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Manitou Springs tourism already looking strong for 2015 - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Manitou Springs tourism already looking strong for 2015

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MANITOU SPRINGS -

New tourism numbers show Colorado set an all time high for visitors and spending in 2014.

Colorado welcomed more than 71-million visitors and that translated into about a billion dollars in tax revenue for our state.

The new numbers show Colorado has seen an increase in tourism over the past four years, but here in Southern Colorado we've actually had some down years with the fires and floods. However, 2014 was not one of those down years.

Manitou Springs alone saw a 20% increase last year compared to 2013 and so far it looks like 2015 is going to be even better.

Manitou Springs is a town that just screams tourism.

"I love it. Love it love it love it," said Judy Worrell who visits Manitou Springs every year.

And with Mother Nature finally cooperating, there's a lot more people not just loving it, but enjoying it.

"Weekends have been busy all year long," said Leslie Lewis with the Manitou Springs Visitors Bureau.

And its not just the weekends.

"On Monday every single parking spot was taken," said resident Michael Yankee.

Yankee lives on the 3rd floor of the Barker House on Manitou Avenue. From there he has a birds eye view of just how busy its been.

"Look we've got 3 tour buses just sitting here full of tourists. Bumper to bumper people. Bumper to bumper cars. Then on the sidewalks I have to get all the way to the side because there's so many people walking," said Yankee.

And all that extra foot traffic is turning into big business for places like the Colorado Custard Company.

"Its just been rockin. I've got custard flying off the walls," said Matt Carpenter, the owner of the Colorado Custard Company.

And he said he doesn't see that changing heading into the second half of the year. In fact, he thinks its only going to get better.

"The farther we put that stuff in the distance the more quote un quote back to normal things get, but I don't even want to call it normal because its even better than before that," said Carpenter.

And with Manitou adding to the state numbers like it used to, experts have a pretty good idea of how the 2015 totals will turn out.

"I think they're going to continue to climb for the state," said Lewis.

So why the numbers are looking so good this year?

The Manitou Springs Visitors Bureau said they've added a few attractions including additions at Cave of the Winds and the newly re-done Manitou Incline, but the biggest difference is no doubt Mother Nature and a lack of major disasters.

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