Businesses in west El Paso brace for I-10 closure

    Detour sign in west El Paso

    The expected 57-hour closure at Sunland Park Drive and Interstate 10 begins at 9 p.m. Friday.

    The closure comes with a heavy price tag for businesses left in the shadow of the closure.

    “It's bad when they close the Interstate 10,” said Francis Melendez, the assistant manager at Don Carbón.

    She said the Mexican restaurant takes a hit every time the Texas Department of Transportation closes the interstate.

    ” Because of the traffic people don't come and it really does affect our job,” Melendez said.

    Melendez said the restaurant doesn’t have many options to help make up the loss.

    “We can't tell the employees not to come. We have the same people working and I hope it doesn't affect us again,” Melendez said.

    Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino is hosting its annual Kentucky Derby watch party Saturday during the 57-hour closure.

    “Anybody who hears a 57-hour closure thinks, 'Do we want to go out there and brave the traffic?'” said Ethan Linder, director of marketing at the Casino and Racetrack. He said while the derby is still on, there have been some other changes due to the closure.

    “Some of the extracurricular events we had planned around the Kentucky Derby we did cancel because there was a little risk associated with it that we did not want to be a part of,” Linder said.

    Regardless of traffic, Linder said, they expect more than 4,000 people to show up.

    “We're going to be here. It's going to be a great party,” Linder said.

    Managers at other restaurants said they’re worried they’ll lose the Cinco de Mayo business expected this weekend.

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