Photos by Bryan Grossman
Ralph Routon, left, accepting the Spirit of the Springs Award from Mayor John Suthers.
Citing his "years of community service and leadership," Mayor John Suthers awarded Ralph Routon, executive editor emeritus of the Colorado Publishing House, the Independent
's parent company, with the Spirit of the Springs award during Routon's Oct. 26 retirement party at the Briarhurst Manor in Manitou Springs.
Routon began his Colorado Springs journalism career in 1977 with the Gazette
, where he worked as a sports columnist, sports editor, sports writer, and metro columnist before leaving in 2001. Routon's career took him to Texas and Florida, but he returned to Colorado Springs in 2006 to serve as editor of the Independent
. Routon also led sister papers the Colorado Springs Business Journal
and the Pikes Peak Bulletin
in the years that followed, as he rose to the role of executive editor of the Colorado Publishing House.
About 100 people gathered to celebrate Routon at his party, including local celebrities like Goose Gossage and business leaders like Kyle Hybyl, and former City Councilors like Jan Martin, Scott Hente and Val Snider, as well as many colleagues from his celebrated career.
Here's what Suthers had to say about Routon, per a city news release:
Routon is an award winning writer who has had an illustrious journalism career. He has stayed very active in the Colorado Springs community, serving on various boards for community organizations including Cheyenne Village, Center for Nonprofit Excellence and others.
He has always embraced the desire to preserve Colorado Springs, Olympic City USA’s truly rich sports heritage. During his career, Routon covered eight Olympic Games and 12 Super Bowls, but what distinguished him was his dedication to local sports. In 1988, Routon led the effort to lure the Hawaii Islanders to Colorado Springs to become the Sky Sox. He was intimately involved in the long push for the new World Arena, which opened its doors in 1995. He also conceived the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame.
The Office of the Mayor welcomes the opportunity to recognize exceptional individuals and organizations in Colorado Springs with a Spirit of the Springs Celebration Award. This award is presented to the recipient(s) by the mayor or an official designee to honor an individual or organization’s outstanding achievement(s). For more information, visit mayorsuthers.com.