COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The top of America's Mountain, a popular destination closed to the public since March 22 and set to reopen Sunday, will now remain closed until June 15 -- resulting in an overall closure of nearly three months.
The closure was to allow for demolition of the old Summit House and final stages of construction for the new Pikes Peak Summit Visitor Center. The center is expected to open later in June but a date hasn't been announced, pending weather conditions.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the $65 million center is scheduled for June 30, regardless of when the center actually opens.
Jack Glavan, manager of the Pikes Peak Highway, said Tuesday that construction has been delayed by spring weather, which is why the closure was extended, and parking remains limited. On Wednesday, the summit and the upper six miles of the highway were closed as crews plowed snow.
As consolation, visitors will receive a 20% discount on admission until the summit reopens.
Meanwhile, riders aboard the Broadmoor Manitou & Pikes Peak Cog Railway, which reopens Thursday after several years of repairs and upgrades, will have limited access to the summit.
Glavan said that food, drink, restrooms and other amenities will be available at the new summit facility when it opens.
The center will open in phases, with exterior site work expected to continue through September. It will have an elevated pathway and overlook to provide better views and protect the summit's sensitive environment, as well as meet current federal standards for disabled access.
In addition, the center will be the state's first building to be certified as a Living Building Challenge, designed to be highly efficient and self-sustaining in energy, materials, water and waste.
Some visitors Wednesday said that they're disappointed at being unable to see the summit, particularly after having planned for the trip and hoping to see to top of America's Mountain and the new complex.
But other tourists said that even with the summit closed, they still saw enough great scenery to make their trip worthwhile.