Wed July 31, 2013

Royal Gorge Bridge May Reopen In August

Following the June fire, work continues to fully restore the attractions at the Royal Gorge Bridge.

The wildfire caused serious damage that burned more than three thousand acres and destroyed all but four buildings out of 52. The iconic bridge has been repaired, park managers hope to have it open to visitors in August.

Our colleagues at Colorado Public Radio spoke with park spokeswoman Peggy Gair. As she said, "A six thousand square foot visitors’ center, you know, burned down, the tram was totally destroyed."

"Basically the bridge is standing, and just a few buildings," Gair continued.

Gair says the property was insured, but managers don’t know if they’ll recover millions of dollars in lost ticket sales since the park had to close.

"We’re still in demolition, we still have excavators up there, and we’re doing a good clean up. We’re going to have to remove all the destroyed buildings before we can rebuild," Gair said to Colorado Public Radio.

Managers hope to have the park fully operating again next May. President Obama signed a disaster declaration July 26, releasing federal money for the fire. As we previously reported, that declaration triggers unemployment benefits for the employees of the park.