After the devastating floods in September 2013, Estes Park, and points in between, are open for business. The direct links to the majestic mountain town (Highways 34 & 36) were destroyed. The timeline for repairs was exaggerated. Both highways opened within a few months and now specials abound.
Highway 36, from Lyons to Estes Park, is still considered “temporary.” It was opened rapidly so residents of the canyon, Pinewood Springs, and Big Elk Meadows would have access to their homes. No, it’s not perfect. Yes, there are delays. However, it’s better than the alternative, driving to Estes Park from Boulder through Nederland and Allenspark, adding approximately 1 hour to the drive.
Highway 34, from Loveland to Estes Park, is also open. The delays are minimal, and necessary as they clean the river, build up the Big Thompson River banks, and scale loose rocks.
In Estes Park, businesses want you! Local riverside coffee shop, Kind, reopened better than ever after paying approximately $75,000 for repairs. Poppy’s and Mama Rosa’s are on the river and back in business. The good news is, with a lot of people thinking Estes is still under repair, there are seats to be had at all the local restaurants and beds available at hotels.
Thursdays in March are “Dine Around” nights. Numerous restaurants offer a $5 (yes, $5) special. Some offer appetizers for this amount, some sampler plates (Dunraven Inn), and some even have a special that includes beer. Restaurants taking part in this offer: Smokin’ Dave’s BBQ, Sweet Basilico, Chelitos, and more.
Come to Estes Park on Saturday, March 15 and support local high school sports at Casino Night. The annual event is hosted by Sunrise Rotary at the Stanley Hotel. Black tie optional.
An especially big thank you goes from the town to Kiewit who did an amazing job getting locals back into their homes via the roads they repaired. And those representatives in Colorado congress who have pushed to get the funding necessary for repairs (including representative Perry Buck).
If you loved Estes Park before, you will enjoy the new and improved version, courtesy of the September 2013 flood and hundreds of volunteers.