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WashGuys Exhibit Blitz Mobile at the 2002 Colorado State Fair

Here we are at the annual Colorado State Fair in Pueblo Colorado. This years fair has had record attendance so far. An extremely good sign considering the loss of revenue in tourism after the recent Monster "Hayman Fire." The Hayman Fire was the worst Fire in Colorado's history, promoting President Bush to make note of it and allowing Governor Bill Owens carte blanche in securing Federal Funding for a "Disaster Area" but Colorado is not stopping. Colorado'ans from all over the state have volunteered their support.

But the Hayman Fire was not the only big fire there were many others. Even as we write this there are four fires burning in the Northern Territory of Colorado outside Steamboat Springs. Two fires North of Steamboat Springs had burned 35,554 acres Another uncontained fire has burned 15,000 acres. The Green Creek Fire burned 4,400 acres and another nearby fire had burned 556 acres and has been nearly 100% contained. All these fires are in addition to the fires of the last three months.

The biggest issue at this years fair was the public awareness program of the current drought. As we have reported on previously. Water is a big issue. Las Vegas and Sante Fe New Mexico will actually run out of water soon. North of that is Trinidad Colorado which is equally in a critical situation, up from that is Pueblo Colorado where this years State Fair is being held, they were very serious in discussing the situation with everyone in attendance at the fair. The Pueblo Board of Water Works was especially good at explaining to all of those that came through their neighboring both.

We too had much drought and water conservation information available in the Blitz Exhibit Mobile. Water Works gave away 6,200 gallons of bottled water at the fair and water conservation material and drought information. Also on hand was the FFA-Future Farmers of America telling people of the importance to livestock and farming which is 20% of the industry in the Pueblo in the area.

NOAA office

The National Weather Service in Pueblo is of extreme use in predicting the rain fall and drought. At the NOAA they explained to us exactly how serious the problem was and how the clouds simply cross over the region without letting down any rain. The rain season in Colorado started yesterday and it did rain heavily in Colorado Springs and Denver but Southern Colorado got next to none. A ten minute wannabe drizzle. What they did get was lightening. Even thought the Hayman Fire was set by a person most all of the states fire are started by lightening and right now there is nothing but dry brush everywhere.

This years State Fair was an economic cash cow for local Pueblo Business Community. Rod Slyhoff of the Pueblo Chamber of Commerce was happy to see the tourism business which has also visited the new River Walk area which uses the water cooling ponds from the utility Plant across the Arkansas River.

Pueblo Utility Plant

The City of Pueblo suffered and incredible flood in it's history and a cement canal was built and has since been reduced to little more than a trickle. But this water also provides for a River Walk similar to San Antonio's Famous River Walk and in Pueblo they give boat ride tours similar to the boat tours in Oklahoma City's "Brick City." HARP-Historic Arkansas Riverwalk of Pueblo was also on hand at the fair to alert all attendees of the great new tourist attraction. Bill Hyde and Kristen Donovan were on hand, they are the El Pomar Foundation leaders, a philanthropic group which is well known in the ranks of Southern Colorado. They spoke about HARP, the drought, the tragic fires and how it has brought Colorado together.

Pueblo Colorado is an old Carnegie Steel Town similar to those in Pennsylvania. Small Business eateries all over town are expecting to tally over $5,000 in additional revenues during the week long fair. After the loss of tourism over the last few months as travelers stayed away from Pueblo after watching Colorado Burn on their TV sets. Pueblo went through a terrible depression after the closing of the steel plant. It literally killed the town. This is one reason that President Bush excercized his rights to add a tariff to imported steal earlier in 2002, to protect such economic catastrophe from repeating itself in this recession. Without the tariff many steel companies would have closed. Now we are using it as a strong playing card for other trade deals and it will be reduced. Pueblo is a perfect example of why we must protect the integrity of our economic industrial base.

Carnegie Steel Plant

After Carnegie Steel closed, the Federal Government stepped in and set up the GPO-Government Printing office in Pueblo, Colorado, which proved to be a good location and also provided much needed jobs to the area. They also had a both on the next row to explain how people could get copies of important government reports in their downtown GPO Outlet. We visited the Downtown location and book store as well as their distribution center after we learned of this great service. Today the GPO has been scaled down to a skeleton operation due to the internet being able to provide the information instantly.

Water Conservancy District

The Water Conservancy Southeastern District was also there explaining to people how they could have a nice landscaped yard without a green lawn. A landscape which was a Zero-Scape, in other words it uses no water, needs nothing but a little rain a few times per year. They called this display the XeriScape Exhibit, proving it is possible to reduce water consumption and still live in a nice environment around your residence.

Water is a precious commodity in Colorado and they are currently in a severe drought situation and are attacking the problem with knowledge. Alan Hamel, President did stop by and help encourage booth volunteers and staff. Such dedication to the mission was also shared by a local farmer everyone knows as "Wally," we never did get his name, but the farmers of the region are as concerned as the owners of car washes and car detail shops in town. One of which is ready to call it quits; (click here for more). The Conservancy District was aware of this Small Businessman's problem and said it is their goal to reduce water use through conservation and good policy by citizens, farmers, ranchers, businesses and government in order to allow everyone to have the resources they need. There goal was not to have anyone close their business.

Drought Causes Ranchers to take animals to slaughter early and therefore the over supply is causing lower prices and economically destroying those cattle farmers, pork and chicken farmers. Click here for more from the Denver Business Journal.

Also just today Denver proposed a banning of all home car washing, which is a great deal for WashGuys but it shows the severity of the market conditions with regards to quality of life and water issues. In the Denver area they have already cut back 12% in Pueblo Colorado 14%, In Colorado Springs 12% and in Ft Collins and Boulder 13% simply by trying to save, while this is helping it is not enough and restrictions including car washing at home have been put into place this was printed in the Rocky Mountain Press today.

Also in Car Washing Magazine as they watch the drought situation increase.

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