Off-roaders stuck in neutral

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With avalanche debris still blocking the most popular passes, local tour and rental companies can only watch as profits slide

Colorado West Jeep Rentals and Tours employee Jasper Patterson hoses down a Jeep inside the business’ bay on Main Street in Ouray. With most four wheel-drive roads still inaccessible in Ouray County, June revenue was down 72 percent compared to the same month last year, according to co-owner Jeff Lindberg. Plaindealer photo by Mike Wiggins
The patch of ground sandwiched between the two sets of motel rooms at Twin Peaks Lodge and Hot Springs should be vacant. It was Fourth of July weekend — the apex of tourist season – when thousands jam Ouray's shops and restaurants and cash registers work overtime. In between the parade, the water fights and the fireworks, many of them climb into all-terrain vehicles and bump around miles of world…

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