Limited Royal Gorge Bridge and Park tours to be offered on weekends starting March 15

CANON CITY, Colo. - The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park will reopen on a limited basis next week.

It's the first time the park has opened since a wildfire destroyed 48 of the park's 52 buildings last June. The iconic bridge suffered minor damage.

Starting March 15, the park is planning to offer bus tours on Saturdays and Sundays.

"Guests will see history in the making while traveling in the open-air, 85-passenger people-mover the park recently purchased for the Royal Gorge Bridge bus," officials said on the Royal Gorge website.

Tours will be offered on a first come, first serve basis and cost $10 per person.

"The tour will start about one mile from the park’s Northside entrance on Fremont County Road 3A," officials said. "The tour will include a stop on the 85-year-old Royal Gorge Bridge so guests can step out to enjoy the views."

Visitors may also fly on the Royal Rush Skycoaster and visit Point Sublime view point.

The park's new Visitor's Center and aerial tram are expected to open in August 2014.

-- Rebuilding the park

Groundbreaking for the park's rebuilding effort took place in January.

The Canon City Council has approved a plan to rebuild shops and attractions at the Royal Gorge Bridge. However, the new buildings will likely be smaller than the old buildings.

The City Council's master plan includes visitor centers on each side of the bridge, a food court, train stations and platforms and a zip line, along with operational issues like a generator, water treatment equipment, landscaping and parking.

Repairs are estimated to cost $25 to $40 million. Most of the costs will be covered by insurance.

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