Mt. Lemmon is back in business with road open

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - With the Catalina Highway re-opened as evacuations from the Burro Fire were lifted, businesses are doing what they can to try and rebound from having to close.

Leanne Mack is the General Manager of the Mt. Lemmon General Store. Her business has lived through it's fair share of fires -- but did burn down as a result of the Aspen Fire. When the evacuations were lifted and the road re-opened, she was relieved.

"This is my family's business, this is what we do," Mack said. "So it's awesome to be back in business and rolling."

With no business during the week of the 4th of July, Mack said there's no question business took a big hit. It's usually one of the best and busiest weekends of the year for her. During the summer months, more people come up to the mountain than her typical Tucson & Summerhaven clientele.

However, she's confident that things will turn around.

"Business looks great," she said. "Things are definitely moving forward and we will recover, we're good."

Mack explained with the exception of fudge, the usual big seller, Mt. Lemmon T-shirts and "Burro Fire" T-shirts are the most in demand. 

While peeking his head into the General Store at some fudge, mountain biker Kenyon Gura had a smile on his face. He comes up to Mt. Lemmon weekly to ride the trails, the ones he thinks are the best in the region.

"I would say a 5 out of 5," Gura said about biking on the mountain.

When the mountain was evacuated and the road was closed because of the fire, he was devastated. 

"How sad I was," he said. "We had to go to New Mexico to ride because there wasn't anywhere cool to ride."

Different reasons brought the same emotion to the mountain biker and the general manager: happiness. Despite the bump in the road, their livelihoods live on.

Print this article Back to Top