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Pikes Peak breaks visitor record for third consecutive year

December 22, 2017 Updated: December 23, 2017 at 9:24 am
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More than 487,000 people drove the 19-mile Pikes Peak Highway in 2017. Gazette file photo.

The world showed its love for America’s Mountain in 2017.

Through Dec. 18, more than 487,000 visitors drove the famous 19-mile highway to the 14,115-foot summit of Pikes Peak, surpassing the record of 482,963 people set last year.

This is the third consecutive year that Pikes Peak has broken the attendance record.

“It is exciting for both Pikes Peak — America’s Mountain and the region since the majority of our visitors are from out of state,” said Manager Jack Glavan. “It reflects the large impact of tourism to the region’s economy and is especially important as we prepare to construct a new Pikes Peak Summit Complex in the near future.”

Pikes Peak wasn’t the only record-setter this year. Garden of the Gods’ Visitor and Nature Center attracted 1,162,195 people through the end of November, compared to just over 1 million visitors in 2016. In total, the park welcomed 4 million people.

As of October, the city also received $70,721 more of Lodgers and Automobile Rentals Tax funding than in 2016, bringing total revenues from the tax to $5,916,979. That funding is expected to increase next year, with the construction of a $50 million Marriott, $20 million Hilton Garden Inn and an 87-room Holiday Inn Express.

Other tourism highlights planned for 2018 include the PyeongChang Downtown Celebration on Feb. 9, which will feature Olympic athletes, a live broadcast of the 2018 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony, live entertainment and interactive activities for kids and families. The Broadmoor will celebrate its 100th anniversary, with events like the 29th annual U.S. Senior Open from June 25 to July 1. Finally, world-class drivers hoping to break the quarter-mile track speed record set here last year will compete in the Pikes Peak Airstrip Attack June 16-17.

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