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Manitou Springs makes deal with Cog Railway owners


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Manitou Springs City Council has made a deal with owners of the Pikes Peak Cog Railway to reduce excise taxes it charges for tickets on the train for 50 years. The 5 percent tax, which generated $350,000 to $500,000 per year, will be capped at $500,000 plus inflation of 1.5 percent every fourth year. The city also will waive all use taxes on capital investment, which could total $1.1 million.

In exchange, the Cog will pay the city $500,000 this year and in 2019. The Cog could reopen in 2020. It closed last fall, and The Broadmoor, which owns the train, says refurbishing and replacing its components will cost from $80 million to $95 million.

Broadmoor officials told the city it might have to replace tracks, engines, cars, the depot and related facilities, though reopening the railway isn't guaranteed due to variables that could impact cost, such as tariffs and the resort's ability to charge ticket prices that would cover the capital and operational costs. The agreement was approved on first reading June 12. Second reading is set for June 26.

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