Manitou Springs: drab to fab 

Street Smarts

Manitou Springs has undergone transformative changes in the past 15 to 20 years. Many call it a renaissance, but not everyone is lauding the new "fab" Manitou.

click to enlarge Pat Hansen - BOB CAMPBELL
  • Bob Campbell
  • Pat Hansen

Pat Hansen of the east side is a registered nurse.

What would you change about Manitou if you could? The traffic. It's gotten so-o-o congested and hard to park. And I don't like the parking meters on Sundays.

What do you miss about the "old" Manitou? The European Café. Also, the less touristy Manitou.

Would you live in Manitou? I want to move out of the east side of Colorado Springs where I am now to either the west side or to Manitou. I like the diversity and relaxed feel of Manitou.

What's your favorite thing in Manitou? The restaurants and just walking around. I also enjoy the penny arcade and Patsy's Candies.

Envision Manitou in 20 years. My vision is for it to be completely green — recycling, renewable energy. Kind of like Boulder or like Poor Richard's in downtown Colorado Springs.

click to enlarge Michael Bridges - BOB CAMPBELL
  • Bob Campbell
  • Michael Bridges

Michael Bridges of central Colorado Springs is active-duty Army.

How has Manitou changed in the past 10 to 15 years? Empty downtown buildings have been replaced by up-and-coming places like coffee shops and wine shops.

Name something you'd change about Manitou. I'd do something about the traffic and parking. People avoid going there because of that.

What's changed about Manitou that you miss? I liked the incline better when it was illegal. Now it's getting overrun with people and trash.

Would you live in Manitou? We looked in Manitou when we were looking to buy a home. It's out of our price range.

In what direction is Manitou headed? Given the amount of traffic on Saturdays and the amount of out-of-state license plates in the summer, it'll be a hopping place. I like Manitou better in winter months, though, when you can walk down the middle of main street during a snowstorm.

click to enlarge Kevin Fleischmann - BOB CAMPBELL
  • Bob Campbell
  • Kevin Fleischmann

Kevin Fleischmann of Rockrimmon is semi-retired.

If you could change one thing about Manitou, what would it be? Accessibility. In the summer and on holidays, it's bumper-to-bumper.

What's changed about Manitou that you miss? The stuff we did there in my younger days, which I can't specify here because too many people I know read the Independent.

Name your favorite place in Manitou. We take friends or grandkids to the arcade whenever they visit. They all like it.

What lies in store for Manitou? They seem to want to keep Manitou weird and progressive. That's a good thing.

  • Many call it a renaissance, but not everyone is lauding the new "fab" Manitou.

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