Pikes Peak Cog Railway to reopen in 2021 after owner agrees to $100 million reconstruction

MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. -- The Pikes Peak Cog Railway, which has been closed for more than a year, will reopen sometime in 2021, it was announced Thursday.

The railway's parent company, Oklahoma Publishing, said the nearly $100 million reconstruction of the tourist attraction is expected to be underway by spring.

The railway, which is nearly 130 years old and takes tourists to the summit of Pikes Peak, made the announcement on its website.

“We are excited about it. We think it’s going to be beneficial to the entire region,” Oklahoma Publishing President and CEO Gary Pierson told The Colorado Springs Gazette.

The cog closed for the winter in October 2017 because it needed to be revamped and the rails replaced, and has not reopened.

The Broadmoor, the immediate owner, has been deciding whether repairs and maintenance would be too costly.

During the summer, the city of Manitou Springs reached a proposed deal to give Oklahoma Publishing tax breaks to invest in the cog.

Earlier this month, the city council approved a revised deal to set the stage for a 50-year pact.

According to The Gazette, during the first 25 years, Manitou Springs will cap excise tax revenue that it collects on ticket sales. The limit will increase incrementally, from $507,500 to $775,000 in the last three years.

In the last 25 years, rebates will be limited so the cog would not pay less than a 3.8 percent city excise tax on ticket sales.

The cog also must pay the city $1.25 million by the end of 2020 to make up for lost tax revenue from the railway's closure.

As part of the reconstruction, the existing track would be demolished and rebuilt and the depot will be remodeled.

Four of the eight cars will be taken out of service and replaced by three new cars that seat up to 240 people. The other four cars will be refurbished.

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