Manitou Springs City Council approves agreement to reopen Cog Railway

Posted at 2:49 PM, Jun 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-27 16:49:10-04

Manitou Springs City Council voted to approve a tax incentive agreement with Pikes Peak Cog Railway owners to reopen the attraction.

City Council voted in a meeting Tuesday night to move forward with the agreement, as Cog Railway owners will pay millions of dollars in fixing the attraction in exchange for tax breaks. The popular tourist spot has been closed since fall 2017, while a number of important factors were evaluated.

Following months of intense negotiations between Railway owners and the City of Manitou Springs, the initial decision to approve plans to reopen the Cog happened at a meeting earlier in June. 

The railway said the cost of reconstruction work could have a price tag between $80 to $95 million. But, there are a number of variables affecting the cost estimate including construction work, equipment, material costs, recently imposed tariffs, labor costs, and more. 

The Cog’s ticket prices could also be affected, as they will need to be able to cover the operational costs of the railway, according to the city. 

The approved agreement will include the Cog owners pay the City of Manitou Springs $500,000 in 2018 and 2019, and in turn the city will amend the Amusement tax ordinance to place a $500,000 cap on any single or directly related taxpayer for any single year.

This cap will stay in place for 50 years, as the Cog and the city will work together to coordinate construction to avoid creating traffic congestion. In the agreement, the railway will also donate "rail related" historical assets to a Manitou owned Cog rail museum.

Owners say demolition could start later this year, with the possibility of reopening in 2020. 

To read the agreement in its entirety, click here