Manitou Springs is a beehive of activity getting ready for the tourist season. Many shops are in the process of moving across the avenue to get away from the creek that flooded last year but new ones will move in and take their chances. And we are finally getting some businesses that will be attractive to the residents as well as tourists. Up until now there have been mostly tourist shops, restaurants, and hotels.
Our town has not had a grocery store and now one opened last week. It’s actually a member owned co-op but anyone can shop there. It’s just that we members receive a 10% discount and a share of the profits. Eventually a 5% discount will be offered for those not driving to the store. That is easy for us since it’s just down the street and around the corner. Every business in the flood prone area has sandbags out in front and back.
Their produce is all organic and the eggs are sourced from a farm where the chickens roam free and live in old school busses. Each household with a membership is required to work 2 1/2 hours a month in the store and my first shift is coming up. It should be fun. The people who started the store are on a mission to reclaim our food system and to make Manitou Springs more self sustaining. We are all being encouraged to have gardens and can then sell our excess to the store plus we will be able to gather every Saturday across the street to sell garden produce.
Last year a businessman started a zip line on the west end of town. Now he is going to add more lines plus an off road Segway trail AND he wants to put in a ski slope using synthetic snow. The nearest ski area to Colorado Springs is over 100 miles so this could attract tourists in the winter. He plans to start with a small slope and then expand later on.
Another new business that I’m excited about is the Sun Water Garden Spa that will be open in the fall and is designed to be world class. I will take a picture when construction of the multi-million dollar structure is further along. The spa owners have received permission to use water from a mineral spring across the street. There will be a large salted pool heated to 94 degrees, a cold water plunge, an indoor waterfall, and many other small pools for various types of water therapies, as well as a mud and steam room. Manitou Springs used to be known as the Saratoga of the West and the owners are hopeful their spa will attract other healers to Manitou.
This is the other side of the church where I posted a picture of their red door a few weeks ago. The new grocery store is directly across the street from the red door on the right side. This junction of Canon and Manitou Avenue is considered the absolute center of town. See the big salmon colored house on the hill? We live next door to it on the right. It’s a great location from which to walk downtown and what is really nice is that it’s one of the few towns in the country where you can safely walk at night and where many other people are out for a stroll on the avenue.
This is the Heavenly Squeeze Juice Bar that opened last year. I went there last year with friends for their grand opening special of juice and some minutes at the bank of oxygen machines. There are different aromas of oxygen that sure gave me an energy boost. I think tourists who come to Manitou Springs from lower elevations and are not acclimated should consider this shop. It’s just a few buildings up Ruxton Avenue which is the street that goes to the Pikes Peak Cog Railway station.
And Hell’s Kitchen is right across the street.