June 27, 2013 Updated: June 28, 2013 at 9:22 am
For the first time on Thursday, the public was shown a full model and large renderings of the soon-to-be built Hill Climb museum.
The unveiling ceremony kicked off media day for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, which drew a larger-than-normal crowd to the Carriage Museum on the grounds of The Broadmoor.
The Hill Climb museum will be built as an addition on the west side of the Carriage Museum and should be open by next year's race. It is a $3 million project funded by the El Pomar Foundation and on land donated by The Broadmoor. The Broadmoor is owned by the Denver-based Anschutz Corp., whose Clarity Media Group owns The Gazette.
El Pomar chairman and CEO Bill Hybl was the lone speaker during the museum unveiling, noting that the new attraction is expected to triple annual attendance to the Carriage Museum to nearly 45,000.
Attendance on Thursday certainly wasn't a problem, as a large following of international press has been on hand to follow drivers like Sebastien Loeb of France and Japan's Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima. Museum curator Jason Campbell estimated Thursday's attendance reached 175.
"To have this great turnout and worldwide exposure is what we thought could happen and we're thrilled with it," said Tom Osborne, president of the Colorado Springs Sports Corp., which runs the Hill Climb.
Media credentials have been issued to representatives from 20 countries for this year's race, including countries like Russia, Croatia, Latvia and Belgium that had never participated.
Several Hill Climb alums were on hand for Thursday's ceremony, including Randy Schranz, who is about to run the race for a record 39th time, and drivers Rod Millen, Frank Sanborn and Gay Smith.
Several local luminaries, including Sheriff Terry Maketa, also were at the ceremony.
Many in attendance also gathered around the 1906 Readings Standard motorcycle and the Ducati Multistrada, the first motorcycle to break the 10-minute mark last year. The donated motorcycles will be part of the new museum and were on display Thursday.