MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The Manitou Incline is an infamously popular recreation spot that draws over 300,000 people each year. Coupled with a need to enforce social distancing during the COVID-19 crisis, the City of Manitou Springs says this is no longer sustainable. Their solution, outlined in a management plan obtained by KRDO, is a reservation system.
"With the current COVID issue and with past capacity problems, we could easily change the per hour incline user limit at a touch of a button," reads the proposal in part.
The reservation system could also come with a paid fee, although the details have yet to be worked out.
"We could develop a daily use fee, pass cards for with multiple uses
and annual passes. Residents could receive a discount and special rates for 60 and older," reads the plan. The proposal suggests a daily visitor user fee between $5 and $10, with options for multi-use and annual passes for residents.
The City says there are several reasons why a reservation system could be beneficial:
- Guaranteed seating on the shuttle during a reservation time slot
- Limit crowding on the trail
- Revenue from a reservation charge could be used to support operation costs
- A reservation pass could include incentives, like local discounts, to shop downtown Manitou Springs
Manitou officials say Colorado Springs and the U.S. Forest Service have supported their efforts and that there are additional plans to work out the details of fees and possible revenue sharing.
The Manitou Incline closed mid-March to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
We'll continue to bring you updates on this story as it develops.