MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The Manitou Incline is slated to be closed indefinitely after the Manitou Springs City Council voted to shut down the popular trail during Tuesday's meeting.
Council says the goal is to be in line with the state's recent public health order to combat the spread of COVID-19. The closure will take effect Wednesday, and the Incline shuttle will also stop service, according to the city.
Earlier this week, the state shut down all gyms as part of the order; now, many Incline faithful will have to find another spot to work out, as well.
The owner of Iron Springs Chateau, a restaurant near the base of the Incline, sent KRDO a message about the closure, adding that she filed a complaint with the City Council's office.
While the Incline is free and doesn't bring any tax revenue to the small mountain town, many nearby businesses reap the benefits of the increased foot traffic.
“While we were reluctant to close the Incline, we had far more grave reservations regarding public health”, said Manitou Springs Mayor John Graham.
Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said during a news conference Wednesday that he disagreed with the decision. He added that Manitou Springs City Council hadn't reached out to the city of Colorado Springs ahead of time.
Bill Beagle, a member of local support group Incline Friends, said he had advice for climbers: don't overreact.
"Stay calm and be reasonable. These are extraordinarily stressful times for many people. It's a good time to be patient, understanding and respectful," Beagle said in a post to a local Facebook group. "Instead of potentially spreading the virus we can spread out over the many great trails in the Pikes Peak region. There are some that will provide you with serious elevation gain and a good cardio workout. Use this as a time to explore new territory and take in some incredible scenery that you may not have seen before."
The Incline, which sees hundreds of visitors a day, is a popular spot for a workout. The climb goes up about 2,000 feet over more than 2,700 steps, and climbers connect onto the Barr Trail to either go up toward Pikes Peak or back down toward Manitou Springs.