There was defiance in the greeting on Ketchum Grills answering machine Sunday afternoon.
We are open, it said. We will remain open until the sheriff department tells us we must evacuate.
The greeting went on to encourage the listener to come have dinner at the restaurant. But the number of potential customers in the region had dwindled, with thousands of people already evacuated from their homes and thousands more warned that evacuation could be around the corner.
As of Sunday night, Blaine County Sheriff Gene Ramsey was not allowing people to return to evacuated areas just north of Hailey. A county spokesman said the sheriff was considering removing mandatory evacuation orders for a few hundred people in that area. The decision was likely to come Mondaymorning, the spokesman said.
The Beaver Creek Fires effect on businesses across the county was obvious. About 90 percent of Ketchums places were closed Friday and Saturday, Ketchum Grill manager Louise Schenck said.
Some of the restaurants were open again Sunday, but business was anything but booming, Schenck said.
Its a ghost town, she said.
Eve Rodriguez, who works at the Burger Grill in Ketchum, said the same thing. She said the fire had devastated business in what is usually a busy time.
Easley Hot Springs just north of Ketchum was in an area that Ramsey ordered evacuated. Galena Lodge, about 25 miles north of Ketchum on Highway 75, closed Saturday after power in the area was shut down.
Erin Zell, co-owner of the lodge, said she was scrambling to help find alternative locations for weddings scheduled to take place at the lodge the next couple of weeks. Zell said she didnt know how serious the fires bottom-line toll would be. The lodge has never gone through this, she said.
Its going to be pretty detrimental, Zell said. Everybodys had a great summer up to this point, so youve got to be thankful for what youve got and know that next summer is going to be better.
Sven Berg: 377-6275