Colorado rafting declined 17 percent in 2012 facing fire, drought |

Colorado rafting declined 17 percent in 2012 facing fire, drought

Jason Blevins
the denver post
Rafters make their way down Clear Creek near Idaho Springs.
RJ Sangosti / The Denver Post

Colorado rafting companies endured an historic decline in 2012, with wildfires choking business and drought drying up rivers.

A report issued Thursday at the annual Colorado River Outfitters Association shows user days on the state’s 28 stretches of raftable river fell 17.1 percent in 2012, reaching 411,100 visits, the lowest level since 2002. Economic impact tumbled 15.7 percent, to $127.6 million, down from $151.4 million in 2011.

The decline is the second largest since the Colorado River Outfitters Association began tracking visitation and impact in 1990 and 2012 represents the lowest total user days since 1994.

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