COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Some fear an upgrade at the Broadmoor could come at the expense of safety and convenience for those living west of the luxury resort.
Broadmoor leaders said it's part of a $60 million - $100 million improvement plan that includes elongating the golf course. The idea is that a longer course will attract more tourists and major golf events.
The third meeting on expansion plans occurred on Wednesday.
It included experts from the City of Colorado Springs answering questions about what it takes to close a well-used road like Cheyenne Mountain Boulevard through the golf course.
City leaders told the crowd that the road closure issue is something that the city council would consider and not the planning board. According to the city, the last time it did a use assessment on that stretch of Cheyenne Mountain was in 2001 and the daily usage was close to 900 cars per day.
The latest study was done by the Broadmore and it determined close to 2000 cars per day take that stretch. Because fewer than 2,500 drivers use it daily, Cheyenne Mountain is not considered an arterial or a collector road but a neighborhood road.
Cheyenne Mountain is used by residents of Broadmoor Heights, those who live off Penrose Road and visitors to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
Many with objections to the road closure are worried about the traffic and safety impact of pushing more traffic onto Penrose or a narrow alternative like Marland Road.
Some believe Broadmoor leaders should consider building a tunnel under the golf course if they want to close Cheyenne Mountain.
"The people up the mountain from Penrose Boulevard are the ones that are going to be adversely affected but I think the tunnel is the win-win solution to this issue," said Matthew B. Wills who lives on Marland Road.
Broadmoor leaders said they've already analyzed how the closure would impact traffic and emergency routes. According to their study, the neighborhood west of the hotel off Penrose is around 700 plots of land.
Hotel CEO Steve Bartolin said even with the road closure, an evacuation route through the Broadmoor property would still be available to residents west of the hotel. He said he looks forward to discussing those options with firefighters and emergency managers when the hotel submits the request to close the road later this year.
"What's good for the Broadmoor is good for the neighborhood," said Bartolin.
The Broadmoor leaders said part of their expansion plans include wildfire mitigation in parts of Cheyenne Mountain where they plan on expanding.
The next set of meetings are June 4-6 at Broadmoor Hall from 6 - 8 pm. For more information, call 719-577-5833.