NewsCovering Colorado


Changing aspens offer economic boost to mountain businesses

Posted at 1:07 PM, Oct 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-08 15:07:07-04

CRIPPLE CREEK, Colorado — The origin of Cripple Creek is gold mining. Now days there is a different kind of gold rush. It happens when the aspens in the area change color in the fall.

With a slight wry smile, mountain visitor Kristin Reid said, “I have lots of children at home, And I said, I need to get out of town. And Katie was like, Yeah, let's go look at leaves. So I literally got in my car yesterday and drove.” She came from Kansas to spend a few days in the mountains with here best friend.

The lure of the changing aspens gets a lot of people out on mountain roads. They end up making stops in mountain towns like Cripple Creek.

“I was like, let's drive to Cripple Creek because I know it's beautiful on the way down,” said Reid, “And then Katie was like, I'm hungry. I was like, well, let's go find somewhere to eat. And so we just parked randomly and just came here.

“I feel like if they come to Cripple Creek, they're going to they're going to find me,” said Cripple Creek shop owner, Lois Woods.

There are regulars who stop by the shop, but spontaneous customers are also important to Woods’ business.

She has owned and the The Rocky Mountain Canary, General Store for over 50 years. The attraction of the business is its connection to old time Cripple Creek.

“It is something that well, third and fourth generations are coming back now. And it's the only thing that hasn't really changed everybody. Everybody likes it because it's you know, it is a piece of history,

Over the decades Woods has learned business slows when kids go back to school. November is often one of the slower months of the year. In between the two, the gold of the aspen change offers a boost to business.

“Sometimes we get two weekends out of them. Sometimes we get three. But people love to come up for that,” said Woods. And, business owners love to welcome them.


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