News From: Pikes Peak Country Attractions Association
RE: Pikes Peak Cog Railway
RELEASE DATE: October 15, 2018
Pikes Peak Area Attractions Official Statement in Support of the Pikes Peak Cog Railway
Pikes Peak Country Attractions (PPCAA) comprised of 26 area attractions, many of which are located in Manitou Springs, celebrated its 45th season in 2018 with the absence of one of our most iconic members. The Pikes Peak Cog Railway, owned by the Broadmoor Hotel since the 1920’s and in operation since 1891, has been a renowned cornerstone to the tourism industry throughout the Pikes Peak region for as long as people have been visiting the West.
The railway has reached the end of its useful life and needs major restoration at significant costs. The railway is looking to partner with Manitou Springs to keep this historic economic engine climbing Pikes Peak to a new Summit House.
The price tag for the railway’s capital infrastructure repairs and improvement is estimated at approximately $100 million, and though the company’s owners have shown a willingness to invest in Manitou Springs’ future, there is a small group of community members resisting the realities of this monumental reconstruction project and risking permanent and debilitating economic harm to the community and region. The willingness of any organization to undertake an investment of this magnitude must be balanced by sound financial judgment.
The railway has offered the city $1,000,000 to help cover the city’s immediate tax shortfall from the Excise tax not collected by the railway during its closure for 2018 and 2019, with a proposed amendment to add an additional $250,000 for 2020 while completing construction.
Railway representatives have requested the city to waive its Use tax – a tax that Manitou Springs levies on materials and equipment purchased by businesses outside its city limits, but that are not taxed elsewhere, such as with tariffs.
The railway, as well as other attractions located in Manitou Springs, pay a 5% Excise tax on their gross gate admissions to the city, and the Cog Railway has asked that the city cap this tax at an amount higher than it has ever before paid for the first half of the agreement and then tax it at a rate of 3.8% for the balance of the term. If the Cog has more riders than anticipated (over 375,000 riders) then the tax rate adjusts up to 5%. These provisions, taken together, allows everyone to prosper together.
Under the proposed agreement, the railway would also make an initial contribution of $500,000 to improve parking and transportation issues in the city and has agreed to provide $50,000 for ongoing studies of these issues.
PPCAA feels that these proposals are a win-win for the city and the railway in an effort to restore this historic attraction and to bring back thousands of visitors to Manitou Springs who support our businesses and our economy and to enjoy this world class experience. Please join us in standing with them, and let us celebrate when that first train rolls out once again from their Manitou Springs depot.
Pikes Peak Country Attraction Association
Share this Post