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Highway closure causes Idaho Springs businesses to miss out on Black Friday sales

Posted at 4:45 PM, Nov 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-30 18:45:28-05

IDAHO SPRINGS – At the Spice & Tea Exchange in downtown Idaho Springs, customers were a welcome site Saturday.

"It's small business Saturday,” owner Sadie Schultz said. “Friday was rough. It was definitely the town of big expectations of a lot of traffic."

The closure of I-70 Friday because of the rockslide kept people out of downtown.

“Horrible timing," Schultz said. "I reached out to the Idaho Springs chief of police and he kind a got me in the loop and he said unfortunate this is kind a going to be all day and there’s nothing we can do about it."

No, you won't see lines and shopping madness like the big box stores in the metro area, but still.

“Black Friday is traditionally the busiest day we have all year," Schultz said. "So as a small business owner, you’re always very excited about those busy days because you get to have lots of fun and interaction with customers and of course financially it’s fun. But so far, Black Friday was really disappointing for the community. Everybody was really disappointed."

Because that highway traffic really is the only way in or out of town.

“In a small town like ours, with a diverse but small shopping community, anything that keeps people from getting here is detrimental,” Idaho Springs Chamber of Commerce Board Member Phyllis Adams said.

So they're having to adjust this year, extending sales and getting the word out more. And hope for a more steady stream of shoppers so they don't bear the brunt of one ill-timed day.

“You don’t get a chance to make up Black Friday sales," Schultz said. "It’s not like people can have another Black Friday."