Nightly News   |  September 22, 2013

Colorado seeks to flush out flood water, bring in tourism

Colorado hopes to quickly recover from this month’s floods and revive its multi-billion dollar tourism industry. NBC’s Joe Fryer reports.

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>>> a lot of new building has started in northern colorado where more highways reopened this weekend after the devastating flooding of the last two weeks. that's good news for those struggling to get ready for the important fall tourism season. our report from nbc's joe friar.

>> reporter: images of the mountainous landscape surrounding the area are worthy of a guide book . pictures of the flood ravaged roads are not.

>> this has not just been for northern california , i think the biggest natural disaster we've ever seen.

>> reporter: this tourist town, the gateway rocky national park is still cleaning up. after many businesses spent days under several feet of flood water. ernie is seeing his merchandise out to dry as he works to reopen outdoor world as quick as possible.

>> it is discouraging. what do you do? you have to move forward.

>> reporter: we're entering an important time of year for estes park when it come to tour i. for starters, the fall colors are usually a huge draw. so are the elk out in abundance this time of year.

>> it will be tough to miss all of that.

>> reporter: julie peeper had to close both her restaurants. it is not just damage inside the town raising concerns. the primary roads to estes park go to places that will be totally cut off for some time. tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in colorado, and unharmed attractions across the state fear images of flooding will keep visitors away. here, many seem unafraid.

>> we've been through thing like this before. we always come back strong and fast. people love it here.

>> reporter: they're challenging it with optimism as high as the mountains surround go their tirist town. nbc news, estes park , colorado.