Rafting season numbers down due to drought and wildfires

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From the Grand Junction Free Press (Caitlin Row):

Outfitters said the statewide drought, below-average snowpack levels and Colorado’s many fires all attributed to a depressed rafting season in 2012. “We definitely saw an impact in numbers of people who came to play with us this year,” owner/operator of Grand Junction-based Adventure Bound River Expeditions Tom Kleinschnitz said…

Having a drought year, compounded by an impactful Colorado fire season, packed a “1-2 punch,” Kleinschnitz said, also noting that fires can be more harmful than drought to business regionally. It can be difficult for someone in Virginia, for example, to understand where Front Range fires are in relation to a Colorado rafting trip on the West Slope if they’re unfamiliar with the state, he explained.

Gateway Canyons Adventure Center also saw a deep dip in rafting trips on the Dolores River this summer. Adventure Center guide Nick Kroger said the outfitter normally hosts upwards of 30-40 trips a season, but this year it only hosted two commercial trips. “The season lasted a couple days this year for the Dolores River,” Kroger said. “Typically, the season lasts from mid-April into July if we’re lucky.”

More whitewater coverage here.

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