Manitou cash mob canceled

A mob of 800 people who planned to descend on Manitou Springs today to patronize businesses changed plans after the dramatic turn the Waldo Canyon Fire made Tuesday night.

“Due to the sudden developments in Colorado Springs, resulting in the loss of homes and property, this event is canceled,” organizer Bob Falcone wrote on the Manitou Mob Facebook page.

Falcone  got the word out Monday about a cash mob to support Manitou businesses who suffered revenue losses after an evacuation early Sunday morning. While residents were allowed to return Sunday night and businesses reopened the next day, the town remained quiet Monday and Tuesday.

Christine Georgeopoulos, who owns Marika’s Coffee House in Manitou opened for a few hours Monday evening and had so little business, she decided to close up. Tuesday was better, she said. But she still served about half the customers she typically sees on a summer day in the tourist town.

Carson said she was watching the fire from eastern Colorado Springs and wanted to help.

“It came from a feeling of helplessness,” she said.

She decided to use her expansive twitter and Facebook networks to promote the event and help the Manitou businesses impacted by an exodus of tourists.

But when the fire leapt over defense lines and burned homes on the northwest side of Colorado Springs Tuesday night, causing the evacuation of more than 32,000 residents, attentions shifted from the damage to Manitou businesses to a more immediate need to help those displaced and frightened people.

Falcone posted on the Facebook page that the Manitou cash mob is tentatively rescheduled for Monday, July 9, at noon.