COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Last year, Colorado Springs saw 23.7 million people visiting the Olympic City.

“Over a record year, 2021 proved to be a really super year for us,” said Doug Price, president and CEO of Visit Colorado Springs.

Over the last few years, 2019 held the record for the highest number of visitors.

“2020 — in March, is when the world came to a stop and particularly in the world of travel and tourism,” Price said.

Downtown Colorado Springs could see some more foot-traffic this summer.

With the city bouncing back last year, Price said they were able to gain some insights, including one of the biggest reasons for visiting was to see family or friends. Another thing Price noted was 13 million people came for just one day.

“We have more work to do on convincing people as they’re planning their trips that Colorado Springs isn’t a day trip,” he said. “You really need to look at the Pikes Peak region as a whole and think about all the things there are to do here.”

He said the reason why tourists are essential for the city, is because they help add to the economic growth.

“Our economy was really built and designed by General Palmer to invite visitors to come here,” Price said.

With the increase in tourism, small business owners said they are looking forward to a good year.

Business owners said they’re looking forward to a busy Summer.

“We have seen a good uptick in out-of-town customers. Even in the month of June has been quite good and we anticipate this summer will be a good one,” said Dick Frieg, owner of Savory Spice Shop.

Frieg has been in business in Colorado Springs for over 12 years and said he always looks forward to seeing new faces.

“As the tourists start to come into town or are visiting their family and we’re on the circuit and our regulars will bring in their family member in as they come and we love seeing them often repeatedly over several years,” Frieg said.

At the end of the day, Visit Colorado Springs said visitation is one way to show off the city and maybe entice people to make their stay permanent.

“Today, you could be a visitor. And tomorrow, you could be a resident and working here in Colorado Springs,” Price said.