FLAGSTAFF, AZ (CBS5) -
Since the Slide Fire has been top of mind for people across our state, businesses up north are now worried the fire will affect their bottom line this important holiday weekend.
"This is not good timing," said business owner John VanLandingham. "It's never good timing, but Memorial Day weekend is a busy weekend. It's unfortunate."
VanLandingham owns several businesses inside an indoor mall in Flagstaff called the Mix. He's hoping the Slide Fire doesn't keep visitors away during a typically lucrative time of year.
"Memorial Day is traditionally our kickoff for our busy summer tourist and visitor season," VanLandingham said.
He admits the weather has been a deterrent, but said the high country is still the best place to spend this holiday weekend.
"It kind of depends on which way the wind is blowing," VanLandingham said. "Yesterday, it was pretty smokey in town. So far this morning it seems to be pushing off to the west so it's not that bad at all."
"We have outdoor festivals, arts and crafts in the park," said Joanne Hudson with the Flagstaff Convention and Visitor's Bureau. She said they haven't canceled any activities, but should the winds change direction again, they have indoor activities as well.
"Lowell Observatory has some indoor programs and exhibits," Hudson said.
VanLandingham said since fire season has started so early, he's hoping this isn't a bleak outlook of what's to come this summer.
"I hope we have a very strong successful tourist season," he said, "people come here and visit and enjoy our town."
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