JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – It’s been a long, difficult, emotional 20 months for Elvira Nedoma and her team that make the trains run around Tiny Town. The attraction was barely able to hang on through the pandemic. Then on their opening weekend, rain washed out a day of business.

“We hoped people wouldn’t forget about us after 20 months. All the sudden the parking lot kept filling up and filling up and I’m going, ‘okay,’” Nedoma said about the opening day on Saturday. “We set a record that day.”

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Tiny Town has been around for more than 100 years, but relies on volunteers to barely scrape by to the next year. A summer without families, fun, or income meant it was almost lost. An online campaign raised enough money to make it to this summer.

“Everybody is just itching to do something,” Nedoma said. “I am thrilled to death. I worked all last summer hoping this was going to occur.”

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The biggest reason people keep coming back is the generational history many have.

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“First time I came here I was probably about her age with my grandpa. It’s been a generational thing so we’re going to keep that going. The memories of this little town. I just love it, I love it so much,” said Dawn Christ, who made the trip with her daughter and 4-year-old granddaughter from Cheyenne.

“We used to come here as kids and went on school trips and came back home to visit for Memorial Day. Thought it would be something for kids to enjoy,” said Brian Bendl with his son Cameron on his shoulders. “Just cool. Fun to share something with the kids from when we were kids.”

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The volunteer engineers spent the closed pandemic months fixing trains and repairing the tiny buildings around the park. A refresh for a Colorado institution to hopefully make it another century.

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“I could cry if I talk about it too much. I’m not going to cry. It’s just overwhelming,” Nedoma said. “We’re going to have the best year ever I know that.”

Jeff Todd