What to expect for 2018 summer tourism in Pikes Peak region

Posted at 9:28 PM, May 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-24 23:28:16-04

Summer vacation is in the air and soon tens of thousands of visitors will make their way to Colorado Springs to experience all the region has to offer. 

While some longtime favorites like the Cog Railway won’t be open, there will still be plenty of activities for folks to enjoy. 

A new ride share system, PikeRide, launches in Downtown Colorado Springs next month. PikeRide will feature smart bikes, providing a new way for people to get around town.

According to the Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau, more than 20 million visitors made their way to the Pikes Peak region in 2017. Summertime tourism made up a big chunk of that number. 

Despite some changes in attractions, Chelsy Offutt, director of communications at CVB said, "We’re looking for another banner tourism year…we know that the Pikes Peak Cog Railway is closed for the season."

However, if people still want to experience a scenic train ride they can take the hour trip south to ride the Royal Gorge Route Railroad. If people still want to make it up America’s mountain, Offutt explains that "people can still drive up to the 16 mile point."This year though, you’ll have to take a free shuttle the last three miles to the summit. 

"We have construction starting on the new summit house to open in 2020…we’re going to have a lot of construction, higher demand on those parking spots, and with the closure of the Cog Railway there is going to be more traffic up the peak."

Free shuttles will also be provided at Garden of the Gods this summer if you don’t want to drive through the park. 

"With a lot of people here during the tourist season traffic can be a little bit slow and there can be a lot of demand on the park."

Another attraction that could be in high demand is the Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel. Visitors and locals should get to the chapel while they can as it will be closing for four years of renovations starting next January. 

If you want to venture out even further there are plenty of places to see outside of Colorado Springs. 

"Paint Mines Interpretive Park out east is beautiful-stunning rock formations, great hiking trails, and it’s just a lesser known area that we like to let people know about…places like Woodland Park have amazing hiking trails. Red Canyon Park down in Canon City in the oil well flats."

Click here for more information provided by CVB on summer attractions and here for PikeRide.