Businesses anticipate less traffic due to FGD decision

Flaming Gorge Days will be postponed for the second year in a row and local businesses are anticipating reduced traffic as a result.

Downtown business owners interviewed by the Star have said they anticipate less business as a result of the move, but understand the reasoning behind it. For Ken Dickinson, co-owner of the Ponderosa Bar, said he generally sees an increase in revenue during the weekend. He said other bars near his on Railroad Avenue usually get permission to close a section of the street off and host an outdoor party with live music.

“We wish we could have it, but if (the postponement) is for the betterment of the community,” he said.

Mike Frink, owner of Sweetwater Trophies also said he anticipates reduced business this June because of the postponement. Frink, a longtime business owner on Flaming Gorge Way, said the increase in visitors is easily seen the week prior to the weekend event.

“You can just feel the traffic picking up,” he said.

Gay Collar, a customer at Sweetwater Trophies, was understanding of why the decision was made. She said people are still nervous about the spread of COVID-19 at large events and believes the committee was placed in a tough position.

The city issued a statement from the Flaming Gorge Days committee last week announcing the event’s postponement due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its continued effects in Sweetwater County. With Sweetwater County being in a red zone of transmission, joining Teton County as the two with the highest rates in Wyoming, the committee’s release states the event could not be hosted while working to limit the coronavirus’ spread and keep participants safe.

“It would be irresponsible to hold an event where all appropriate safety measures could not be implemented, and would be incompatible with the state health orders and the CDC guidance regarding gatherings,” the press release states.

The 2022 Flaming Gorge Days celebration, marking its 65th year, is scheduled to take place June 23-25, 2022.


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