MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The debate has raged on in local Facebook groups about whether or not hikers should pay to access the famous Manitou Incline when it reopens -- now the city says that a proposal is being put forth that would keep it free for the time being.
According to an update from the city of Manitou Springs Wednesday evening, city council members will hear a plan during Thursday's work session about the reservation system.
Representatives with Manitou Springs and Colorado Springs will present the plan, which proposes a free, online reservation that would allow 45 hikers every 30 minutes from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. An on-site attendant will be at the base for hikers to check-in before accessing the trail. The city of Colorado Springs would operate the reservation system and staff it.
The Incline has been closed since mid March due to COVID-19 concerns, and the city said it was previously looking into a reservation system that could charge hikers a minimum of $5 to access the old Manitou Cog Railway ties up Mt. Manitou.
If the proposal passes, hikers will still be encouraged to park at the Hiawatha lot, and a parking rate will be determined by the city of Manitou Springs.
The proposal is an "interim plan" according to the city's documents, but it's not clear how long this plan would be in place. We're working on getting more information on that, but we'll likely get an update from Thursday's city council work session.
An official reopening date still hasn't been set.