• Destination Spotlight: Colorado Springs

    CWT Savvy Traveler
    Guest blogger Becky Ahl, CWT Vacations Leisure Travel Advisor, joins us today to share an update about her home city, Colorado Springs, and how it has fared since the severe fires that began there last month.

    On June 26, 2012, as a firestorm rushed down the mountainside into the city of Colorado Springs, I watched in shock just like the rest of the community did. We couldn’t believe that something so horrible was happening here. Natural disasters happen in other places far away, but not here.

    Pikes Peak

    View from Pikes Peak. Photo credit: VisitCOS.com

    But it was happening, with 65-mile-per-hour winds fueled by very dry conditions, the fire burning in the foothills became a firestorm rushing into the city and many of the people I know were running for their lives from the flames and smoke. Thankfully I was not one of them; it was bad enough to think that the fire was only 10 miles away and if the wind shifted, the fire could be headed my way. You start to think, “what would I take with me?” and “what will be left of my home?” but what you don’t immediately think about is “what will the fire take from a community or region once it is out?” Unless you have lived in a community or region that has experienced a hurricane, flood, fire, or other natural disaster, it’s hard to imagine the answer to that question.

    During the disaster many people rushed to the area to help. Fire fighters arrived from all over to help battle this fire, Red Cross workers, and other relief workers were here to help in the aftermath, but what we are not seeing are the tourists rushing here to help us recover. Of course, safety should always be a top priority when visiting a destination impacted by a natural disaster, but I can tell you that the fire is now 100% contained.

    Garden of the Gods

    Garden of the Gods. Photo credit: VisitCOS.com

    We are still as beautiful as ever, Pikes Peak towers over the city with the morning sun reflecting off its slopes, the red rock formations of Garden of the Gods are bright and beautiful; the animals at our spectacular Cheyenne Mountain Zoo are waiting to greet you and your family. The Chapel at the Air Force Academy is open and waiting for visitors. We do have many of our hiking/biking trails open to the public; yes, there are a few that may not be open because of safety, but those that are open have breathtaking views. The historic city of Manitou Springs and historic district of Old Colorado City have many local restaurants and shops waiting to welcome you back with open arms.

    When you are thinking about a vacation this year, think about visiting Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region: we are open for business!

    Here are just a few of the great events that I know are still planned for the month of August and into September.

    • August 12 – Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
    • August 18 – 25 The Pro Cycling Challenge staged all over the state with a leg taking place in Colorado Springs
    • Sep 1 -3 The Colorado Springs Balloon Classic, come watch the hot air balloons fly


    United States Air Force Academy Chapel

    United States Air Force Academy Chapel. Photo credit: VisitCOS.com

    I look forward to seeing many new faces coming to Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region to enjoy these events and the beauty of Colorado.

One Responseso far.

  1. Farrah says:

    I would like to see C-COG leverage this oprpotunity to create the means and ideas which build the capacity for further and future engagement in our community. It will take a while for our community to learn but this is the first step.First, most people don’t really care about Hospital Governance and/or Ownership. I’ve spoken with many. It’s boring to them. What they DO care about is how a change in governance and ownership will affect their access to care, the cost and quality of care,how our indigent population is impacted, potential job loss , and so forth. To get people to roll up their sleeves and get involved requires C-COG to figure out what tentacles of this issue are important to the community, offer a few, well-researched salient points, and let them talk. To get a shared sense of responsibility and multiple perspectives, ask local organizations MHS, Peak Health, Penrose, AFA, Utilities, USOC, churches, etc) to design the conversation (in lay-people language) and to nominate lay people to attend open, round-table conversations. They in turn can invite some friends and so forth. Ask the Gazette/TV stations to attend. And of course someone could blog on it.There’s also the idea of public opinion surveys.My concern is we will have town-hall meetings, which usually attract those who have an axe to grind and/or those who are extremely knowledgeable and want to delve into the minutia. Yuk.