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Mount Lemmon businesses reopen to the public

Catalina Highway reopens following Bighorn Fire
Posted at 9:01 PM, Aug 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-02 10:51:37-04

SUMMERHAVEN, Ariz. — Although Mount Lemmon businesses took a hit during one of their busiest seasons, they are back and ready for those looking to escape the heat.

“I’m excited to have them come in and shop and have some fudge and just enjoy the mountain,” explained Grey Carpenter about the reopening of Catalina Highway to the public.

Carpenter owns the Mount Lemmon General Store. He said he lost thousands of dollars in product when the Bighorn Fire closed down Summerhaven.

"We did lose product we lost all of our refrigerated and frozen ice cream, things like that. The generator, there's a generator that kicks in, but it was shut down because of the fire,“ he explained.

Carpenter was not the only one, Samantha Beal’s Cookie Cabin and Pizza lost product too.

"We're ready. It's restocked and we made every effort to make as much cookie dough and pizza dough as quickly as we could with a two-day notice. We're ready to go,“ said Beal.

The fire led the Summerhaven community to evacuate June 16.

[Related: Mt. Lemmon, Summerhaven under evacuation due to Bighorn Fire]

"I was watching the fire come up the mountain and I was certain that we were going to get run through with fire. It was a great relief to find out that didn't happen. The firefighters did such a great job,” explained Carpenter.

Luckily, none of the businesses were damaged and they are ready to come back stronger than before.

"Most folks know that it'll be 20 to 30 degrees cooler. We do have a large patio area and everyone is able to social distance so we encourage folks to come up,” said Beal.

[Related: Catalina Highway to reopen Saturday, Pima County DOT says]

The nearby trails are currently closed.