MANITOU SPRINGS – It’s finally happening.
After lengthy negotiations and debate between the City of Manitou Springs and Anschutz Corporation, renovation work is now underway to get the Cog Railway back on track in 2021.
There’s just one problem — space is limited.
Workers need a place to stage their equipment and materials for the project. That’s why a popular parking lot of around 100 spots, which is sandwiched between the Cog and the Manitou Incline, is now closed. It will be closed for the project’s entirety.
The concern for people like Mike Rivell is where visitors will park moving forward.
“It’s gonna push people down here. It may even overrun downtown where it’s just, ‘I don’t even wanna go to Manitou, cause I don’t wanna spend 30 minutes looking for a parking spot,'” Rivell, who works downtown, said. “When the Cog’s running, it fills our city up more. But, we’re gonna have to figure out parking before that’s fixed.”
He said he knows Manitou Springs needs the Cog, but thinks traffic, on top of current construction, will be frustrating.
Rivell said he hopes more people will still check out the city’s commerce, while its famous tourist attraction gets back to operations.
“There might be more exposure to our businesses down here from the Incline, so that could be the good side of it. The bad side of it, again, is people might just get fed up and not want to deal with the wait times,” Rivell said.
City officials wanted to remind the public that parking is always free at Hiawatha Gardens, where visitors can then jump on the free shuttle to navigate downtown Manitou.