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Cripple Creek, Colorado, USA - May 26, 2013: A welcome sign at the entrance to the town of Cripple Creek. Initially a mining town during the Wild West, it is now a tourist destination with restaurants, shops, and gambling.

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The Cripple Creek Parks and Recreation Department hopes to start construction next week on the Mountain View Adventure Park, featuring a variety of outdoor recreation venues ranging from disc golf to a dog park, after winning a $224,061 grant last month from Great Outdoors Colorado.

The 160-acre park in southwest Cripple Creek would be the second in the Teller County seat and is scheduled to open by year's end to give residents and visitors entertainment and recreation options beyond what is available in the city's 12 casinos, said Connie Dodrill, the department's director. Construction could begin as soon as the Cripple Creek City Council accepts the grant, which is on the agenda for its Wednesday meeting, allowing the department to seek and accept bids for grading and installing fencing, playground, disc golf and other equipment on the site, she said.

"We hope it will attract more people to Cripple Creek; it gives them more to do. The casinos have restaurants and entertainment, but this gives people another avenue to enjoy Cripple Creek," Dodrill said. "It will also reduce the risk factors for youth, such as drugs, alcohol, teen pregnancy and dropping out, by giving them better alternatives."

The site has included a BMX bicycle track for more than 15 years, which would be expanded and upgraded to be more challenging as part of the adventure park construction project, which has been envisioned for more than five years. The city unsuccessfully applied last year for a Great Outdoors Colorado grant, but got a $55,000 matching donation earlier this year from Denver-based Newmont Mining Corp., which owns the Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Co. The project will cost more than $300,000 - including the cost of materials and equipment from the city's Public Works Department.

The Cripple Creek grant was one of 27 projects in 22 counties that received $5.5 million last month from Great Outdoors Colorado, including $350,000 to the city of Colorado Springs to build a universally accessible playground in John Venezia Community Park now under construction in the Briargate area, $45,000 to El Paso County to build a dog park at Falcon Regional Park and $45,000 to add a gazebo that can accommodate eight picnic tables to Wallace Park in Victor. Colorado Springs School District 11 also received $220,000 to upgrade playgrounds at Edison Elementary and Academy ACL schools. Great Outdoors Colorado is funded with proceeds from the Colorado Lottery.

Besides the upgraded BMX track, 18-hole disc golf course and dog park, the project also will include a sledding hill that also will be used as a downhill mountain bike course, a trail on the perimeter of the park and playground equipment ranging from boulders and mini zip lines to spinning devices, Dodrill said. The park also will include a shelter and two ponds. Volunteers from the Teller County Regional Animal Shelter, the Trails and Open Space Coalition, Mountain Top Cycling Club, Pikes Peak Flying Disc Club and other organizations will help with some of the construction work, she said.

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Contact Wayne Heilman: 636-0234

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