Mountain towns prepare for Memorial Day traffic

5:01 PM, May 23, 2010   |    comments
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Dillon Best Western Manager Anna Staszel says she has a great view of spring finally setting into the high country, and it is bringing with it a different kind of seasonal runoff.

"Memorial Day weekend is the beginning of the busy summer season," Staszel said.

The Memorial Day weekend is the start of a flood of cars and tourists flooding into Colorado's mountain towns. CDOT supervisor Claudio Gutierrez says that means a busy holiday along I-70 at the Eisenhower/Johnson Tunnels.

"Starting Memorial Day weekend, traffic picks up a lot," Gutierrez said.

According to AAA, car travel in the mountain states is expected to be up 7.6 percent over last year. Traffic is also expected to be up at the tunnel from the past two years.

"We had about 5,000 more vehicles each day that weekend," Gutierrez said.

Each year, the busiest travel day comes on the Friday before the big holiday. CDOT officials say the number of cars reached around 36,000 at the tunnel in 2008 and 38,000 in 2009.

It is a rush Staszel is waiting for as people look to vacation closer to home.

"I'm already taking vacation bookings from tourists who don't live all that far from Dillon, from Colorado, from Nebraska and surrounding states," Staszel said


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