From The Clear Creek Courant: (Gabrielle Porter):
The number of people taking commercial rafting trips on Clear Creek this year was likely higher than 2014, which would make 2015 the third straight year of improvement for the industry, according to the Colorado Rafting Association.
The association saw more than 72,000 commercial customers in Clear Creek in 2014. The association hasn’t finished compiling figures for 2015 year, said executive director David Costlow, but “my guess is this year it will exceed that,” he said.
“That’s big business for Clear Creek County,” Costlow said.
According to the organization’s 2014 report:
• 60,644 people took commercial rafting trips on Clear Creek in 2011.
• 35,422 took Clear Creek trips in 2012.
• 61,172 took Clear Creek trips in 2013.
• 72,224 took Clear Creek trips in 2014.
Idaho Springs-based company Raft Masters had 6,036 visitors in 2015 — up about 7 percent from last year, said owner Dennis Wied. The company has been running trips in Clear Creek for about 10 years.
“Rafting on Clear Creek is becoming really popular,” Wied said. “Initially our Clear Creek operations made up 25 percent of our total operations between Clear Creek and the Arkansas River. Now it’s more like 40 percent.”
Wied said the county’s proximity to Denver has helped boost its image, especially for people wanting to make day trips…
Costlow said other areas have higher fees than Clear Creek. He pointed to the Arkansas River, which is called the most rafted river in the world.
“The fees there are such that a lot of (rafting companies), although they still run there, they’ve transferred a lot of their business to Clear Creek …,” Costlow said. “That’s why Clear Creek County gets the increase in revenue.”