Manitou Springs once again attracts national attention

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The Smithsonian ranks Manitou as the best small town for 2021

Gabriel Paulson

For the third time in nearly as many weeks, Manitou Springs has once again gained national recognition after being named by Smithsonian Magazine as one of the 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2021.

The recognition was announced in June by the magazine, which is published by the Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian is one of the best magazines for travelers and art / museum lovers.

“It’s the perfect place for visitors,” said resident Amy Mogck. “Manitou Springs is the perfect combination of Mother Nature, friendly people and a strong arts and culture scene.”

The list, which is not in any particular order, lists Manitou Springs as number five, and with the exception of Hatch, New Mexico, it reigns as one of the smaller towns on the list. The article focuses on why Manitou Springs is a great place for residents of major cities who wish to escape post-pandemic lockdowns.

The article says Manitou Springs, nestled between Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods, two national historic landmarks in their own right, is a great place for anyone who enjoys the great outdoors.

“This mountain town takes its name from the eight mineral springs around town, each sporting its own special properties, such as the natural bubbling waters of the Navajo Spring and the flowing waters of Twin Spring, popular for making lemonade. mineral water and snack. ” the article says.

The article goes on to mention the many hiking areas available throughout town and in the open space of Red Rock Canyon and the nearby Incline. He also mentions the Pikes Peak Cog Railway, known as America’s tallest railway and the world’s tallest cogwheel train. The article also mentions the recent overhaul of the railway, with new cars and tracks.

“Visitors will often see moose and bighorn sheep along the slopes,” the article says. “The summit itself is home to the new sustainably constructed Pikes Peak Summit House and visitor center and tourists must stock up on the house specialty, homemade donuts.”

The article then highlights the Green Horse Gallery, which features works by local artists; The Ten Spot, where all items are on sale for $ 10 or less; and skeeball at Arcade Amusements, which the article describes as a penny game room with an old-fashioned prize meter.

“Complete the arcade experience with a visit to nearby Patsy’s, a more than a century old concession stand, where popcorn, funnel cake and saltwater taffy are the norm,” according to the Smithsonian article. . He then mentions the local craft beers and premium bar fare offered at the Manitou Brewing Company and the gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches at The Swirl. The article also pays tribute to Armadillo Ranch for its barbecue and live music.

“At first I thought the secret had been revealed,” Jenna Gallas, Armadillo Ranch co-owner and Chamber of Commerce spokesperson. “People know the wonders of Manitou here. This recognition is worth it and I can’t wait to see where we go next. “

Every summer day, the city is filled with visitors from near and far on short trips or longer vacations and many local businesses report that it is one of the busiest summers in recent years.

“People just want to go out and reconnect with people and places after a long year of lockdown,” Mogck said. “It’s really good to see so many people enjoying our small town and now there will be more people who will enjoy their visit as a result of this recognition. There are people who just like to visit places recommended by magazines, especially when it’s as famous as the Smithsonian.

“Everyone goes through our downtown and supports our small businesses,” she said. “With that in mind, they know this has been a tough year and they are ready to spend their tourism spending here and help stimulate our economy. As we head into the warmer months and toward the end of the pandemic, tourism is becoming more active. “

Susie Hawkins, owner of Red Wing Motel, said, “As always, we see a lot of businesses coming back, but there are also first-time visitors to Manitou Springs. They come from the east coast, the west coast, the south and the north.

According to Hawkins, the motel business was hit hard last year, due to the pandemic and construction, so it’s refreshing to see more people coming.

“Like all other companies, it was the most difficult last year. It was the toughest I have ever seen, but this year it just blew up, ”said Hawkins. “People try to go back to their roots, feel comfortable and see them visiting and coming with their family and friends.”

The city was recently recognized by FEMA for its emergency management plan and as third on a list of the ten best small towns for local art.


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