Cripple Creek to open
new Heritage Center

Jul 24, 2007 2:04 AM

Perched high on a hill above Cripple Creek, the Pikes Peak Heritage Center is about to open next month.

To its supporters, the Pikes Peak Heritage Center is the anchor of a campaign to revitalize a sluggish tourist trade by attracting a new breed of visitors to rediscover the region’s gold mining history.

To its detractors, it’s a $4 million white elephant that’s over budget, behind schedule and unlikely to accomplish its goal.

"The history of Cripple Creek is unique. It truly is the world’s greatest gold camp," said Mayot Ed Libby.

City leaders had hoped the center would open one year ago; by the time it opens next month, the city will have missed most of the summer.

"We’re disappointed it didn’t come together faster, but we did the best we could," said City Administrator Bill McPherson, who attributed the delays to poor weather and construction problems. The city is serving as its own general contractor.

Everything will be finished before the center opens to the public, scheduled now for Aug. 11, Libby said.

Finished or not, the center received a warm reception from residents getting their first peek.