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Mayoral candidates consider fee to hike Manitou Incline

Heightened concern about the maintenance of the Manitou Incline has the town’s two mayoral candidates brainstorming solutions.

There’s been talk about imposing a fee to hike the attraction; an idea that’s been met with both praise and criticism. Alan Delwiche and John Graham are competitors, but they’ve reached common ground on this.

They both think a fee could help dial down the tourism, in order to keep the incline in good shape. Not to mention, it could help out with parking problems and shuttle costs.

“That would probably encourage some people to find other venues for their exercise,” said Delwiche.

Delwiche says Colorado Springs and Manitou pay a combined $80,000 a year in maintenance.

But he says that’s not nearly enough.

“That’s like putting a bandage on it,” he said.

Delwich says — according to a recent visit from the Rocky Mountain Field Institute — it would take three years of intensive maintenance work to get the attraction back to how it should be.

For that reason, Delwiche and Graham both say there’s a pretty good chance there will be a fee in the near future.

We asked both candidates if they think it’ll be imposed within the next 5 years.

They both said 95% — unless Colorado Springs wants to pay for the extra maintenance, Graham added.

Graham even has a price in mind, based on other attractions in the state.

“I think we at least make a start with something maybe in the $12 range,” he said.

While both candidates say they’re open to other ideas to raise money for the Incline, they say this seems like the most realistic option.

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