It’s no secret a road-construction project can put a serious crimp on the revenue of businesses that depend on that traffic.
But the Indian Village Gift Shop at Continental Divide, New Mexico, really suffered from one this year. Completion of a construction project off Interstate 40 and Route 66 is months late, causing Indian Village to miss out on the summer tourism season. And the project still won’t be finished until September at the earliest.
KRQE-TV in Albuquerque produced this nice bit of journalism here:
The key part of the story:
The bridge rehabilitation project that necessitated the closure was supposed to steal no more than 45 days’ worth of traffic. It took more than 120. The four months that the exit was closed stretched through tourist season and sapped a huge portion of the Slaughter’s yearly business.
“We do probably 50 to 75 percent of our business in those three months,” Bill Slaughter said of June, July and August. “Schools are out. That’s when people are traveling.” […]
The exit ramp is open now, though. Traffic can once again get to the Indian Village store that beckons from the side of the road. For Bill Slaughter, the question is can he get enough people to stop to tide him over for the thin months ahead.
Anyone can understand a delay of a few days or even a week. But a project dragging on months past its projected completion seems inexcusable.
The Indian Village Gift Shop happens to sit near the Continental Divide, elevation 7,295 feet, where water on one side eventually flows to the Pacific Ocean and water on the other side flows to the Atlantic.
It also claims to be the highest point on Route 66, although the Arizona Divide about six miles west of Flagstaff measures over 7,335 feet.
(Image capture of the Indian Village Gift Shop at Continental Divide, New Mexico, from the KRQE video)