Rebuilding of Royal Gorge Park to Begin this Week

The Royal Gorge Bridge and Park posted this photo on their Facebook page August 21, showing where the Cliff Terrace restaurant and Colorado Country Gift Shop once stood before the park began demolishing the destroyed structures. (Credit: Royal Gorge Bridge and Park)
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CANON CITY, Colo. (AP) -- Work is set to begin this week to rebuild the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park, which was heavily damaged by a wildfire last summer.

The Canon City Daily Record reports about 70 people, including bridge officials, city and county representatives and other invited guests, gathered Friday for a groundbreaking ceremony.

Mike Bandera, vice president and general manager of the park, says buildings will start going up and fire-blackened trees will be cut down this week. The first rebuilding phase of the park will include a new 14,000-square-foot visitors center, which is scheduled to open in August, as well as a zip line across the gorge and an aerial gondola.

In June, the park lost 48 of its 52 buildings in the wildfire that shut down the suspension bridge 955 feet above the Arkansas River.