Canon City, Colo.–You’ll never see the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park like this again, so bring your camera. Beginning March 15, park officials announced the Bridge will be open on a limited basis to the general public for the first time since the Royal Gorge Fire, weekends only for guided tours. The park 90 percent destroyed by fire on June 11, 2013, spent the summer and fall in demolition and clean-up, and will start breaking ground in January.
While in full out construction mode to rebuild the park, tours on America’s Highest Suspension bridge are being offered between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday’s and Sunday’s, weather and construction sequencing permitting. Guests will see history in the making while traveling in the open-air, 85 passenger people-mover the park recently purchased or the Royal Gorge Bridge bus.
Mike Bandera, Vice-President and General Manager, said the tours will be on a first come, first serve basis and cost $10 per head. Children age 3 and under are free, and season passes will be honored. The tour will start about one mile from the park’s Northside entrance on Fremont County Road 3A.
“People are very interested in seeing the Bridge and the Gorge, and what’s happening up here. Hundreds have been turned away because it just wasn’t safe for the general public to be up here during demolition,” said Bandera.
With the importance of the Bridge being open to support the local hospitality and tourism industry, Bandera said the company has been working diligently to make this happen. “We have always supported our great community, and businesses have been asking us to open, even if we are in construction. We want it to be open,” said Bandera.
The tour will include a stop on the 85-year-old Royal Gorge Bridge so guests can step out to enjoy the views, and a stop at the Royal Rush Skycoaster and Point Sublime. For those patrons who wish to fly on the Skycoaster, the cost is $25 per head, $45 for two riders, and $60 for three. If they choose not to ride, they can walk up to Point Sublime for one of the best panoramic views of the region according to Bandera. The Royal Rush has been featured in the media internationally and nationally as a premier thrill ride.
The park is expected to open Phase I of the rebuild August 2014, which will include a new visitor center, aerial tram, and several other attractions.