Rafting industry sees a boost after spring runoff

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DENVER (AP) Colorado rafting companies are relishing the spring runoff and increased business after two years that were plagued by drought and wildfires.

The Denver Post reports a recovering economy and prime river conditions mean the rafting industry could return to the heydays of 2006, 2007 and 2008. As river flows become less intimidating, trips are selling out and guests are spending more. Snowpack lingers in the high country, promising a paddling season that could push into fall.

Last year, more than 461,000 rafters riding Colorado's rivers and streams spent $56.7 million, creating an economic impact of $145.3 million. That was a step toward recovery from the drought- and wildfire-plagued 2012 season, which ranks as the second worst year for Colorado rafting since 1995.

Last season, wildfires kept rafters away from the popular Arkansas and Animas rivers.

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