Jun 12, 2011 11:31 PM by Jeannette Hynes
Forget the stay-cation. People say it is time for a real vacation.
"Actually this year for the first time in three years, we went out of state for vacation," says Richard Ellis of Colorado Springs.
Many families say taking a vacation away from home was long overdue.
"We took a big risk and opened up a new restaurant in California and it's doing pretty well now, so we were able to put some money away to actually do these things, but it was important for us because it was a family vacation," says Chad Wells.
In 2009, Colorado Springs and El Paso County experienced drops in taxes collected from hotels and motels - a sign tourists were staying home. In some months, the drops reached nearly 20 percent. In 2010, those numbers inched up.
"We did pretty good, but we'd like to do better," explains Teri Major, owner of the Green Willow Motel in Manitou Springs.
The family-owned motel has 15 creek side cottages to fill during the summer. The owners say they do what they can to tell people to book their place, including launching a website.
"We send out postcards. We do emails. Word of mouth. We have people who come back every year," says Major.
Major and her sister, Evelyn Waggoner, say this year bookings are coming from close by and abroad, with some of those repeat customers.
"We have one couple. They came on their honeymoon 31 years ago and they came back to stay with us again. So it is those kinds of repeat business that we depend on when the economic times are harder," says Waggoner.