Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau
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Colorado Springs
Convention &
Visitors Bureau

515 S. Cascade Ave.
Colorado Springs, CO 80903

1.800.888.4748
1.719.635.7506

Press Information

Detailed Article

1/04-12/04 Press Release
As Colorado As It Gets

When it comes to magnificent scenery and natural beauty, Colorado Springs has it all. It's the home of America's fabulous mountain, Pikes Peak, one of Colorado's highest mountains at 14,110 feet. This "purple mountain majesty" inspired Katharine Lee Bates to write "America the Beautiful" a century ago, and it still excites the 6 million travelers who visit Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region each year.

Lieutenant Zebulon Pike wandered into the region on a cool November day in 1806 and turned away from what is now called Pikes Peak claiming that no man would ever ascend this great mountain. To reinforce this proclamation, he named it "Grand Peak." Though he never made it to the summit, Grand Peak was renamed Pikes Peak in honor of his discovery. And now, Pikes Peak is one of America's most enjoyed mountains - you can hike 12 miles up the Barr Trail to the summit, ride on the Pikes Peak Cog Railway or drive the 19-mile scenic highway and enjoy the spectacular view from the new Summit House. Pikes Peak is also host to two very different races each year. The Pikes Peak Hill Climb (July 21 - 25, 2004), the second-oldest car race in America (behind the Indianapolis 500), attracts top names in the motorsports world, and this year marks the 82nd Anniversary of the Race to the Clouds. The Pikes Peak Marathon (August 22, 2021) is the second-oldest foot race in America (behind the Boston Marathon). This 28.2 mile course, which is considered to be one of the most demanding in the world, was the first U.S. marathon open to women. One can also experience the adventure and thrill of riding down this 14,110-foot mountain on a bicycle.

General William Jackson Palmer founded Colorado Springs, and the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad in 1871. As a testament to his vision, Colorado Springs has prospered as a visitor destination. Known in the early days as "Little London," Colorado Springs enjoyed a rich cultural history which provided an interesting contrast to the nearby mining towns of Cripple Creek and Victor. His castle home, "Glen Eyrie," which means "Eagles Nest," still stands today as a memorial to this brilliant man of civic vision.

The Pikes Peak region is home to many "must-see" attractions such as the amazing Garden of the Gods Park with its massive red sandstone formations and sophisticated Garden of the Gods Visitor Center, a unique natural history museum. You don't want to miss the Cave of the Winds, Seven Falls, or the Manitou Cliff Dwellings. The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is the only mountain zoo built at 6,800 feet, and the Royal Gorge is home to the world's highest suspension bridge. If that isnít enough, come to the ProRodeo Hall of Fame & Museum of the American Cowboy, the World Arena, the Olympic Training Complex and the Air Force Academy, which is the most visited man-made attraction in Colorado. Venture off to the Flying "W" Ranch for an authentic chuckwagon supper and original western music show performed by the nationally-famous Flying "W" Wranglers. The Pikes Peak region has more than 50 attractions, so there is sure to be something for everyone!

And our landscape, with its unlimited spaciousness, serves as a stage for many outdoor recreational opportunities, ranging from river rafting, hiking, golf, horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing, and even hot air ballooning. With the sun shining 300 days of the year, and our mild and dry climate, one can enjoy these activities year-round!

Another man of vision during the 1800s was Spencer Penrose who made his profits in gold and silver mining. Owner and developer of the now historic Broadmoor Hotel, Spencer Penrose was yet another of our area's colorful characters. His wife, Julie Penrose, had a significant role in the development of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. The renowned Broadmoor Hotel has consistently received the Mobil five-star and AAA five-diamond awards with many outstanding restaurants, pools, tennis courts, carriage museum, shooting grounds and delightful shops. Pamper yourself at the spa of the Broadmoor Hotel or play golf at one of the three championship golf courses.

Colorado Springs is host to such events as the "Colorado Balloon Classic." From September 4-6, 2004, over 125 colorful hot air balloons will lift off from Memorial Park. Pilots from throughout the United States and Canada will bring their balloons to Colorado Springs to participate in the 28th Annual "Colorado Balloon Classic." This event is rated as one of the five largest balloon rallies in the country, as well as the "most prestigious" in the United States as the pilots must be invited each year to participate. Ballooning in Colorado Springs requires special attention to flying conditions because of our close proximity to the mountains and our ground elevation of 6,000 feet. Another annual event is the 63rd Annual Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo, ranked number 16 of all rodeos in North America, held August 11-15, 2004, with action-packed, family-oriented performances starring the top cowboys and cowgirls in the country.
Now in its fourth year, the Pikes Peak International Raceway, located in Fountain, is just minutes south of Colorado Springs. Some of the world's top drivers and fastest cars will be regular visitors at this exceptional venue. The races are scheduled from June - September.

The Colorado Springs Airport state-of-the-art facility serves 9 airlines with approximately 100 flights daily, offering non-stop service to 17 U.S. cities and easy connections to almost any city in the world.

History:

The Pikes Peak region's first inhabitants were that of native Ute, Cheyenne and Kiowa Indians. In 1871, William Jackson Palmer, railroad baron and Civil War hero, purchased 10,000 acres of land to begin building his vision of a thriving community in a healthful climate. The gold mining rush of the mid-1890s led to the settlement of Cripple Creek, a mining town west of Colorado Springs which is now a limited-stakes gambling attraction. In the 1940s, Fort Carson Army base was built, adding yet another economic dimension to the region. Today, Colorado Springs is home to several other military installations including, Peterson Air Force Base Space Command, NORAD (NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) and the United States Air Force Academy.

Colorado Springs and the surrounding areas has a population of over 500,000.


Related Links


Cave of the Winds

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Flying W Ranch

Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods Trading Post

Manitou Springs

Pikes Peak Cog Railway

Royal Gorge Bridge & Park

United States Olympic Complex

United States Olympic Training

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