Remember the Waldo Canyon fire? Remember the pictures of the homes lost, the dreams shattered? That was a good thing. Really.
The Waldo Canyon fire, as bad as it was, could give the Colorado Springs economy a significant boost over the next five years as homes are restored, rebuilt and refurnished.
Initial insurance claims for the contents and homes damaged, including 346 structures that were a total loss, are at about $353 million, said economist Tom Zwirlein, director of the Southern Colorado Economic Forum.
Of that amount, about $151 million could work its way into additional dollars spent in the El Paso County economy over the next five years, creating 760 net new jobs, said Zwirlein, who is also a professor of finance at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
Yes, I was being sarcastic. To be fair to the writer of the article, he does go on to mention the toll that the fire took.
The calculations don't account for the lost productivity from the more than 32,000 people displaced in June, not to mention the dollars lost when businesses shuttered and tourists stayed away.
And they can't begin to put a value on the emotional trauma suffered or the two lives lost.
So I don't think he was saying that the the fire was, on net, a good thing. But still...
But they do highlight how even disasters can generate unexpected opportunities as communities rebuild.
So other than that, how'd you like the play Mrs. Lincoln? (HT to E Frank Stephenson for the link above and for the Mrs. Lincoln line).