Tortilla Flat Reports Tourism Declines After Damage to State Route 88
By Claire Natale -
Wednesday Sep 28, 2022
Apache Trail Closure Impacts Local Businesses
Tortilla Flat, one of Arizona’s oldest and most historic towns, recently reported a 20% decline in tourism activity due to the recent closure of a portion of the historic Apache Trail. The Apache Trail is a tourism hotspot, home to a variety of recreational activities including scenic diving, hiking, fishing, water activities and more. Hidden within Superstition Mountains, the town relies heavily on revenue from tourism.
“This town is an important part of Arizona history, people love to visit and experience that old western feel,” said Katie Ellering, one of the town owners and self-appointed mayor of Tortilla Flat. “Tourists and visitors are such a crucial part of our livelihood so it’s really important that people are able to get to the town.”
In 2019, Arizona experienced its fifth largest wildfire on record which burned more than 120,000 acres of wilderness. This event, in conjunction with the remains left behind by tropical storm Lorena that same year, resulted in considerable damage to the Apache Trail. As a result, the Arizona Department of Transportation decided to close a seven-mile portion.
This year, the Arizona legislature passed a bill (SB 1820) which approved $700,000 for vegetation studies. However, before any work to restore this section of the trail can begin, ADOT must complete soil studies. These studies will determine how easily this road can be repaired.
Owners and residents of Tortilla Flat are encouraging Arizonans to get involved and sign the petition to save Apache Trail by encouraging the governor, ADOT and the Arizona Transportation Board to start the vegetation studies, clear the rockfall and maintain the road.
About Tortilla Flat
Tortilla Flat is a piece of Arizona’s western history nestled in the Superstition Mountains. It is one of Arizona’s most historic sites that was first established as a stop along the Apache Trail and as a settlement for workers who hand-built the Roosevelt Dam. In many ways, the small town has played a part in helping Phoenix grow with its critical role in providing water for the growing metropolis. While the town is open year-round, Tortilla Flat and its population of six are looking forward to having you visit this Spring! Tortilla Flat has live music on the patio every day where you can enjoy a cold drink and delicious food from the Tortilla Flat Restaurant & Saloon. For more information about Tortilla Flat, please visit http://www.tortillaflataz.com.