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Tourists, threatened by hurricane, rush back to Denver- News2 - KWGN - August 22, 2007

Travel agents worry that Cancun will be hit

by Mat Garcia, News2

August 21, 2007

DENVER (KWGN) - Many tourists fled the Yucatan Pennisula Monday to escape Hurricane Dean. The last flight arriving in Denver from Cancun landed shortly after 7 p.m.

Passengers told News 2 that it was a scheduled Frontier Airlines flight that left DIA earlier in the day to bring back evacuees.

Dave Tonge of California had to cancel his vacation one day early in order to get out and is relieved. "We're happy to be out. They weren't sharing any information. The hotels knew what they were going to do but no one would tell us anything," said Tonge.

The rush to get was all because of Hurricane Dean. It already left a path of destruction in Jamaica and is bearing down on the Yucatan.

The area is all too familiar with this type of force from Mother Nature as the region is still recovering from Hurricane Wilma two years ago.

Where Dean hits exactly is unsure, but travel agents are hoping it spares the big tourist destination of Cancun.

David Rojahn of DTR Travel in Denver is very concerned and has been fielding calls all day. "They basically want to know what happens if their hotel is closed down, what happens if the damage is significant. Can they cancel, reschedule," said Rojahn.

Rojahn plans to visit Cancun after the hurricane passes to assess the damage for his clients.

Also monitoring things closely is the Mexican Consulate's office in Denver. It's waiting and hoping for the best.

"We really expect that this time our country is better prepared than the other ones, so there is less damage in this situation. We'll respond quickly. We can provide some documentation, we can provide money if it is needed so we are ready to assist these people," said spokesperson Frenando Lozano.

The airport in Cancun is expected to stay open as long as conditions allow, but all flights to the Yuctan from Denver tomorrow have been canceled.

Anyone still there tonight will most likely have to ride it out.

Copyright © 2007, KWGN

Staff member Mat Garcia can be contacted at

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