PAONIA, Colo. (KREX) — Paonia, home to under 1500 people, relies on tourism to survive. But a massive sinkhole swallowing part of Highway 133, the connection for the North Fork Valley to Paonia, cut off tourists in the season they needed it most.

But now, the highway has been opened for over a month, and Mayor Bachran says it’s made all the difference, especially for wineries.

Refinery by Onyx moon owner Kathryn Griest agrees, but only to an extent – she tells Western Slope Now there’s still a lot of rock mitigation going on between Carbondale and Paonia, which could be a factor in keeping tourists away.

She also worries the economy might have an effect on sales and travel too.

But this summer wasn’t all bad news for Paonia – Bachran tells Western Slope Now the harvest this year was amazing.

She also adds there’s still a couple more opportunities for you to get a taste, including this weekend.

The Mountain Harvest Festival starts this Thursday, September 21st, and will include live music, food, and more.