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Highway 55 closure leads to increased business along Highway 95

With holiday travelers forced to take Highway 95, one Weiser candy store says the increased traffic has more than doubled their expected sales last Saturday.

WEISER, Idaho — The Idaho Transportation Department estimates Highway 55 will be closed for another week after a rockslide south of Cascade originally closed the highway on Nov. 18.

This has led convoys of holiday travelers onto Highway 95, which comes with no complaints from Weiser Classic Candy store owner Pat Nauman. He told KTVB on Monday that the increased traffic doubled his business's expected sales on Saturday.

"This is always a good uptick in time for us around the holidays anyway. We have a fair amount that travels from the Boise valley to come shop with us anyway," Nauman said. "But most definitely, as things pick up at Tamarack and at Brundage, we know that traffic will do more and more good for us. I'm not complaining if it takes an extra few days for them to get it finished over on Highway 55."

The detour comes as a burden for some travelers. Those heading up to the panhandle may only add minutes, but anyone headed to McCall or Cascade is looking at more than an hour of extra time in the car.

"It's a little inconvenient. It's an extra hour coming around," Barry Zamzow said, commuting between Boise and McCall. "It's a change of scenery, so I don't mind it."

Through that detour on Highway 95, Zamzow found himself fixated on offerings inside a Weiser candy store. It’s part of an effort to make the most of his road trip down a road less traveled.

"I employ over 20 employees here at the candy store. So, it just makes sure those jobs are here for that much longer. The longer we can do it the better off we are," Nauman said.

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