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Manitou Springs motel owners fault Cog construction for lower tourism

It’s now been two years since the Cog Railway shut down for construction. While it hasn’t exactly affected the region’s overall economy, some Manitou businesses are feeling the effects.

It’s no secret tourism is huge for Manitou Springs. But what happens when their biggest attraction shuts down? Owners of motels in the area say it means less money for them.

“We are seeing fewer people with the Cog not here. I think the biggest impact we’ve seen is in the lodging industry and I don’t think we’ve seen nearly the same number of properties that are in town as we have in previous years,” said Leslie Lewis with the Chamber of Commerce.

In May of this year hotels and motels made $1.19 million But two years ago they made nearly $43,000 more. Lewis attributes some of the loss to the Cog Railway.

“It does bring over 300,000 people a year into Manitou Springs,” she said.

She believes it’s just a small hiccup, with overall income for the month of May at $14 million.

“The reopening of the Summit House and the Olympic Museum downtown will have a positive impact,” Lewis said.

And while the city waits for the cog’s return in 2021, Lewis wants people to know Manitou has a lot more to offer.

“The mineral water makes a great tour and it makes fabulous lemonade. For locals, come over with your gallon jug and have some carbonated lemonade. There is also Cave of the Winds and if you haven’t been there they’ve done so much and added so many new things. The Cliff Dwellings is always a fabulous experience, and the Miramont Castle for our history as well as the Heritage Center,” Lewis said.

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