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Manitou proposes paid reservation system for reopening the Incline

The Manitou Incline is a notoriously steep and difficult trail that climbs nearly 2,000 feet in less than a mile.

MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. — Those looking to tackle the Manitou Incline this summer may have to pay for a reservation to hike the trail.

The Manitou Incline closed in April to help slow the spread of COVID-19. 

At the time, the city said social distancing requirements and proper mask usage could not be properly enforced due to the large number of visitors on the trail. 

RELATED: Manitou Incline closed to reduce transmission of COVID-19

Using a reservation system would help control the number of people on the incline at any one time, therefore helping to maintain social distancing, according to the Manitou City Council. 

City staff presented several options on how to safely reopen the incline to city council members during a meeting on Tuesday. City Council voted in favor of the paid reservation plan. 

"The Council supported the option to start using a reservation system and related fee, to use the amenity," a release from the city reads. "Doing so then meters the number of users to help maintain social distancing and not overwhelm the city’s infrastructure. Additionally, it would help preserve the Incline, and help it remain beautiful for years to come. Lastly, the Incline, under management, would provide an equal, and positive experience for everyone who uses it."

The city of Colorado Springs responded to the proposal Wednesday:

"While the city will review the ideas with the other property owners, it is extremely premature to suggest that major changes, particularly under the guise of COVID-19, especially without agreement of the owners and a significant public process.

The fee proposal as it is currently written especially goes beyond mitigating risk and would require a significant public process to evaluate a future usage fee and additional management options. Further, implementation of any fee would trigger a level of public involvement specific to the National Forest System Lands."

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At this point, it's not clear how much the reservations would cost.

The Manitou Incline is a notoriously steep and difficult trail just outside of Colorado Springs. It climbs 2,000 vertical feet in just under a mile.

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