CAÑON CITY, Colo. — A local and popular tourist attraction is doing some damage control after someone posted a fake news story about the closing of the Royal Gorge Bridge over the weekend.
“It had some great potential to do some damage I believe,” said Peggy Gair with the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park. “We are one of the biggest attractions to southern Colorado. We want to make sure everybody knew we are open. It also has potential to [do] damage to the region if people think we are closed.”
The fake news story was posted this weekend, claiming the park would close on June 1 on a website called “React 365” that states in the title “Prank Your Friends Now! Write an article and prank your friends for fun. Bullying is forbidden.”
In the description about the website, it states:
This website is an entertainment website, news are created by users. These are humorous news, fantasy, fictional, that should not be seriously taken or as a source of information.”
The article was shared more than 67,000 times.
While some thought the article was funny, Royal Gorge and members of the Chamber of Commerce did not find it funny.
“We did have some feedback from it. Our event coordinator said one of the bands called and asked if they were still on for the summer. We had some people contact our operations manager to see if they still had jobs.” Gair said.
She added as soon as they figured out where the article came from, emails were fired off asking the website to remove it.
We checked both links Gair shared with us.
Gair wants to let everyone know they have been working hard to get ready for the 2017 season which runs from May through September.
“We’ve got some exciting stuff planned, [like] our ‘Park After Dark’ concert series. We’ve got some great country western stars performing for us, Pam Tillis, John Michael Montgomery, Wynonna. So we are gearing up for lots of entertainment and we know we are going to have a good year,” Gair said.
The park is already having a good year.
Gair said visitation is up 20 to 25 percent and that they didn’t want to see anything damage their momentum.
Back in 2013, the park suffered a major fire and since that time they’ve added several new features including a brand new visitor center, gondolas crossing 2,400 feet over the Royal Gorge, and the Cloudscraper Ziprider, America’s highest zip line crossing over the gorge next to the gondolas.>> Click here to learn more.
In 2019, the park will be celebrating their 90th anniversary.