After being hit with wildfire and avalanches, the Silverton economy has struggled.

It was a double-whammy. The 416 Fire, which consumed more than 54,000 acres of land in and around the San Juan National Forest, forced the D&SNG to suspend service and cancel six weeks of tourist reservations. One Silverton business owner claimed their business was down some 70% during the shut-down.

Then there was this winter's record snowfall. That heavy snow triggered several avalanches that closed access on Highway 550 for weeks. The town was basically cut off. Now, with the road reopened, and Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad service restored, the hope is that Silverton can bounce back from a brutal 2018 season.

This past weekend, the train delivered its first shipment of tourists. On Saturday at about 1 PM local time the first passengers of the 2019 Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad season strolled into Silverton. Those folks were a welcomed sight for local business owners.

You can help the Silverton economy recover. When family and friends come to visit over the summer encourage a trip to Durango and Silverton. Better yet, make a reservation and ride the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Your family will have a great time and you'll help restore one of Colorado's great communities.

Credit: The Durango Herald