TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — As the hot weather moves into Tucson, hundreds drive up Mt. Lemmon for a Summerhaven. Right now, there are only around nine businesses at the top of the mountain, but that’s about to change this year.
“It's getting busier and busier up here so it’s just kind of natural to have more businesses come up,” said Sunni Moe.
Moe is the owner of Mt. Lemmon Scooters. It’s one of four small businesses opening next to the Mt. Lemmon Hotel.
“I'm really excited not only to start a new business, but also to have a reason to be on Mt. Lemmon, 4-5 days a week,” Moe said.
The man with the vision for this development is Justin Hafner. He and his wife built the Mt. Lemmon Hotel from the ground up despite harsh weather, wildfires, and a pandemic.
“I don’t think people realize how hard it is to build a business on Mt. Lemmon," Hafner said. "I think there’s lots of things that have happened through the years that have scared people off.”
Hafner stepped up to the challenge and inspired other entrepreneurs to do the same.
“Once the hotel opened up, I think there’s just a cascade of people that have had ideas over the years and they looked at us as that opportunity to bring their idea or dream to fruition,” Hafner said.
The hotel currently has nine cabins, with six more on the way. In addition to the electric scooter shop, there will be a nearby cafe, gift shop, and wedding venue. Hafner is hopeful construction will be finished in July.
“There are plans for additional shops, plans down the road for parking," Hafner said. "So I think there’s a limitless potential in the business district here.”
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