River Rafting Companies Prepare for Tourists Despite Drought
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- Colorado drought conditions are the worst they have been in over a decade, but that's not stopping river rafting companies from gearing up for the 2013 season.
"The water levels definitely look like they're going to be below average, and that leaves good opportunities for families to head out," said Tom Kleinschnitz, President of Adventure Bound River Expeditions.
While high river levels provide intense rapids for thrill seekers, low levels typically provide more moderate conditions for families or first-timers.
Kleinschnitz says most of his clientele are families, meaning drought conditions don't necessarily hurt business.
One aspect of the drought that potentially impacts touurism business is the public perception that droughts and wildfires in Colorado eliminate all outdoor water activities.
"Last year we had some fires that were in the state. They weren't near any of our river trips but it did affect people wanting to go," said Kleinschnitz. "They called from various parts of the country and asked "Are you on fire?" Unfortunately, that perception can be out there."
The Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau works with the Colorado Tourism Office to correct the public's perception.
"We have to be thinking about the rafting companies, paddle boarding, all of the recreational opportunities that we help support for this community to make sure that people know the rivers are running, the rafting companies are open for business," said Mistalynn Meyerann, PR coordinator for the Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau.
Courtesy of several winter storms over the past couple of months, drought conditions have improved slightly in Western Colorado so far in 2013.
Nonetheless, All of Colorado is still currently under at least moderate drought.