The Royal Grudge Bridge

Bill Fehr has big plans for the Royal Gorge Bridge--including a $749,600 rent increase.

Yet Walter Jenks, who still lives in Canon City, isn't so sure that's progress. "Mr. Murchison always told me, 'We're running a scenic attraction,'" he recalls. "He said that there was to be nothing that detracted from the scenic beauty of the gorge. And that was the way I tried to run it--real quiet, trying not to take anything away from the gorge.

"But now," he continues, "there's all these different things there: a carousel, more theaters. We always had one restaurant and a bar; now there's food service everywhere. I guess it works; they get a lot of money. But it's a different place from when I was there. It used to be a scenic attraction. Now it's an amusement park."

Exactly, says Fehr, and it's high time for a change. So he is making big plans for the site he fully intends to be running in a year and a half. The last thing he wants to do is ruin a good thing. But, he says, nodding toward the bridge, "I don't think this place has kept up with the times." For starters, let's get rid of those stupid signs. "You pay people to change their signs," he proposes. "You talk to them."

Next, he wonders, "why aren't there parks and soccer fields around here? I mean, what a great place for an athletic field, on the edge of the gorge! And why aren't there any mountain-bike trails here? Let's set some up. I'd like to see a mountain-bike race down the gorge. Let's get ESPN2 here!

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