Boulder City stores seeing less traffic after bypass opening
BOULDER CITY, Nev. (AP) – A recently completed portion of Interstate 11 has saved drivers time for travelling between Arizona and Nevada, but for some Boulder City businesses, it has come at a cost.
Prior to the opening of the roadway, drivers had to go through Boulder City, but now they can bypass it.
Alpaca Imports owner Kevin Devine told the Las Vegas Sun that the bypass has caused his business to drop by 60 percent in three weeks.
“It just went from bad to worse,” he said.
The decline prompted Devine to move his store in early September to Fashion Outlets of Las Vegas in Primm, a city near the California-Nevada border about 60 miles (97 kilometers) east of Boulder City, the Sun reported this week.
Cindy Ford, owner of Southwest Diner, said business is down by about 10 percent. For now, she is doing OK, she said.
Jill Bunch, who owns Chilly Jilly’z bakery and cafe, has seen a similar drop, but she remains hopeful that the bypass will ultimately have a positive effect.
“During the week we’re a little slower at lunch, but in general we’re overall doing better because people can get here easier,” Bunch said. “We have a lot more customers coming from Henderson, Wagon Wheel and Horizon, and it allows more free flow, even for the local people who live in Boulder City.”
Faye Simak, owner of Bella Marketplace, also thinks the bypass has helped clear traffic congestion.
“We see the bypass is a good thing – we’re excited about it,” Simak said.
Boulder City officials tried to prepare for the official opening of the Boulder City Bypass by launching marketing campaigns that aim to draw visitors to the city, and there are plans to expand the railroad museum and beautify the highway.
The Chamber of Commerce also has put grant dollars toward new events with the same goal, said Jill Lagan, CEO of the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber also is working with transportation company National Park Express to create a shuttle service from Las Vegas to Boulder City, Lagan said.
“It is the most effective volunteer effort the chamber has seen in years,” Lagan said. “Everyone is working toward the end goal of building Boulder City into an attractive destination.”