Colo.’s Drake Campground gets clearance to reopen

DRAKE, Colo. — On Monday, two Larimer County commissioners agreed that flood emergency plans were sufficient for Jeff and Lori Shaffer, owners of Drake Campground, to reopen the gates to campers, says

The hearing, before commissioners Steve Johnson and Tom Donnelly, ended with approval of the Shaffers’ request under a rare “floodplain special review” process that was triggered by the county’s abrupt closure of the business in Oct. 2011, writes

The Shaffers’ fight to stay open was set partly in the summer of 1976, when the devastating Big Thompson flood underscored the canyon’s flash flood hazard. But the campground site they operate was unscathed by that event, and the Shaffers and their allies raised convincing arguments that it likely would be in the future, says

“You won’t die in Drake,” Lori Shaffer said following the commissioners’ ruling. “Trust me. … The people I would worry about are the ones at Viestenz-Smith Park. If something happens there, they’ve got nowhere to go.”

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Kelly Cauthorn

Kelly Cauthorn

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