Groveland businesses suffer after the Rim Fire closed down the Highway 120.
GROVELAND, CA - Business owners in the town of Groveland, on the way to Yosemite, will be happy to forget Labor Day 2013.
"We took a bit of a hit," said Chris Loh in an understatement.
Loh's family owns the restaurant and store Iron Door Saloon; they had to lay off 45 of their 50 employees.
Groveland is a tourist town on Highway 120. However, because that entrance to Yosemite National Park has been closed due to the Rim Fire, Groveland businesses have taken a huge financial hit.
"We have a lot of nature to deal with - snow, landslides, fires," Loh explained. "It's just a way of life around here. It's inevitable, and you deal with it."
Groveland business owners are planning town-wide specials starting next week to attract business back to town.
Hotel owner Peggy Mosely is counting on big business next Spring when the fire area starts to recover.
"You'll be able to see areas of mountain you've never seen before," Mosely said. "Trees won't be in the way. Come back in the Spring, May and June, and see how mother nature has recovered."
The Rim Fire is now 60 percent contained, and nearly 800 fire personnel have been sent home. But Highway 120 remains closed east of Groveland, where Loh and Mosely have plenty of extra time, and fewer customers, to deal with.
By Tim Daly, firstname.lastname@example.org