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Fundraising lags in Pikes Peak Summit House project

Projected cost is $50 million

Fundraising Lags in Pikes Peak Summit...

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Planners behind the construction of a new summit house on Pikes Peak hope an investment of $61,000 will help raise $30 million in necessary funding.

According to Jack Glavan, manager of Pikes Peak-America's Mountain, project planners have hired an Ohio consultant to conduct a fundraising feasibility study and fundraising campaign strategy.

Results of the study are expected in late spring.

Previous reports stated that $10 million will come from visitor revenue and as much as $15 million from the sale of bonds, with other contributions being made by the U.S. Forest Service, the Army and Colorado Springs Utilities.

Private donations are expected to provide the remaining amount.

Other challenges remain. 

The city has yet to submit an environmental assessment to the U.S. Forest Service, which will require public review and comment.

Officials said they must talk with the state preservation office and the National Park Service before submitting the assessment.

The timing of that process could affect when work on the project begins. 

The project intends to make the Summit House blend in naturally with the surrounding mountain peak, and to make it more efficient by conserving energy and water.

Glavan said because of the peak's harsh environment, workers will build the new summit house in sections -- at lower elevations -- and transport those sections to the project site.

"Not many structures have been built at 14,000 feet," he said.  "We're consulting with professionals in Alaska to learn how they handle permafrost issues."

Built in the early 1960s, the Summit House is considered outdated and planners want a more modern facility that offers visitors better surrounding views.

An estimated 600,000 people visit Pikes Peak each year.

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