community,” said Eric Lund the President and CEO of Visit Estes Park.
In the downtown shopping district, face masks are even required outdoors. A slow reopening is preferred to see what an influx into town will do to infection numbers.
The town has been working with the visitor’s bureau, chamber of commerce, and economic development team to for a lengthy set of guidelines for what reopening the town would look like.
“It goes a bit beyond the state and county guidelines because we really want to ensure the safety of our visitors when they come up,” Lund said. “Hotels are really going to do a lot of extra clearing and do other precautions to make sure people feel secure when they come up.”
Right now, outdoor recreation is only encouraged by the state of Colorado within 10 miles of your home. The expectation of many businesses in Estes Park is that the safer-at-home order will be relaxed somewhat.
Front Range residents are becoming the target market for the town’s tourist-focused businesses.
“Being in the great outdoors is a good, healthy thing for people. As long as they respect social distancing and do the precautions. We hope that our visitors, when they come up, will also be responsible and respect the community’s health and the visitor’s health and be prepared that way,” Lund said.