Efforts to pay for the new Summit Complex at the top of Pikes Peak are a few cents closer, after Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers emptied his pocket change and became the first donor to a new fundraising campaign.
The campaign is called "My Mountain," and references the sense of ownership residents of Colorado Springs feel over the iconic 14er.
"Our city's past, present and future is connected to Pikes Peak," said Suthers in remarks in a press release. "The 'My Mountain' campaign is an exciting opportunity for everyone who has ever felt a connection to Pikes Peak to rally together and offer their support to preserve and protect his treasured destination."
The $60 million project is funded in part by reserves from city revenues generated by tolls and concessions. Project managers determined $15 million would need to be raised through public and private contributions; after several large donations, the city says an estimated $7 million remains. No general fund tax dollars are being used to fund the project, according to the city.
The new Summit Complex is already under construction and—depending on the weather—slated for completion by fall 2020. It's expected to include interactive digital displays focusing on the history, significance and geology of Pikes Peak, among other exhibits and amenities. It will replace the existing Summit House, built in 1963. That facility will remain open until the new complex is complete.
According to the press release, the Summit Complex project is a collaboration between the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, State Preservation Office, tribal representatives and the summit's five major permit holders: he City of Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain, The Broadmoor’s Pikes Peak Cog Railway, the U.S. Army High-Altitude Research Laboratory and Colorado Springs Utilities.