No homes were lost and nobody was injured; but the Royal Gorge Fire is still affecting Canon City over half a year later.
“We are made by the Royal Gorge,” said Kristine Kazanchy.
Kazanchy was one of a couple dozen people packed into the Royal Gorge Brewery downtown.
“There are two main things, the bridge and the prisons. If they weren’t here, we wouldn’t be here,” said David Meyndert who works at the brewery.
48 of 52 buildings at the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park were destroyed by the fire that sparked last June 11th.
The Canon City Police Department on Friday told the Canon City Daily Record that the cause was “man-made.”
Police Sgt. Shannon Byerly told the paper that the fire remains under investigation and no other details were released.
The Royal Gorge Bridge and Park is in the process of rebuilding. Officials broke ground in January to rebuild the visitor’s centers on the north and south ends of the bridge. Phase 1 of the project that includes some attractions and the visitor’s centers should be finished by August. The park will open for guided weekend tours beginning on March 15th.
“I see a really big boost to the economy here. Maybe not this year but the following year when all the new attractions are put in,” Meyndert said. “We have the chance to bring back people who saw the old bridge as well as those who have never been and want to visit.”