Paonia, Colo. (KREX) — Though Grand Junction is sometimes referred to as a smaller city, we are still accustomed to countless chain stores and thousands of houses. But mayor Backran says Paonia doesn’t have that luxury.

Paonia used to be a mining town, but since the three mines dwindled down to one, most residents turned towards tourists to fuel their income.

But, in this crucial, most profitable summer season, Paonia’s traffic faded away – because half of the tourists can’t make it into town.

On May 2nd, this huge sinkhole swallowed a section of Highway 133, cutting the town off from the Roaring Fork Valley.

The sinkhole was caused from the 72 inch steel drainage pipe bursting and saturating the ground enough to deteriorate and wash away the base of the road.

Several businesses claim sales are down as much as 50 percent because of the roadblock.