This year, the city wrangled over parkland — whether to swap land with The Broadmoor to give the luxury hotel a spot for stables while securing the Manitou Incline as open space. The communities of Fountain, Security and Widefield found out their drinking water had industrial chemicals, with the U.S. Air Force taking responsibility for the contamination — and part of the clean up.
New restaurants opened, established businesses thrived and CSBJ readers learned about it all thanks to regular web updates and the local print edition.
Here are the most popular web stories for the year:
- The top story for the year focused on Sam and Kathy Guadagnoli’s efforts to revitalize a section of North Nevada Avenue. The $75 million project includes a resort-style development with a hotel, urban shopping center, residential units by Cheyenne creek and an upscale steakhouse.
- Discoveries that local water was contaminated in Security, Widefield and Fountain led to Environmental Protection Agency advisories and a $4.2 million promise by the U.S. Air Force to assist homeowners and water districts with clean-up efforts. The water is contaminated with chemical compounds used in fire-fighting foams, Scotchgard and Teflon products.
- Executive Editor Ralph Routon’s column about a ballot question that would allow big-box stores to sell full-strength wine and liquor drew the ire of many who were in favor of the idea — and some who would broker no complaints about the city of Seattle. In the end, the legislature passed a compromise bill — full-strength wine and beer in chain stores, but will be phased in over a 20-year period. Some hailed it as the biggest change in the state’s liquor laws since the end of Prohibition.
- New species found at the Pikes Peak Summit House? Or just an April Fools Day joke by Senior Reporter John Hazlehurst and RTA RTA Architects principal Stuart Coppedge? CSBJ readers loved the annual joke in Hazlehurst’s column. And the CSBJ apologizes for its contributions to fake news.
- Baseball in Pueblo? Maybe. The Business Journal expanded coverage to Pueblo this year, and one of the top stories involved plans for a downtown baseball stadium. Big news in the Springs: As rumors circulated that the Sky Sox might decamp to San Antonio in a few years and the City for Champions proposed downtown stadium has stalled.
- Mitch Yellen has had a number of successes — and his newly opened TILL Restaurant is the latest. Yellen opened the $12.7 million restaurant, located at 9633 Prominent Point, in July. The farm-to-table eatery has received rave reviews since.
- Small business and restaurant Burrowing Owl, which bills itself as a “vegan dive bar” was also a big hit with CSBJ readers. The owners came up with the idea in 2014, and have been selling local residents on the concept of vegan food ever since.
- Colorado Crossing has been an occasional news story since original owner Jeannie Richardson filed for bankruptcy during the Great Recession — leaving contractors like GE Johnson unpaid. The development has been idle since then, with partially constructed buildings dotting the landscape at Voyager and Interquest parkways. This year, the development sold and construction is expected to start up once again.
- Monument’s wildly successful Pikes Peak Brewing also made the top 10 best read stories this year. The brewery is on target to be the biggest craft beer producer in El Paso County and one of the top 20 in the state. Five years ago, owner Chris Wright was brewing beer in his basement — and finished the second expansion of the Tri-Lakes brewery this year. The brewery has seen 40 percent growth every year since it started.
- And parking is a big deal for business downtown and in Manitou Springs. That’s why business readers were interested in a UCCS startup that promised to fix the problem through an innovative application.